June 15: Answer to what makes a great software engineer

What did you predict would be the top attribute? See if you were right.

Source: Empirical Software Engineering
Published: December 2019

Answer to what makes a great software engineer

Yesterday we discussed a University of Washington survey looking for the most important attributes for exceptional software engineers. 

What did you predict would be the top attribute?

Answer Options & Responses (n = 4,887)

1. Hardworking: 3.1%

2. Pays attention to coding details: 5.3%

3. Mentally capable of handling coding complexity: 9.4%

4. Continuously improving: 82.2%

If you chose B, ‘pays attention to coding details,’ you’re right! Here are the highest and lowest ranking attributes according to the expert engineers who took the survey. The low-ranked attributes aren’t necessarily bad, just not essential traits for excellent engineers.

Highest Rank & Attribute

#1 Pays attention to coding details

#2 Mentally capable of handling complexity

#3 Continuously improving

Lowest Rank & Attribute

#54 Trades favors

#53 Hardworking

#52 Personable

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