When I think about the skills or traits that it takes to be a great developer there is one which stands out to me, and that is curiosity.

To be a great developer you need to be curious about things.

  • How does it work?
  • How did they make that?
  • What will it take to make this work?
  • What tools should I be using?
  • Am I using the right tools for the job?
  • Who can I learn from?
  • Where can I go to learn more?


If you are curious, you are eager and hungry to learn. When you are learning you are improving. It's not just frameworks and languages you need to learn, it's lessons from others, it's mistakes and experiences that shape you as a developer.

I follow thousands of tech people on twitter because I'm curious about what I can learn about tech and web development. I see tweets which inspire me to go off and investigate something, to learn how it's done or how I can do it myself.

When I look at the GitHub issues list for my favourite projects and I feel like they are all too difficult for me to solve, I like to look at the closed pull requests, go through to the original issue and see what the original problem was, where the conversation led and what code was written to solve the issue. I learn a great deal from this and it's all from being curious.

A thirst for knowledge

I like to create open source libraries and packages because I enjoy the challenge. My curiosity leads me to stay up late looking into ways to solve problems. I like to support others who are building packages. Help them structure their repositories to enable them to spend more time on being creative because I'm curious to see what they will produce.

I attend meetups in my local area because I'm curious about the topic in meetup title. What can I learn from this speaker? Can I engage with them after the talk to find out more about the topic, in person or online. Who else will be there? What can I learn from them, what tips can I pick up from people like me.

I listen to podcasts to find out more about different technologies, techniques and life experiences because I am curious.

If you are also a curious developer please share this article, let's celebrate being curious developers.

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About the author

Paul Seal

Umbraco MVP and .NET Web Developer from Derby (UK) who specialises in building Content Management System (CMS) websites using MVC with Umbraco as a framework. Paul is passionate about web development and programming as a whole. Apart from when he's with his wife and son, if he's not writing code, he's thinking about it or listening to a podcast about it.

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