Want to learn coding? These 10 qualities will make you a successful developer

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Well-paid, future-proof and sought after in all industries. For many, programming is the most sought-after skill in the current job market. Many companies are desperately looking for programmers and are willing to pay above-average salaries due to the lack of trained specialists.

More and more job changers are therefore sensing their opportunity to make a lateral move and are asking themselves whether they would be suitable for a programming job. Even if mastering programming languages is indispensable for a job as a programmer, programmers must also have important non-technical qualities.

In this article, we explain which 10 soft skills you need to learn coding and how you can successfully master your career as a programmer.

Stock image with laptop, magnifying glass and lines of code and the caption "The most important soft skills to learn coding."

Here are the soft skills you need to learn coding and to become a successful developer

You are a problem solver

One of the most important skills if you want to learn programming is your ability to solve problems logically. Often in programming, problems are broken down into sub-problems to be solved one at a time. This is because the main problem is often too complex to be solved on its own at the first attempt. The division into sub-problems leads to the individual sub-problems being worked through systematically, one after the other, until the main problem is solved.

This approach is one of the most important skills in programming. Programmers often spend hours finding errors in their own code. But this approach to problem solving can be very helpful for you in other areas of your life.

Another aspect is not to look for a single solution to a problem. There are usually many different solutions to one problem. Your task is to compare different possible solutions and find the best possible solution for your problem by weighing them up.

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Analytical thinking is exactly your thing

The soft skill of analytical thinking helps to establish connections between different facts, to structure and interpret them in order to be able to draw the right conclusions. Analytical thinking does not only describe the ability to solve complicated math problems. In addition, analytical thinking is much more often put to the test in practice through text analysis.

You are a creative mind

Programming requires creativity. Many problems cannot be solved by pure logic alone. It is necessary to examine the problem from different angles. This ensures that you are able to consider several potential solutions in order to find the best possible option for the problem in question. The more experience you gain in programming, the more potential solutions you can come up with for problems.

Programmer writing a script, these 10 soft skills you need to learn coding.
Empathy is not a foreign concept for you

Empathy is a soft skill that is important in any profession. As a programmer, you should be able to put yourself in the shoes of potential users or customers in order to understand their problems and requirements. This helps you to understand a job and find the best software solution to simplify the life of your customers or colleagues.

You are a team player

The cliché that programmers mainly sit alone in front of their computers typing lines of code couldn’t be further from reality. Programmers are constantly in contact with their colleagues, as different perspectives and approaches help to find the fastest and best possible solution to a problem. You rarely truly work alone on projects. Programming is learning from and working with others.

Flexibility is key

If you want to learn programming, you should quickly realize that there is rarely only one possible solution to a problem. Therefore, flexibility is an essential part of a programmer’s skillset. In order to write effective programs, you should be able to think flexibly and not be tied down to one solution approach from the beginning. The flexibility required for programming also develops automatically as you code more and gain experience.

You can handle criticism

Unfortunately, it’s true: bugs will creep into every piece of code you write. This is inevitable. Many of the mistakes you make while coding will most likely not be noticed by you, but by other people first. Therefore, it is important that you can handle criticism if you want to learn programming.

Errors in your code do not mean that all your code is bad. It is also commonplace for other people to find your mistakes before you do. You will notice fewer and fewer bugs as you work on code for a long time. This is normal, but it shouldn’t stop you from being thorough and avoiding mistakes.

It may still happen that other people in your team suggest solutions that you haven’t thought of yet. However, this does not mean that you have done a bad job. The more people are involved, the more creative solutions you can come up with for different problems. Therefore, you should always accept constructive criticism and try to learn from it and improve. You are sure to be able to return the favor soon.

You research possible solutions on your own.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel! For most problems, there are already open-source solutions that you can integrate into your code. The trick is to find the right code components and to supplement them sensibly with your own code and correct any errors that may have crept in. It is a widespread misconception that programmers always write new code for every problem, and fortunately this is unnecessary. Sometimes it’s smart to use solutions that someone has already developed and made available.

You don’t let yourself be beaten down

Programming can sometimes be demotivating. You may spend many hours finding and correcting bugs in your code, but the result still doesn’t improve. Especially if you want to learn programming, a high degree of patience and frustration tolerance is essential.

Learning to program is not easy and takes a lot of time. Especially in the beginning, when no rapid progress is visible, the learning process can be very demotivating. But sticking with it is worthwhile. Once you have understood the basic principles and have made progress in your first programming language, the fun of programming will not be long in coming.

You are tech-savvy

To get started as a programmer, you should have a certain degree of affinity for technology. This means that you like working with technology and quickly understand how it functions. This will help you better understand how your programs can best be implemented in reality and may even give you new ideas about what you would like to work on.

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How can you successfully master your lateral entry as a programmer?

If you already have some of the skills mentioned above, there is nothing standing in the way of your entry as a programmer. Now it’s about how you can turn your dream into reality.

There are many ways to learn programming. There are multiple free options online to learn the basics of coding, but we recommend proper training. If you learn the basics from professionals right from the start, your chances of becoming a successful programmer are simply higher. If you are serious about becoming a programmer as soon as possible and want to learn a commonly used programming skill, we recommend our Python Programmer Training and our SQL Training.

These part-time online courses will enable you to work as a programmer after graduation. If you want to learn more about why it is worthwhile for you to learn Python, read the following article by us.


Lerne Progrogrammieren(2020) „Die 10 wichtigsten Soft-Skills für Coder“   [06/22/2020]

Brainvestment(2021): „ Die 11 wichtigsten Soft Skills, die du beim Programmieren lernen trainierst“ [11/06/2021]

Louisa Krützfeldt
Louisa Krützfeldt
Louisa is a Berlin native and Junior Data Scientist at StackFuel. She studied biochemistry in her hometown and bioinformatics in nearby Potsdam. After graduating, she worked in medical research, where she was particularly involved in analyzing medical data to research cancer prognosis in children. Analyzing the vast amounts of data was very valuable to Louisa and she fondly remembers the feeling when she was able to extract relevant, actionable information from the data. Louisa wants to bring this valuable skill and her excitement for data analysis to learners at StackFuel and make it a fun experience.

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