Mini-review on determinants of success as a programmer/coder

Got what it takes to be a programmer? Technology shapes lives and is a great career! Here’s a mini-review based on Gnambs (2015). The stereotype of a programmer is a “socially incompetent loner”. But the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos changed all that. They are highly paid role models with stellar career prospects.

So what qualities does it take?

In the Gnambs meta-analysis, traits were correlated with success on objective coding tasks and manager evaluations of performance. The top trait making you a good programmer was intelligence (r=.29).

This is as expected because intelligence is the strongest predictor in any knowledge-based job.

Next was openness (.16) to experience. Programmers are creative. Introversion helps (i.e. -.11 for Extraversion, you often need to work on your own. Most interesting was there was no relationship for agreeableness and emotional stability, countering the social misfit trope.

If you need strong programmers, don’t just hire for intelligence and technical experience, consider personality traits.

Take a look at Perspectives to help you identify these personality traits.