What are the top 3 qualities of an exceptional software engineer?

What are the top 3 qualities of an exceptional software engineer?

ask an engineer series

Every month, we’re asking our engineering team to give us their brightest insights on best practices, trends, and methodologies. This month, we asked thinkbridge’s Managing Director Nikesh Mehata this tough question:

Q: What are the top 3 qualities of an exceptional software engineer?

A: I would say a plethora of qualities, in various measures, are needed to make an exceptional software professional including critical design thinking, problem-solving abilities, technical aptitude, dexterity, detailing, and dedication to name a few. But if I have to pick only three – if a person can imbibe, all of the other qualities will follow – would be humility, hunger, and meraki. I am going a bit philosophical here so please bear with me!


Be humble for knowledge. In the software space, technology is changing ever so quickly, so our current knowledge and skills are inevitably bound to be obsolete. We should always be mindful that our current depth and width of knowledge is just a trickle compared to the extent of what is out there! This helps avoid hubris and becoming complacent.


Once you feel humility for the minuscule nature of your knowledge, a hunger to expand yourself should set in. Work in any ambit then becomes a source for you to satiate your hunger. You are then not averse to any project, technology, domain, stack, role, people, client, as any and all kind of work and situations fulfills as well as expands your hunger at the same time!


Meraki is a Greek word meaning to put a part of yourself in anything you do, but I like to look at it in a bit of reverse. It’s about where everything you do becomes a part of you. A strong sense of belonging, but instead of you belonging to work, the work belongs to you! Then just as you would not misspell your name anywhere ever, or serve bad food to your loved ones, or scratch or smash your favorite phone, you ensure that any task you perform is as savory, burnished, and as pristine as possible. You do whatever it takes every day, and your work becomes your unique signature in life.

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Director - Services Delivery

When put into a situation where, there are no ways to find a solution for the difficult phase that has to be overcome, instead of reacting, I would take the time to find a way to resolve it with a calm mind frame and get it solved.

When a situation is presented on where I have to choose between black or white, rather than choosing so, I will be on a Gray and unbiased and come up with a better decision in an uncompromising manner.

I am a traveler, who gets bliss being in nature while trekking than in a fancy place,

I am a silent person until got engaged in discussions on sports, I love playing cricket, and I learned TT, Badminton & volleyball in thinkbridge. Trekking and traveling to multiple remote places have drastically increased my strength

I  tend to go on the opposite side whenever I cross paths with dogs, afraid of them. I am More of a jovial person, considering being down to earth is more important than following formalities and rituals