Become a Great Software Developer: Guide by Brights


As the digital transformation takes over the world, software development is a key skill in a digital era where innovation in technology is accompanied by practical applications. This skill includes coding, solving problems, innovating, and creating software that touches our lives. From mobile apps connecting us to enterprise systems powering global businesses, the demand for skilled software developers has never been greater.

To navigate this landscape, one needs more than technical knowledge. It demands a holistic approach to development which fuses specialized ability with an appreciation of the larger implications of technology. The software agency Brights, known for building cutting-edge software products and web applications, has done some research on it. Through experience and collaboration with top software engineering talent, Brights has distilled what it takes to succeed in software development. Their insights are the basis for our quest for the great software developer.

Key Takeaways

Before we dive into the specifics of software development, the following are some of the key insights and strategies which differentiate exceptional developers from the rest of the bunch:

  • Continuous Learning: The technology landscape is always changing, and continuous learning is an advantage but also a requirement to remain relevant.
  • Writing Clean, Maintainable Code: The art of software development isn’t only writing practical code but making maintainable solutions which stand the test of time.
  • Collaborating Well with Others: Software development is teamwork. Effective collaboration and communication are required to turn visionary ideas into reality.
  • Knowing the Business Context: Great developers realize that software is developed to solve real-world problems to achieve business goals. This understanding is crucial in designing impactful solutions.
  • Mix of Technical & Soft Skills: The most successful developers combine deep technical knowhow with interpersonal and cognitive skills.

A journey to become a great software developer requires developing these key traits and practices. By improving continuously and by balancing technical and soft skills, aspiring developers can achieve new heights. Each of these areas will likely be talked about in much more detail in the future sections to make a roadmap to those keen on software development.

Continuous Learning: The Heart of Software Development

Software development is in perpetual motion with new programming languages, frameworks, and techniques constantly emerging. Software engineers can never rest on their laurels, “said Jana Bergerson, Director of Engineering at Brights. “Great developers are perpetual students of their craft.” This ongoing learning is essential to keep up.

Tools & Resources for Continuous Learning:

  • Internet Courses & Tutorials: Platforms like Coursera, Pluralsight, and Udemy host courses about the hottest programming languages and development methodologies.
  • Tech Conferences & Workshops: Events like Google I/O, Microsoft Build, and local meetups let you learn from and network with professionals.
  • Coding Practice Platforms: Websites like LeetCode, Codecademy, and HackerRank let developers practice new skills and take code challenges.
  • Open Source Projects: Contributing to open source projects on GitHub may offer hands-on experience with various technologies and collaborative methods.

Writing Clean, Maintainable Code

Quality & usability of code are equally as important as functionality. Jared Bronson, Lead Software Engineer at Brights, says great developers “write clean, readable code that you can update and refactor down the road.”

Technologies/Methodologies for Quality Code:

  • Version Control Systems (VCS): Tools like Git allow code changes to be tracked and collaborated on.
  • Code Review Tools: Platforms like GitHub and GitLab allow peer reviews of code to ensure code quality and stability.
  • Coding Standards & Linters: Adopting coding standards (PEP 8 for Python) and using linters (ESLint for JavaScript) can help maintain a consistent code style.
  • Automated Testing: Writing tests in frameworks like JUnit (Java) or pytest (Python) makes code reliable and maintainable.

Collaboration & Communication: The Social Skills of Coding

Communication and teamwork are important aspects during software development projects. Emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills are important, although Bergerson states “software development is a team sport.”

Tools & Methodologies for Effective Collaboration:

  • Agile Methodologies: Practices like Scrum and Kanban encourage collaboration, flexibility, and improvement.
  • Tools for Communication: Slack, Microsoft teams, and Zoom allow Teams to communicate clearly and easily between remote and in-person Teams.
  • Project Management Tools: Trello, Jira, and Asana help teams track progress, manage tasks, and work on projects.
  • Code Collaboration Platforms: GitHub and Bitbucket allow pull requests and issue tracking for code collaboration.

The Business Context: Beyond the Code

The broader business context and real-world impacts of software are also critical. “Best developers understand why the product exists beyond the technical requirements,” Bronson says. Understanding the strategic objectives and customer needs brings better and more valuable software solutions.

Strategies & Tools for Business Understanding:

  • Tools for Customer Journey Mapping: Tools like Miro or Lucidchart visualize the user experience and identify key functionalities.
  • Analytics & Data Visualization: Google Analytics, Tableau, and Power BI can provide user behavior and business metrics.
  • Lean Startup Methodology: Lean principles can help developers to concentrate on building software that meets real user needs efficiently.

The Technical and Soft Skills of a Great Developer

A mix of soft and technical skills is needed for a career in software development. That includes knowledge of programming languages, software design patterns, and a logical and analytical mindset.

Key Technologies & Soft Skills Development:

  • Technical Skills: Following languages like Java, Python, and JavaScript in addition to frameworks like React and Angular are crucial. Also required are knowledge of databases, cloud computing (AWS, Azure), and DevOps practices.
  • Soft Skills – Enhancement: Workshops, mentoring, and reading on emotional intelligence, time management, and effective communication may help build these fundamental skills.

Embracing Emerging Technologies and Trends

As the digital landscape will continue to change, keeping abreast of new technologies & trends is key for every software developer hoping to be great. The incorporation of new technologies into software development creates new ways of solving problems and also of new software applications. A few of the major trends and technologies affecting development in the future are outlined below.

  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning: AI and ML are enabling software development to improve its performances without human intervention. From predictive analytics to natural language processing, these technologies enable improved user experiences and more intuitive software. Developers applying AI and ML can automate routine tasks, optimize algorithms, and build systems that learn over time.
  • Blockchain for Secure Transactions: Initially used to back cryptos like Bitcoin, blockchain technology is discovering uses across finance, healthcare, and supply chain management. Its capability to guarantee secure, tamper-proof, and transparent transactions makes it a great tool for developers creating applications where security and information integrity are crucial considerations.
  • Cybersecurity practices: With the sophistication of cyber threats increasing in importance, good cybersecurity Practices should be considered as part of the development process. Understanding security principles and applying them from the ground up (“security by design”) helps create secure software. Developers with experience in cybersecurity can protect their apps while also providing expertise in a growing problem for businesses and consumers alike.
  • Serverless Architectures: The development of serverless computing means developers can develop and operate programs without needing to manage servers. This model frees developers to work on their core product without operating systems, server scaling, or maintenance. Developers could leverage cloud services like AWS Lambda to produce scalable, efficient, and affordable applications.
  • Edge Computing: Edge computing is playing an increasingly important role as IoT (Internet of Things) devices become more widespread & edge-computing services become more important. This technology puts computation and data storage near the devices where it is collected instead of at a central location thousands of miles away. This reduction in latency is crucial for real-time applications like autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and IoT applications.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR): AR and VR technologies enable mixed reality experiences in both physical and digital media. Software developers applying VR and AR might create applications in education, healthcare, real estate, and entertainment which enable users to interact with information and their environment in new ways.
  • Ethical AI & Responsible Development: As AI technologies become ubiquitous, ethical AI and responsible development are becoming more important. Developers are increasingly expected to consider the ethical implications of their algorithms and ensure their apps do not perpetuate bias or harm. This trend towards ethical consideration in development brings social responsibility into the software development lifecycle.

Understanding and including these emerging technologies and trends enable software developers to broaden their skill set and contribute to producing impactful software solutions for all the demands of tomorrow. Pacing these developments will be essential to staying in front of the curve in rapidly changing technology.


Being a great software developer involves ongoing learning, mastering code maintainability, effective collaboration and communication, understanding the business context, and a balance of technical and soft skills. The use of the appropriate tools, technologies, and methodologies can expedite this journey.

Brights is available to coach and help budding developers learn how to code and develop cutting-edge software projects. Looking for a challenge? Explore career opportunities with Brights and join a team that values growth, innovation, and excellence.

Call to Action

Prepared to turn your love of coding into a career? Brights is hiring software engineering talent! Visit their careers page today to apply for open roles and join a team defining the future of technology.

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