What Makes for a Good Software Developer (Service Business moving to a Product Business)

November 16, 2021
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Key takeaways
  • Discover how HANGAR49 turns team challenges into code mastery. #SoftwareDevelopment #TeamDynamics
  • Explore HANGAR49's strategies for optimal dev team management and productivity. #TechInnovation #ManagementTips
  • Learn about the diverse methods HANGAR49 employs to boost dev team efficiency. #CodingExcellence #DevTeamMethods

HANGAR49 has been a service business for many years. And over the upcoming time we will be packaging our learnings, knowledge & skills into products for all. Given this business kind – which has not been created a "product business" from day one, we have interesting characteristics.

After a coffee catch-up with the HANGAR49 engineer team, we unpacked some redeeming & frustrating qualities that emerge in building such a team. Let's look at some learnings:

  • The ability to handle frustration well due to codes constantly breaking, and the patience to ride that frustration out. Software has that annoying tendency to stop working for no apparent reason at all. Someone who lets this difficulty get to them will not fit in well with the day-to-day barrage of problems that systems will inevitably throw their way.
  • The ideal Software Developer will be able to look at matters retrospectively. It’s best if they could easily decide, “Should I come back to this later after working on something else for a bit, or does this need to be done NOW?” in essence; time-management and compartmentalization skills.
  • Passion for the job. Your standard DEV will be working long hours on a project (ranging from hours to weeks), and if they don’t love it and find excitement in the thrill of the chase to solve this puzzle, they will quickly be facing burn-out.
  • Your top-of-the-range Software Developer needs to have the capacity to think for themselves and mindfully break down a situation from it’s massive structuring into the individual core assets that make up a cleanly coded program which runs optimally
  • Adaptability is essential; they have to be able to learn on the fly. Because the tech industry is eternally changing its rules and requirements within any company, you could be working with Django and C++ today and suddenly Java tomorrow; significant changes can quickly come about every other day.
  • The ability to research effectively any problem they can’t resolve. Problems appear all the time, and being able to find the solutions on their own time by utilizing previous Software Developer’s findings makes is a vital skill.

Which Methodology Works Best when Managing a Dev or Dev Team?

After another chat with our home-based DEV team, the general consensus was that the following methods were the most preferred by Software Developers when Managers and Team Heads were overseeing their work.


Provide a structure of tasks through a reminder system that utilizes either a virtual or physical “Noticeboard.”

One of our DEVs at HANGAR49 has an array of sticky notes pasted around his screen to remind him of various tasks and has a ClickUp system in place between him and his Manager. These two systems ensure that nothing slips through the cracks, especially on days that carry a heavy workload and a myriad of tasks. He prefers this system as he finds that meetings are cumbersome and take up precious time that could be better spent working on the latest project at hand.


A typical daily problem for DEVs is getting their work interrupted by other departments with issues or reports on what to improve. While these matters are important, it tends to disrupt the workflow and jolt them out of their headspace, which is problematic when you’re about to solve a massive issue you’ve been working on for hours and suddenly your “Eureka!” moment has passed.

To circumvent this, you could make use of a… “circumventer.

A Gatekeeper or Head Manager of the DEVs could be the funnel point for all reports, complaints, and questions on when they will fix issues and complete the critical projects. They attend the meetings instead of all the other Software Developers and pass along the relevant information to the necessary people on the appropriate tasks. This method reduces the number of complaints regarding wasted time and workplace interruptions.


Several times a DEV might be confronted with a problem that they can’t solve on their own. After a round of discussions and chats, a lightbulb usually goes off, especially after some insight from their peers in their Department.

Often this doesn’t happen during strictly adhered-to meetings, but lunchtime or a coffee/tea break. It can be important to create a calm and sociable environment where ideas can bounce and flow freely between the Software Developers without fear of being stifled or exposed to rigid interactions. You might not believe that software development is a field for sociable butterflies, but inspiration and breakthroughs come from  all sources.


The opposite of the method above, you’ll need to take into account that some DEVs are a nation unto their own. The Lonely Island DEV will want to come in, settle into their workstation, go through some tickets, answer some emails, and get on with their day.

Interruptions from various sources, forced small talk, constant meetings – these are punishments worse than death. And you’ll find a few in this department that fall into this category. In these cases, it’s best to find them their own space and ensure you have a GateKeeper in place to help prevent unnecessary distractions that break up their workflow and quality of work.

These are all methods and types of DEVs that can vary wildly. It’s vital to read which types you’ve gathered into your team and organize their workspace and interactions accordingly. We’ve seen how DEVs can be essential to a larger company’s daily running, and what they can do when it comes to crunch time. So hopefully you’re ready to take on the responsibility of having a few of your own (watering, feeding and potty training are not required – usually).