The Key Trait That Separates the Good from the Great Developers

What psychology tells us about the world’s highest achievers. Here’s what that means for developers.

Zachary Minott

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Photo by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash

A Myth Debunked

It’s easy to chalk up the most successful and elite people in a given field to be ‘gifted’, ‘talented’, or insanely ‘lucky’. Perhaps they’ve just had more “skin in the game”. Maybe they are just paragons of hard work and live life grinding their way towards success. Although each of those points may be true to a limited extent, we also greatly misunderstand the psychology and truth behind professional and personal achievement.

In an attempt to bring the true, scientific indicators of high performance and achievement to light, psychologist, Angela Duckworth, dedicated her life’s mission towards uncovering, studying, and communicating that very thing. As she articulated in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, talent, intelligence, and experience are incredibly poor indicators of long-term achievement. Even the acclaimed psychologist, Daniel Kahneman (author of Thinking Fast and Slow), found that experience breeds confidence more so than skill, after probing the judgments of highly-trained experts, stating:

“Subjective experience is not a reliable indicator…

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Zachary Minott

Salesforce Architect | Olympic Weightlifter | Pseudo-Philosopher | Email: zacharyminott1997@gmail.com