How to Motivate Your Developers

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Being a developer is not easy. The deadlines are often short while the workloads can be huge. With all this pressure, it can be hard to find motivation. In this talk, Anna Filina will break down various developer behaviors, review common challenges of working in an enterprise, and offer solutions to these challenges.

Text of How to Motivate Your Developers

  • 1. FooLab How to Motivate Your Developers Northeast PHP Conference - August 12, 2012Sunday, August 12, 2012

2. FooLab Disclaimer My advice does not work in all cases. Dont blindly cut-paste.Sunday, August 12, 2012 3. Issues With Devs FooLab Hard to recruit Work on low-priority tasks Lack of progress Low quality results Lack of cooperation (tasks,directives) Resign for unclear reason3Sunday, August 12, 2012 4. FooLab Not always by choice Its a product of the environmentSunday, August 12, 2012 5. FooLab How do they perform on their pet projects?Sunday, August 12, 2012 6. Anna FilinaFooLab PHP Quebec - user group ConFoo - non for prot Webconference FooLab Inc. - IT consulting I write code. I train and supervise programmers. I make recommendations. 6Sunday, August 12, 2012 7. FooLab Survival KitSunday, August 12, 2012 8. Salary FooLab A study in Quebec shows its #1 For free, theyll work on what they want Pay enough 8Sunday, August 12, 2012 9. Positive CultureFooLab Would you enjoy working for yourself? Proud of their job Grab a beer with them9Sunday, August 12, 2012 10. CommunicationFooLab Feedback is underrated Can they be honest with you? Can they be honest with the team? Can they speak with teammates any time?10Sunday, August 12, 2012 11. FooLab PhobiasSunday, August 12, 2012 12. Kansas City CollapseFooLab Deadliest structural collapsein US history 114 dead 216 injured Due to a design change12Sunday, August 12, 2012 13. ChangeophobiaFooLab Change design before you code Check impact on other requirements Keep projects objectives in mind Stay focused on priorities13Sunday, August 12, 2012 14. Ambiguophobia FooLab Unclear goals Lets go over the bug tracker Know your enemy (performance, spaghetti) Set goals: measurable, attainable, deadline No deadline = no requirement14Sunday, August 12, 2012 15. Deadlineophobia FooLab Arbitrary deadlines Consult devs before promising to client Friday deployments Overtime: they have nothing better to do, right? 15Sunday, August 12, 2012 16. Blameophobia FooLab So they screwed up Laying blame (berate for 20min) Its everyones problem Focus on solutions: who hasskill to x? Dont live in fear 16Sunday, August 12, 2012 17. Meetingophobia FooLab How often? How long? How crowded? 20 people bouncing ideas for hours every week Follow outline: did we digress? Kill monologues and one-on-one conversations17Sunday, August 12, 2012 18. FooLab Small WinsSunday, August 12, 2012 19. Visible ProgressFooLab Life is about the nextachievement Break into smaller goals Badge at every step Can increase difcultyover time19Sunday, August 12, 2012 20. FooLab Junior DevelopersSunday, August 12, 2012 21. Limited SkillsFooLab They can write code Dont ask them to solve complex problems: optimizedatabase Assign a more skilled dev Show them how to use the tools 21Sunday, August 12, 2012 22. Proving SkillsFooLab Let them have an opinion Explain why theyre wrong They dont ask questions Afraid to look bad, they feel tested Check progress to avoid blocks Invite them to ask simple questions22Sunday, August 12, 2012 23. Know Not What to Do FooLab Cant guess tasks Clear objectives, deadlines, priorities23Sunday, August 12, 2012 24. Need Validation FooLab Tap on the shoulder when they do well Code review; be gentle and ignore non-issues Tell them what they could do better24Sunday, August 12, 2012 25. FooLab Expert DevelopersSunday, August 12, 2012 26. Drive The ProjectFooLab IE6 compatibility Dont distract; write some docs Dont switch their focus Avoid low-level tasks Theyre analysts and problem solvers26Sunday, August 12, 2012 27. Extinguish FiresFooLab Constant res will drainand piss them off Let others x a few bugs Ofoad simpler tasks Let them train others Give them vacation time27Sunday, August 12, 2012 28. Need ToolsFooLab They want to be more productive Pay the darn license Online collaboration Let them pick the tools 28Sunday, August 12, 2012 29. Micro Managemet FooLab Time sheets documenting every task (moviecommentator) Experts can manage their own time Give them autonomy; keep an eye on ROI 29Sunday, August 12, 2012 30. FooLab Difcult CasesSunday, August 12, 2012 31. Characters FooLab Make people uncomfortable Think they are better Pair with patient dev to cool them Dont let them cross the line 31Sunday, August 12, 2012 32. A-holesFooLab Waste time on endless debates Create discord or tension between teammates Oppressing or humiliating the weak Drain energy Educate or kick 32Sunday, August 12, 2012 33. Emotionally Unstable FooLab Psychos happen Capable of verbal and physical violence Worst thing that can happen to your team Everyone is scared Dont wait: kick33Sunday, August 12, 2012 34. Lets Reduce TensionFooLab34Sunday, August 12, 2012 35. Unskilled FooLab Make mistakes; you x them Start many tasks without nishing Drain energy Dont keep them out of pity Train if salvageable35Sunday, August 12, 2012 36. FooLab Easy Shots Still WorkSunday, August 12, 2012 37. AccommodationFooLab Respect religion / family / health constraints Help people learn the language Let the shy speak without interruption What about watching their country in nals?37Sunday, August 12, 2012 38. Gadgets FooLab Desk name plates Nerf Guns Video games on bigscreens Ideas on thinkgeek.com38Sunday, August 12, 2012 39. Conferences and Activities FooLab Most kids enjoyed schooltrips Its a break + productivityincrease Beer is a sure value Let them pick activities No activities on weekends 39Sunday, August 12, 2012 40. Next Steps FooLab I will tweet the slides:@alina Please leave feedback: 40Sunday, August 12, 2012 41. FooLabAsk me how manyhours my employeeworksSunday, August 12, 2012