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Skills a developer must have for successful product development

Skills a developer must have for successful product development

  • Last Updated on February 22, 2022
  • 11 min read

There has been an ever increasing demand of software development over the years that doesn’t seem to stop down sooner. It comes as no surprise when established firms compete each other to hire full stack programmers for in-house product development.


It is the successful software product development that has to be accomplished by a competent product developer.

It is the product developer who not only should possess end to end knowledge of modifying existing products or developing new product, but also capable enough to supervise the entire design and development process while involved in constant research part simultaneously.

How the job of a product developer be best described?

There are several responsibilities to be fulfilled by a Product Developer to build a custom software product whether an experienced person or a newbie:

  • Visualise a product through a solid foundation into engineering and design
  • Develop a prototype by coordinating with technical development team
  • Collaborate with both technical and marketing teams as and when required
  • Conduct market research to be aware of technologies in product engineering services
  • Be able to act as a strong bridge when coordinating between technical and marketing teams
  • Should be able to discuss and jot down project requirements when dealing with clients

Let us understand the job duties of a developer to the core.

Product creation or reengineering is at the paramount

It is the most important responsibility of a product developer wherein the person has to align with the software development team to reengineer existing legacy products or build new products altogether.

It is the specialised software that helps product developer in designing components or modify elements into existing design bringing down the costs to minimal.

Determine specifications to suit product requirements

The specifications in creating a product depends on a whole lot of factors and its upto the web or mobile product management skills of a product developer to take all those factors together during the actual product building process.

It is this phase wherein the product developers understand the expectations and goals of a client, and convey the same to engineers, designers, and developers for a precise product development process to take place.

Supervise the creation of wire-framing and prototype

There is perfect coordination of multiple product creation activities involved in having a rough replica of what the end product might appear to be.

This is where a product developer has to supervise the design and development team to come up with product ideas that are best suitable for clients and have such product type created either in-house or by hiring offshore development team.

Communication with the teams on a constant basis

Without communication it is not possible to set a coordination bridge between teams and hence it becomes evident for a product developer to be a mediator that can set the teams to work in the right direction.

It is this stage wherein identifying client requirements and translating the same into operational directions for the team is carried out for both tech and successful non-tech startups.

Getting to know about market through research

It’s a constant ongoing process of a product developer to research data and keep updated with the current or upcoming market trends so as to ensure maximum return on investment.

Constant feedback from the client is the foundation for bringing about necessary changes in the technological advancement required to develop an ideal product for client when you hire team for your project.


What skills to look for in a product developer?

Of course, a product developer need to be highly proficient in the coding and programming skills, to have an upper hand technically with scripting platforms and languages.

However, not just knowledge based skills but even soft skills need to be an instrumental part of a product developer.

Let us look at those soft and technical skills a product developer must possess.

Know what the business has in store

A product developer need to have a concrete understanding of what the client wants from the end product and what goals are to be achieved from the same.

It is the product developer who doesn’t divert from the end goals so as to never lose sight of the product development objectives.

Understanding technicalities is a must

How can a product developer understand the technical coding and complexities if (s)he is not well versed with the same? Unless a product developer is technically sound about programming there is no way the designing and development aspects could be grasped.

Analysing the data after collecting them

Data is the oil to be fed into information technology machinery for digital economy to reach new heights. It is the duty of a product developer to get data from all possible sources related to the product especially the real time feedback from people to help build right products.

It is this analysis of data that has to be carried out by a product developer to draw inferences on what kind of product with features or functionalities could be beneficial for a business.

Moreover, it is imperative for a product developer to collect raw data, analyse the same for drawing conclusions, and then produce results to succeed in building products.

Prioritisation is a key trait to possess

Sometimes there are just too many activities going at the same time in product creation, and prioritising activities become ultimately essential to have the project modules completed as planned and on time.

Hence, a product developer needs to withhold a long term vision by focusing on benefits on a longer term and hence completing important modules in prior.

There are multiple modules to be completed within a project and hence completing important ones first can enable a project to be completed on time. This also enables the project not to miss out on primary modules and secondary modules can be tackled later on.

Strategic plan has to be a proactive approach

Before the actual process of building a product starts from scratch, it is very much necessary for a product developer adopting a proactive strategy so that there is always a backup plan if in case the process gets stuck in any of the creation stages.

Moreover, it is also important to have an immediate plan of action in place in case of uncertainties.

Strategies always help in planning way ahead of time so that there is no panicking whatsoever during actual stage of problem solving. It is also equally important to plan your team members by allocating them to the processes they are best for.

Learning curve should always be on the mind

A product developer has to be exceptionally open minded in learning from team members whether be on technical front or behavioural front.

Also, a product developer should not be limited to implement same old methodologies, but also learn to adopt new ones making it easier for the team to fulfil project requirements in a more effective and efficient manner.

Not just learning from the peers help but self analysis and self learning can be a major difference maker. Doing a SWOT analysis of one own self can be another determining factor to propel the skills and behavioural abilities on a whole new level.

Empathising with peers leaves a sizable impact

Empathy is one big quality capable enough to gain tremendous respect from peers and that is what should be there in a product developer to keep the subordinates motivated and take part in problem solving whenever needed.

Empathy also helps in understanding the state of one another and hence it has a major impact on breaking the ice between teammates.

Empathy is equally important when a product developer has to deal with clients while patiently listening to what clients have to speak up thinking from their point of view.

Empathising with one own self keeps self confidence on the top accompanied by self belief.

Communication is always a vital part of the job

To and fro communication is the key to keep the teams together and that is what a product developer has to be well proficient with. Smart communication is the key to have the work carried out smoothly within time and budget.


There are a number of instances wherein offshore developers need to frequently communicate with clients on a regular basis whether be call, email, chat, or in person. Hence, a proficiency in correspondence skills is equally mandatory in a product developer.

Sit down with the team to perform in collaboration

Most of the time developers are busy doing their own stuff but discussions are a part and parcel of the job for brainstorming sessions that can result in useful conclusions.

Not just that but a product developer can have a positive mindset in accepting feedback if a good team player.

Respecting the opinions of others and listening to what team mates or subordinates have to speak is the key to play a participative role and bring outstanding results in end products. Being emphatic towards your peers is critically important to win hearts.

Problem solving approach keeps one ready in advance

A product development process is meant towards solving problems fundamentally and foreseeing that much before is what a product developer should be able to do.

The success of a product depends on how effectively and fast a product could resolve business problems.

A product developer should be ready with tactical problem solving for all kinds of hurdles whether be coding related, design related, or interpersonal. Sooner the problems resolved, better it be for projects not to compromise on time or budget constraints.

Managing time with a systematic project planning

There has to be a sequential approach towards planning for a project and that too in an ethical manner following complete code of conduct. Hence, this tend to be another important quality to look for in a product developer.

Adopting to different time management techniques and giving ample time to each module and people behind that has to be the key to accomplish the project. Herein, the factors that need to be considered are time for coding, time for designing, time for discussions, time for implementation, and so on.

Creative mind can bring in a lot more to the table

Technical coding skills is a must have in a product developer but even out of box thinking bringing great deal of creativity has to be quality to be required in a product developer. With creativity on high, a product developer can come up with innovative end product ideas.

A product developer need to be multidimensional when it comes to thinking from all possible angles. A one track mind can’t be useful in creating out of the box products and requires a great deal of creativity in a product developer.

Accountable for all the project actions and activities

Every product developer is greatly responsible for the actions and processes performed individually or within a team. Whatsoever a developer does reflects in the project outcomes and furthermore it affects other modules and the project on the whole.

It is henceforth necessary for developers to take full accountability in case of any mistakes or errors committed. This way when the errors or mistakes are confessed and rectified, they are never repeated again with the solutions brought about at the same time.

Wrapping up final thoughts…

So, now we know what all things to consider when you hire programmer. It is not just about only knowing only about the business knowledge, coding knowledge, creativity, or innovation, but a complete blend of all the skills to be a complete product developer so that an end product comes out on top of requirements.

The success of a product can only be achieved when programming combined with soft skills are found in a product developer. Navigating each of the skills whether you recruit in-house or outsource someone to do the job is vitally important so that you tend to hire only the best ones present around to achieve clientele project success winning loyalty.


Tej Chalishazar

Tej is an experienced project manager with huge experience in mobile app development. He has worked on a lot of projects for various companies, ranging from startups to large corporations, and has successfully managed multiple projects from inception to launch. With a strong background in software development and project management methodologies, he is able to effectively communicate with cross-functional teams and stakeholders to ensure that projects are delivered successfully.

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