Friday, September 3, 2010

What Really Makes a Good Programmer?

Survey Response CountsI've been working on a series of articles about mainframe migrations. My next post upcoming will be talking about source code translation tools. It got me to wondering, what is a good programmer?

I decided that the best way to figure out what makes a good programmer is to ask those who have a history of working with programmers.

I've been playing around with Google Docs and this seemed to be another solid opportunity to leverage some new Google Docs features, specifically Google Forms. I know this particular one is a little annoying but Google Forms didn't really give me many options for entering these data so I apologize for that.

I really appreciate your taking the time to read my blog and to help me with my research. So, without further ado, here is the What Makes a Good Programmer survey.

OK, maybe a little ado. Be sure to read and follow the instructions. They're pretty easy and, I think, relatively clever little recursive instructions to get a lot of responses. Thanks again for your help with my informal study.

If you've already taken the survey, I've published the results. Please don't look at the results of the "What Really Makes a Good Programmer" survey until you've completed it.


  1. I thought that my english is decent enough, but I cannot -even after googling- figure what "Co-located" means in the context of "traits of programmers", or traits of people ... etc

  2. Sorry Alex. That means, "In the same place."

  3. As in pair programming, or in two places...

    When is a person co-located?
    Some people simultaneously upkeep lives in two or more realities. While they are walking and breathing and eating here, they are also living lives similarly elsewhere.

  4. Fermion,

    I'm referring to colocation as being in the same place at the same time physically. Not necessarily at the same desk, but generally within walking distance (or, perhaps within mutual white-board distance).

    With regard to what you said, I'm not sure I follow. What do you mean living lives similarly elsewhere?


  5. It is not an easy question to answer since co-located is not really a trait.

    A good programmer should be be able to work well without being co-located with other programmers.

    On the other hand being co-located might turn an ordinary programmer into a good programmer.

    Being in two different places at the same time mentally might not be a great trait for a programmer.

  6. You might be over-thinking it just a smidgen. You might think of it as, "at the same cost, which one provides more value . . . one in your office or one on the other side of the planet?"