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Why you should seek out a developer with ADHD

Written 8th November 2023


ADHD is often considered a "Learning Difficulty" and given a stigma of unruly chaos but is that really true? If it is, is it worth it?

I'm biased, diagnosed at the age of 30 I was told even though I already had a successful career in a highly technical field that I'd amount to nothing and might as well give up - the doctor's words after a 5 minute consultation.

After years of turning my disability in to an asset, I've come to realise there's some harsh truths, but they're not what you'd think. Here's just some of the top reasons to hire a web developer, or indeed anyone with ADHD

Early warning

Team members with ADHD often hyper focus, but they also usually require very little change in their environment to achieve success. This sounds like a negative however lets take a minute to assess that. A team member with ADHD can be extremely aware of issues that impact the delivery of their tasks. If the client adds what seems like a menial task, we're often the first to spot the knock on effect that task will have.

Path of least resistance

ADHD causes us to lose focus easily, or to prioritise tasks over others such as timekeeping or documentation. The trick here is remember the whole team experiences that resistance, it's just that the ADHD team member is picking up on it first. When your business gets 20% busier, the chances are everyone is going to start struggling.

Listen to their struggles, ask them to come up with better solutions, or perhaps restructure tasks to the people best suited to doing them due to skillsets rather than "because everyone has to do it".

We tell it like it is

We often don't pick up on social cues, or perhaps because our focus is elsewhere just don't prioritise them. I've stood in front of bosses and called them hypocrites, I've also told managers that if they like making money then their ideas are "flat out stupid". Whilst I'm not saying that's the best way to communicate it, we rarely leave a manager second guessing our thoughts.

We can be incredibly good at crisis management

Because we're constantly having to refocus, we can get pretty incredible at it. Someone with ADHD might be dreadful at project management, whilst being amazing at crisis management. Our ability to jump from point A to Z quicker than most means we often get ahead of the crisis and we can identify what is and isn't important.

It's almost like we plan to wing it

Over the years I've become used to being pulled in to meetings I have no business being in, simply because I can think on my feet faster than most of my peers and clients appreciate the impartial honesty I give. Whilst social cues are often my weak spot, because in meetings I'm hyper focusing on the person on the other side of the table, it's a lot easier.

Faster communication

Hiring someone with ADHD often makes the communication between team members slicker. I got in to the habit of telling colleagues "hurry up I'm getting bored" if their description wasn't succinct enough for me to keep focus on it.

Once I explained that it's not an insult, simply me trying to ensure I can still help them by the time they give me what I need to know, team members got in to the habit of bullet pointing the issue or breaking tasks in to smaller ones, which in turn meant they were able to be more independent.

Mutual development

Someone with ADHD needs not to be coddled, we can thrive in a business environment if engaged and encouraged. We also need to be able to handle people who aren't aware of our state-of-being though and so we benefit from learning that from our colleagues. In turn we bring all the skills above and diversify a team. Imagine how much of an edge it is to your team should you suddenly have a potential client with ADHD, if they are prepared to identify that and tailor their pitch.


Hopefully this has given you a helping hand in your business or helped change the way you might approach the subject. It's important to remember these items are based on my personal experiences and so your team member or business experience may be different. 

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I've been in the industry professionally for more than 10 years, and developing for over 25. I've made APIs for thousands of users and software for some of the UK's biggest brands.