Programmers don’t need to be “smart”

I recently overheard someone say that to be a programmer, “you have to be smart”. Putting aside the debate of what it means to “be smart”, I can say with absolute confidence, that this is not the case. A good programmer/developer/webby person will typically flourish with four traits (of which “smart” is not one).

  • an interest in languages or math
  • enjoys problem-solving
  • learns well on their own
  • works well on their own

While these are the four traits that have allowed me to earn a rewarding living as a developer, I’d say 1, 3, and 4 are even optional depending on your work environment.

The best programmers I know are the best because of personalities and traits that match well with the industry, not anything related to IQ. And like most work, human skills are the top of the requirements list to be successful and get things done.

Published by

Kirk Wight

I am a WordPress developer working at Automattic (the makers of WordPress.com). Based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, I am easily distracted and very curious.