What skills do software developers have beyond writing code? 🧰

So much talk about AI assisted coding recently, including in this forum! As someone who’s worked in developer education for a long time, I notice that the conversation shows we don’t really have a strong definition of what software development is. It’s so much more than writing code imo but would love to hear what Glitch community members think – you make the web after all!

What are the real skills in being a software developer, whether you do it for work or fun (or both)? :thinking:



And this will manifest in different ways. Whether you make a product, offer services, or work on your side projects, the result of your work will be enjoyed by real people, with their busy lives, who come to you for help, or maybe out of curiosity, to learn something new.

Think about the bad experiences you’ve had with things similar to what you’re making and what you can do to make other people’s lives easier. If you receive constructive criticism, it’ll most likely be from people who want to help you do better.

As an engineering manager, I treat the developers I work with as equal team members. We all have different strengths and experience, and it’s through working together that we succeed, or fail, as one team.

And finally, you need to have empathy with yourself. Don’t try to do it all on your own. Step back, and think about the problem you’re trying to solve. Maybe there’s a simpler way? Maybe someone else knows the answer? Know the value of your time.


I love this because it highlights how contextual making software is, and that the context is a human one!


here’s a few:

  • designing how a program will work before you code it. and I feel like we don’t have a systematic way to teach this. people have to code enough to get a sense of what’s easy and hard, what works well and not well.
  • learning things really fast
  • always having the energy to figure out that one more thing you need before it’ll just work, for real this time
  • locating, navigating, and reading source code of dependencies :cry: when documentation doesn’t answer a question

Ahh this. There are so many things we could do a much better job of teaching. Code comprehension is a huge one, we spend a lot of time reading code in the real world but there’s very little focus on it in education.


I used to want everything in a monolith where everything was in the same repository and same language, but nowdays I’ve learned that sometimes developing parts of a project as seperate programs can be beneficial especially since it lets you mix languages easily. For example, one may do heavy lifting in a rust client to a node server which serves up a seperate frontend codebase.
It actually helps me make use of my time sometimes, for example python has a lot of neat apis for ai so I might be setting up an internal api in python and then calling it from an application like a node discord bot rather than try to figure out how discord.py works.

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