Coding can be a nightmare. It is tiring and makes you look older than you really are. But your passion for coding has brought you down this path and there is no going back. If you really want to be a successful developer, you have got to take down your biggest enemy that is ‘you’. Successful software developers are more than coders (although that is a big part of what creates success); they have a routine that they follow day in, day out.

If you don’t learn from your mistakes and are not willing to adapt to new technological changes, you are setting yourself up for a big, fat failure. This is the one thing that successful developers get right; consistent improvement.  

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus once said:

“We find that the Romans owed the conquest of the world to no other cause than continual military training, exact observance of discipline in their camps, and unwearied cultivation of the other arts of war.”

Discipline has always proved to be the attribute of those who succeed. If it could help Emperor Claudius conquer Britain, it can help you become a better coder.

We have listed the 9 things we noticed in most successful software developers. So, sit back and absorb what can help you become a successful developer. It’s not going to happen overnight, but we promise you it will happen if you keep up.

(If you are too busy coding and can’t read through, find a quick summary at the bottom.)

They Learn and Explore

If you are just getting started as a software developer then you have got a lot of reading to do. Read everything related to the type of projects you want to do. But most importantly, pick a good book regarding new technologies so you can be prepared when the old school tactics become obsolete.

Here are some of the best books regarding Software development and Coding you should read this year:

  1. The Art of Computer Programming by Donald E. Knuth
  2. Domain-Driven Design Distilled by Vaughn Vernon
  3. Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, John Brant, William Opdyke, Don Roberts, Erich Gamma
  4. Programming Pearls by Jon Bentley
  5. Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices by Robert C. Martin
  6. Test Driven Development: by Example by Kent Beck
  7. Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams by Lisa Crispin, Janet Gregory
  8. Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation by Jez Humble, David Farley
  9. Blockchain: Uncovering Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and the Future of Money: Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Exposed by Alan Wright
  10. Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain 2nd Edition by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

Apart from books, you can follow software and tech blogs. Here is a list of software blogs that you can follow to keep yourself up-to-date:

They Envision the ‘Big Picture’ at Every Step

Successful software developers are smart visionaries. Unlike other coders, they envision the end product and focus on the impact of its outcome on the business. They usually work through agile software development where they keep track of everything so the outcome is consistent with the goals.

They are Stoic and Self-motivated

Every day is a challenge for a developer. The best and healthy practice is to accept every challenge without complaining and keep going. Self-motivation is super important when it comes developing new coding skills or refining the old ones.

They Organize and Practice Discipline

“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.”

Roy L. Smith

If you have been coding in one language for a decade, you are way far behind the rest of the crowd. Tech is always evolving; what works today may become obsolete tomorrow. Only discipline can help you build daily habits to learn new things and use them to further your career as a developer.

They are Proactive and Solve Problems

Step out of your comfort zone!

Successful developers do not run away from problems, in fact, they aim to find them. In this industry, the more problems you solve, the more you learn about software development. Work on complex projects and try to find the solution to coding problems that perplex you

And be patient because this may drive you crazy.

Always be prepared for a problem

They Talk less and Listen More

During your career as a software developer, you will come across different types of projects with varying requirements. In order to ensure that you have heard everything right, it’s important that you listen more and talk less. Let the client do the talking. And once the client is done, ask questions. As many as you can think of.

Always create checklists for development tasks to ensure that you don’t miss anything. Go over that checklist before, during and after the project is finished.

They Focus on Writing a Clean Code

Successful software developers always use agile workflows that allow them to create a code that is easy to read and maintain.

Learn how to write a clean code here and here.

They Teach What they Learn

Most successful software developers are excellent teachers. They either consistently write for blogs or manage their own blogs. Explaining technical concepts helps you break down the complex subject int small digestible parts. This not only makes the explanation easy but also clears up any confusions that you might have had. 

So, teach and write whenever you can find the time.

They Adapt

Things are changing so fast that if you don’t keep up, you will miss not only profound experiences but tremendous opportunities. Successful software developers always adapt. In fact, a big part of their job is to look for new opportunities for learning new things. 


A clean code requires years of experience. So, practice, practice and practice until you get it right. With discipline, self-motivation and an open mind, you can quickly pick up new coding languages and define rules that make you a proactive developer.


Rules to Conquer Software development
Rules to Conquer Software development

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What makes you a successful software developer (if you think you are one)? Share your opinion with the software community.

About Nexapp is a software development and design agency committed to helping small and large enterprises find the best possible solution for their software needs. Learn more about software development best practices here.  For questions and queries, contact us here.

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