Top 5 Major Factors Affecting the Programming Skills of Software Developers

Over time, technology has evolved at an electrifying pace. It is still continuously heading towards the infinite horizons of the technology universe. Advanced technology has increased the demand for software implementation beyond expectations.

The gap of demand and supply of advanced and innovative software has doubled the requirements of the professionals who have the expertise to meet the customers’ desire to provide flawless and refined yet simple to use software that is quite handy in daily routine use.

Impact of COVID-19 on Software Demand:

The shocking wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed the wheel of the economy all over the world. This pandemic has played a catalytic role in the progress of the software and technology world of innovation.

The experts and professional software developers have become the backbone of today’s world and ahead. They are the individuals that made the dream of a remote job possible by providing well functional software. The innovative software offered remote access to distant entities, integrated them seamlessly, and provided them with a proficient virtual world.

Reports and research have shown that skilled and experienced software developers have increased 52% compared to the previous year. The rate of hiring has multiplied by 163% when compared to the past year. Though the IT sector has encouraged young talents, senior developers’ value to the industry cannot be overemphasized.

Factors Affecting the Programming Skills of Software Developers:


1. Correlation of Cognitive abilities and the Developer’s Age:

The cognitive abilities of the software developers are the skills based on the intelligence of the developers. These skills are generally involved in resolving the logical issues, mental capabilities of reasoning, comprehending the complex questions, abstract thinking, and finding the solutions to the roots causes that deliver particular results. 

The studies have shown that age is a significant determinant for developers. When it comes to retaining information, age is directly proportional to the knowledge acquired. As the software developers get older, their analytical skills increase, and they pay attention to the minor details of the development functionalities. On the other hand, the cognitive abilities of software developers have a significant decline with age.

A study conducted in 2018 by Kock et al. included 140 participants. These participants were ages between 19 years to 54 years of age. The results concluded that generation does not have a significant impact on programming skills. Instead, programming skills are directly proportional to the experience of coding. Similarly, the experience is also inversely proportional to the stress given to the programmers to meet the strict timelines.

Learning new technologies for the older programmers might not be efficient compared to the younger ones since age matters a lot in becoming familiar with the latest things. Still, as the experience grows, the ability to absorb complex problems and find their most feasible solution gets better. 

Without any doubt, age is a significant determinant factor in learning new technologies and dealing with complex and critical, logical programming solutions. But many factors undermine what the common perception is perceived.

The core factors that impact the programming performance of a programmer include his age. It is a fact that experience plays a vital role in programming performance. Still, if the programmer has been in practice without any gap and has extensive programming experience, the age and experience would be proved as a plus for programming performance. The experience can go in vain if stress prevails in a programmer’s mind.


2. Innovative Coding Skills:

Creative and innovative skills are the core means to get the productive outcome from the software programmers influenced by numerous factors discovered by many studies. The skills and expertise are the amalgamations of cognitive, technical, logical, and analytical skills. Software programmers implement these to make a fine-tune solution by paying attention to the software requirements’ details. The innovative coding skills of the software developers are getting more polished based on the experience of coding, even though cognitive skills are reduced with the passage of age. Yet, the innovative skills to resolve issues or solve the complex problems that programmers usually face while developing software are fine-tuned as they work on more dynamic software projects. 

Creativity, Curiosity, collaborative working, and risk-taking are the essential elements that multiply the innovational skills of the programmer. As the programmer gets experienced, these skills help him produce new software functionalities that are sometimes ideal for the younger programmers.

3. Single Language vs. Multiple Languages Expertise:

It is the time of electrifying pace of technology evolution that insists software developers learn new programming languages. The popular language two years ago may get obsolete, and the job opportunities become limited to those software developers who stick to just a single language. But suppose there are bright sides to learning multiple new programming languages to grab the vast and dynamic job opportunities. However, we cannot ignore the dark sides of learning a new language for programmers with significant experience.

Programmers use their experience to resolve any logical issue or coding upgrade to provide what the client needs. Jean Scholtz and Susan Wiedenbeck show that controllable familiarity with a specific programming language helps the programmer. Still, when the experienced programmers tried to learn new languages to grab catchy opportunities, they partially succeeded because their knowledge was insufficient to solve problems that badly disrupted their overall performance. However, nowadays, it is in practice by many programmers that they work on multiple programming languages at a time. But it is undeniable that if the programmers switch from one language to another, they’ll miss the charm of resolving problems in a glimpse of a second as it hampers their flow of programming efficiency.

4. Psychological Contentment in Organizational Environment:

Psychological contentment and mental peace are the boosters to the software developers as they can deliver their best when the organization’s working environment is satisfactory. The researches show that the ideal working environment for employees is the one where the management is supportive. If the software developers get the competitive market salary, benefits, promotions, and encouragement, their determination to work touches the peak of efficiency, and they’ll deliver more productively. Another study conducted by Sze Yin Koh et al. has uncovered the satisfactory psychological factors that determine the professionals’ level of contentment. These determinants include the inter-relations between co-workers and management of the organization, job security and promotion opportunities, and leadership attitudes of the managers play a vital role in the productivity of an organization.

5. Growth Opportunities:

The potential of a software programmer to grab better opportunities matters. The opportunities provided by the government and its policies impact the lives of ordinary people. When it comes to software programmers, their skills are primarily affected when bounded by the absence of growth opportunities within an organization. When the programmers find unlimited growth opportunities, they learn more than expected and deliver their best more productively.

Bottom Line:

Technology, being the prime foundation of today’s advancement, has been driven by software implementation. The backbone of software is the software programmers, who work enthusiastically to deliver the best products to the world and keep the people engaged remotely.

The skills of the programmers never get rusted if they keep their practice of coding in continuation. Their programming performance gets better with the growing age even gets more polished. But the researchers have found that if the progress hampering factors like competitive learning of more than two to three languages is affected with the growing age, innovative coding skills are resident within the programming languages they are already practicing. Also, cognitive learning abilities reduce with time. However, the common perception that the software programmer cannot continue coding after the ’30s is inaccurate, as mentioned in this study.

Lastly, we can say that the programmer’s programming skills and abilities are also affected by the contentment of the organization environment and the psychological pressure at the workplace. As it is a common saying that practice makes a man better, it applies rightly to the software programmers that will also help the technology world to get more and more experienced software programmers by the time in future! The growth opportunities are also major role players in brightening and smoothening the coding skills of software programmers.


Asiya Mazhar


Asiya is an experienced & proficient software engineer. Being Project Coordinator at CodeLabs, she is responsible for managerial tasks dealings and coordinating for software projects.

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