This top 5 percent developers in tech manifesto is based on my learning of over 3 decades going from the rank of software developer to CIO of Sony Music to CEO of Digital at Zee Entertainment. It delves into the key attributes, skills, and attitudes fuel the journey towards becoming a top 5 percent of developer in tech. The key to becoming the top 5% of tech is a continuous learning process, unwavering dedication, unbridled passion, and the willingness to evolve.

I. Cultivating the Right Mindset to become Top 5 percent developers:

  • Possess a genuine enthusiasm for programming, fueled by a desire to constantly learn, experiment, and refine your craft. Embrace setbacks as opportunities for growth.
  • Acknowledge that there’s always more to learn. Be receptive to feedback from peers, mentors, and even junior developers. Be open to adjusting your approaches and embracing diverse perspectives.
  • Understand and uphold the ethical implications of your code. Consider potential biases, security vulnerabilities, and the impact of your creations on users and society.

II. Mastering Foundational Skills:

  •  Grasp core concepts like variables, data types, control flow, functions, object-oriented programming, and algorithms. Build a strong foundation that applies across various languages and domains.
  • Cultivate an in-depth understanding of common algorithms (sorting, searching, graphs, dynamic programming) and their time and space complexities. Be able to analyze and choose the most suitable algorithm for different problems.
  • Become familiar with fundamental data structures (arrays, linked lists, stacks, queues, trees, graphs) and their trade-offs for different use cases. Be able to implement and manipulate them efficiently.
  • Develop a robust approach to problem-solving that involves breaking down complex challenges into smaller, manageable steps, analyzing edge cases, and testing thoroughly.
  • Learn to effectively debug code by using debugging tools, analyzing error messages, and employing logical reasoning. Practice debugging exercises and participate in challenges to hone your skills.

III. Expanding Your Toolkit:

  • Don’t limit yourself to just one language. Master at least one general-purpose language like Python, Java, or C++, and explore others for specific domains (e.g., JavaScript for web development, R for data science).
  • Understand HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and familiarize yourself with frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue.js. Build interactive web applications to enhance your portfolio and practical experience.
  • Grasp both front-end (user interface) and back-end (server-side) development to understand the full application development process. This expands your career options and gives you a holistic view.
  • Learn about version control systems (Git), continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), and containerization technologies (Docker). Understand infrastructure management and deployment processes.
  • Familiarize yourself with major cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, or GCP. Understand their core services (storage, compute, databases) and how to leverage them for efficient development and deployment.

IV. Communication and Collaboration:

  • Write clear, concise, and well-documented code that is easily understandable by others. Develop your communication skills and be able to explain technical concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences effectively.
  • Learn to work effectively in teams, understand different roles and responsibilities, and participate constructively in code reviews and discussions. Foster a collaborative environment that respects diverse perspectives.
  • As you progress, develop leadership skills, mentor others, and contribute to open-source projects. Build a positive reputation in the developer community.

V. Continuously Learning and Adapting:

  • Actively follow industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices. Be receptive to new methodologies and frameworks.
  • Participate in open-source projects on GitHub or other platforms. This allows you to learn from experienced developers, contribute to real-world projects, and build your community reputation.
  • Embrace lifelong learning as a tech talent. Take online courses, attend workshops and conferences, and read technical blogs and books. Network with other developers to learn from their experiences.
  • Focus on creating real-world impact with your code. Track metrics, gather user feedback, and measure the effectiveness of your solutions. Use this data to guide your learning and development.

Beyond the Code:

  • While technical skills are essential, consider acquiring domain expertise relevant to your field of interest (e.g., finance, healthcare, web3). This broadens your value proposition and career opportunities.
  • Develop an understanding of business needs and objectives. Translate technical solutions into tangible business value. Learn to communicate effectively with non-technical stakeholders.
  • Consider building your own software products or contributing to startup initiatives to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset and expose yourself to the business side of technology.
  • Invest in personal development to enhance your soft skills, communication, leadership, and critical thinking abilities. These skills are crucial for success in any professional setting.
  • While dedication is important, don’t neglect your well-being. Take breaks, engage in hobbies, and maintain a healthy work-life balance to avoid burnout and sustain your passion for programming.


  • Find your best learning approach, build a strong personal brand, and showcase your skills through projects, contributions, and online presence.
  • Enjoy the process of continuous learning, experimentation, and problem-solving. Celebrate your achievements, learn from failures, and strive for constant improvement.
  • Network with other developers, participate in online forums and communities and give back by mentoring or contributing to open-source projects. Build a strong support network and learn from the collective experience.

The Top 5 percent developers manifesto serves as a lifetime roadmap to be in the league of the top 5% of tech talents, but keep in mind that the technology field is constantly evolving. The only way to carve your niche is to embrace the journey, adapt to new challenges, and never stop learning and growing. By cultivating the right mindset, honing your skills, and expanding your knowledge, you can unlock your potential and be in the covetous ranks of the top 5% of tech talents.



Do you want to discuss it further? Contact us to get in 15 minutes call to discuss how we can help you in your journey to become the top 5% tech talent or join the companies where you can leverage your skills, abilities and experiences as a top 5 percent developers in tec.