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The 8 Most Desired Traits in a Computer Programmer Cheat Sheet by

Since getting offered a job as a full-time programmer in April of 2015, after having only 4 months of self-taught programming experience, I present you with the 8 most desired traits in a computer programmer.


Since getting offered a job as a full-time programmer in April of 2015, after having only 4 months of self-t­aught progra­mming experi­ence, I present you with the 8 most desired traits in a computer progra­mmer.

Personal Drive

The ability to express in a humble yet assertive way, that you want to be the best at whatever you do, whether that is progra­mming or anything else in life, will play a key role in landing a full time job as a progra­mmer, even with little experience and no formal training. Employers for tech companies love seeing this trait in a potential prospect. The reason is simple, they know that if you have that "­it" factor or drive in you, then you will quickly develop a passion for the work you do and are going to be in that 20 percent of progra­mmers that make up for 80 percent of the work. Having the motive to be the best, means that you are going to spend extra hours, sometimes outside of work to learn new concepts and progra­mming ideas that will further aid in whatever project you are currently working on.


With how fast technology moves, you need to be able to become a self-l­earner. Being a full-time programmer means you will more than likely not go a single day without learning something new. Unfort­unately most companies don't have the resources to have someone else hold your hand and teach you everything along the way. You need to be able to recognize a problem and then learn on your own how to solve it.


This is an intere­sting trait, and one that you might at first think cannot possibly be true... but hear me out. I am not saying you want to tell future employers that you have lazy tenden­cies, but what I am saying, is that lazy people often find the best solutions to problems. Think about it, when you are lazy you don't usually want to complete a task the "­rig­ht" way, and so often times you will complete a task using a different method, which will result in getting the task completed quicker than using the "­rig­ht" method.

Intell­ectual Humility

The worst thing you can do as a progra­mmer, is become so prideful in the knowledge that you have, that you aren't willing to admit that you don't fully understand a concept. As soon as this happens, your progre­ssion and skills will stop advancing. In an industry that is constantly moving forward, you will be left in the dust. When you don't understand how something functions or works, no matter the level of diffic­ulty, you need to always be humble enough to ask questions.

Logical Thinker

For the most part, progra­mming is about thinking logically, you are essent­ially just giving a computer a list of directions to follow in the order that you tell it. The old African proverb states it best, "How do you eat an entire elephant? One bite at a time." You need to be able to take a giant project and break it down into small manageable pieces, while keeping the goal in sight.


Having an eye for design is one of the best ways to separate yourself from the rest. As mentioned in the last trait, most of progra­mming is about logical thinking and using the left side of the brain. The majority of humans naturally use the left side of the brain more than the right (your creative side). Being able to develop your creative side, can really pay off in getting offered a full time job in progra­mming. No matter how good the code looks, if the design of an app or program doesn't have that “wow” factor, then you have a big problem. Since most progra­mmers think almost solely with their left side of the brain, there is a big need for designers and creative minds (UI and UX progra­mmers).

Team Player

Being able to work with others effect­ively while creating a releasable final product, plays a fundam­ental part in being a successful progra­mmer. Being a hard worker and cooper­ative throughout team projects is a great way to make a huge impression on your co-workers and leaders.


When you become passionate about your work, then your job becomes more than just a job, it becomes something you constantly think about and want to improve. Developing this trait is the difference from a productive programmer that adds value to a company, and the programmer that just clocks in from nine to five and does the bare minimum. Trust me, no company wants to hire someone with the 9-5 mentality.


Great list, you could say these things about any prospective employee really.

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