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What’s the most useful skill for developers?


How do you know you’re not a senior-level developer?

That was the challenge posed by one of my developer friends at our Monday night dinner. I was the only one at the table who hadn’t been writing code professionally for more than a decade. Apparently, my offensive assumptions deserved redress.

When the barrage subsided and the smoke cleared, we were left with a conclusion.

Know Stuff

Yes, developers need to understand some useful concepts, and have worked through them in one language or another. However, that’s only so they have hooks on which to hang new learning about the language or framework of the moment.

THE #1 Skill

The consensus was clear. The most useful skill a developer can posses is writing search engine queries. Or, as one of the guys so eloquently put it, Google Fu.

Google Fu

All the things known serve to help craft more precise search queries, and, then, to understand and implement (or debug) whatever the documentation describes.

Since my first implementation of a bubble sort in the late 1980's, languages and frameworks have grown at what could only be described as a daily-compounded rate.

Worry about knowing how to design the process. The details are at the tips of your fingers.