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What Makes Developers Really Great

How to stay attractive — and relevant — when on the open development market.


  • Development

The world of development can be a very difficult one to break into — especially if you have worked largely on your own and without the checks and balances that come from a professional envirionment.

Blend's Former Director of Business Development Deane Barker wrote this post as an answer — an email that he sent to a specific applicant — to the question "What Makes a Developer Great?" From that post:

Some years ago, we had a young guy contact Blend looking for a job. He dropped by a few weeks later, and it did not go well (more on why below).

In the next couple weeks, I found out that he “interviewed” at a couple of other Sioux Falls web development shops (it’s a small city — we talk). They reported to me that their experience with this kid was much the same as mine had been.

So, I wrote the kid an email. I have re-printed an anonymous version of the email below. In it, I explained to him that he was digging a professional hole from which he was going to find it tough to climb out of later.

I had some reason to read the email again, this many years later. In the intervening time, I’d had so many situations that make me convinced I did the right thing by writing to him, and equally sure that my assessment of what makes a good developer great is completely accurate. I should have all of Blend’s new developers read this, before they start.

For more, check out Deane’s blog: Gadgetopia.

More from Deane Barker.

Deane Barker is co-author of The Web Project Guide, and co-host of The Web Project Guide Podcast.

Deane was a founder of Blend Interactive, and this article was written during his time at Blend. However, if you're looking for more from Deane, check out his personal site.

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