It Takes a Village to Raise a Software Developer - Read Time: 5 Mins

“Good things happen to a team when a player takes the place where he adds the most value. Great things happen when all the players on the team take the role that maximizes their strengths—their talent, skill, and experience.”

John C. Maxwell


Is software developers born or nurtured? What does it really mean to be a software developer?

I think i had encountered more and more software developers, who had never gone through a single class in formal education to learn to build software in a university setting.

Some of them are self-taught which they picked up programming themselves from online courses, youtube tutorials or even Bootcamps.

Which has been gaining traction recently as an alternative path to becoming a developer besides the traditional route of taking a course in a university or polytechnic?

After helping out in developer meetups and to teach the next generation of possible "developers" in my line of work as an instructor for Code in Community.

I sincerely believed that we should promote our developer communities, by spreading the message to more and more people who are interested in learning about tech to consider working as a software developer in Singapore.

Diverse Amount of People Without the Stereotype

If I were to ask you what is the typical look of the software developer in Singapore? What would you explain to a person who is not technical?

I believe that I might imagine for a technical person they might think of us as a young developer in their 20s or 30s who might be a bit socially awkward?

In fact, as I attend more and more meetups, the typical stereotype of developers has become blurred as I help out in more tech meetups.

Did you know that we actually have a vibrant and diverse amount of developers regardless of race, religion or gender?

Those developers come from all walks of life. be it a researcher doing their own research work by crunching numbers to get the right data.

A student from the local polytechnic or a university. Who might be thinking does being a software developer is really my career choice

A designer who designs movable majestic art piece that helps to create sand dune in beaches.

It could also be a person in a digital marketing agency developing interactive marketing products for kids and adult alike to enjoy.

Core Traits of Software Developers

I believe that at the core of all software developers there are actually 3 core traits:

1st Trait: The Willingness to Solve Problems to Help People

It's always totally common to feel upset over things you can't control. But you will find that a lot of software developers will always take action for a cause they believe in.

We will always find a way to build things or do things that we believe could help people solve their problems in an efficient or effective manner.

It could be a product, an art piece, government services, developer communities, conferences, teaching kids programming or just youtube videos that talk about their daily lives as a software developer.

All of these activities actually provide tremendous value to a person's lives to embark on their journey to become a craftsman in the software development community.

2nd Trait: Curiosity

Never would a day pass that you would find a software developer.

Who's not interested in getting to know a piece of new technology that they could geek out for hours to discuss or tinker around with it.

Breaking things down so that they could understand how it works or just testing the boundaries of a system to improve it to become better,

Constantly consuming information in the latest trend, going for a workshop to practice their craft, going for conferences to learn to perform at a higher level than what they originally are.

3rd Trait: Mentorship and raising Standards of The Tech Community

Did you know that in Singapore, we actually have a large pool of tech videos recording from various tech user groups in Singapore. Provided for free by the dedicated volunteers at Engineers.SG.

How I wish that I could have known about it sooner. So that I could have greatly reduced my hurdle in learning new things.

Besides the active technology specific communities in Singapore, there are various meetup groups that promote industry specific awareness like Division Zero which focus on information security related specific topics.

IoT SG that that promote industrial use of IoT devices in various industries, the Data Science Communities like Data Science SG or PyData.

Heck, there's even a meetup group called DataKind SG that focus on building data products for social sectors in Singapore.


Building communities in general is actually a thankless job but provide lot's of values to people.

I had my own fair share of helping out in developer specific committees or startup communities.

It makes me wonder how do they accomplish it, despite their own busy schedule.

Which lead me to think they are either super human or they must have lots of time to plan and execute these type of events.

Maybe instead of just attending your next meetup. Why not consider helping out to be a Speaker for it?

If you have a fear of speaking why not be an organiser or just help out to spread the message of the event your attending?