How to Motivate Your Developers

B3b2139e4f2c0eca4efe2379fcebc1c5?s=47 Anna Filina
August 12, 2012

How to Motivate Your Developers

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.

B3b2139e4f2c0eca4efe2379fcebc1c5?s=128

Anna Filina

August 12, 2012
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Transcript

  1. FooLab How to Motivate Your Developers Northeast PHP Conference -

    August 12, 2012 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  2. FooLab Disclaimer My advice does not work in all cases.

    Don’t blindly “cut-paste”. Sunday, August 12, 2012
  3. FooLab Issues With Devs • Hard to recruit • Work

    on low-priority tasks • Lack of progress • Low quality results • Lack of cooperation (tasks, directives) • Resign for unclear reason 3 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  4. FooLab Not always by choice It’s a product of the

    environment Sunday, August 12, 2012
  5. FooLab How do they perform on their pet projects? Sunday,

    August 12, 2012
  6. FooLab Anna Filina 6 • PHP Quebec - user group

    • ConFoo - non for profit Web conference • FooLab Inc. - IT consulting • I write code. • I train and supervise programmers. • I make recommendations. Sunday, August 12, 2012
  7. FooLab Survival Kit Sunday, August 12, 2012

  8. FooLab Salary • A study in Quebec shows it’s #1

    • For free, they’ll work on what they want • Pay enough 8 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  9. FooLab Positive Culture • Would you enjoy working for yourself?

    • Proud of their job • Grab a beer with them 9 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  10. FooLab Communication • Feedback is underrated • Can they be

    honest with you? • Can they be honest with the team? • Can they speak with teammates any time? 10 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  11. FooLab Phobias Sunday, August 12, 2012

  12. FooLab Kansas City Collapse 12 • Deadliest structural collapse in

    US history • 114 dead • 216 injured • Due to a design change Sunday, August 12, 2012
  13. FooLab Changeophobia • Change design before you code • Check

    impact on other requirements • Keep project’s objectives in mind • Stay focused on priorities 13 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  14. FooLab Ambiguophobia • Unclear goals • “Let’s go over the

    bug tracker” • Know your enemy (performance, spaghetti) • Set goals: measurable, attainable, deadline • No deadline = no requirement 14 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  15. FooLab Deadlineophobia • Arbitrary deadlines • Consult devs before promising

    to client • Friday deployments • Overtime: they have nothing better to do, right? 15 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  16. FooLab Blameophobia • So they screwed up • Laying blame

    (berate for 20 min) • It’s everyone’s problem • Focus on solutions: who has skill to fix? • Don’t live in fear 16 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  17. FooLab Meetingophobia • 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 conversations 17 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  18. FooLab Small Wins Sunday, August 12, 2012

  19. FooLab Visible Progress • Life is about the next achievement

    • Break into smaller goals • Badge at every step • Can increase difficulty over time 19 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  20. FooLab Junior Developers Sunday, August 12, 2012

  21. FooLab Limited Skills • They can write code • Don’t

    ask them to solve complex problems: optimize database • Assign a more skilled dev • Show them how to use the tools 21 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  22. FooLab Proving Skills • Let them have an opinion •

    Explain why they’re wrong • They don’t ask questions • Afraid to look bad, they feel tested • Check progress to avoid blocks • Invite them to ask simple questions 22 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  23. FooLab Know Not What to Do • Can’t guess tasks

    • Clear objectives, deadlines, priorities 23 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  24. FooLab Need Validation • Tap on the shoulder when they

    do well • Code review; be gentle and ignore non-issues • Tell them what they could do better 24 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  25. FooLab Expert Developers Sunday, August 12, 2012

  26. FooLab Drive The Project • IE6 compatibility • Don’t distract;

    write some docs • Don’t switch their focus • Avoid low-level tasks • They’re analysts and problem solvers 26 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  27. FooLab Extinguish Fires • Constant fires will drain and piss

    them off • Let others fix a few bugs • Offload simpler tasks • Let them train others • Give them vacation time 27 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  28. FooLab Need Tools • They want to be more productive

    • Pay the darn license • Online collaboration • Let them pick the tools 28 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  29. FooLab Micro Managemet • Time sheets documenting every task (movie

    commentator) • Experts can manage their own time • Give them autonomy; keep an eye on ROI 29 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  30. FooLab Difficult Cases Sunday, August 12, 2012

  31. FooLab Characters • Make people uncomfortable • Think they are

    better • Pair with patient dev to cool them • Don’t let them cross the line 31 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  32. FooLab A-holes • Waste time on endless debates • Create

    discord or tension between teammates • Oppressing or humiliating the weak • Drain energy • Educate or kick 32 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  33. FooLab Emotionally Unstable • Psychos happen • Capable of verbal

    and physical violence • Worst thing that can happen to your team • Everyone is scared • Don’t wait: kick 33 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  34. FooLab Let’s Reduce Tension 34 Sunday, August 12, 2012

  35. FooLab Unskilled • Make mistakes; you fix them • Start

    many tasks without finishing • Drain energy • Don’t keep them out of pity • Train if salvageable 35 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  36. FooLab Easy Shots Still Work Sunday, August 12, 2012

  37. FooLab Accommodation • Respect religion / family / health constraints

    • Help people learn the language • Let the shy speak without interruption • What about watching their country in finals? 37 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  38. FooLab Gadgets • Desk name plates • Nerf Guns •

    Video games on big screens • Ideas on thinkgeek.com 38 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  39. FooLab Conferences and Activities • Most kids enjoyed school trips

    • It’s a break + productivity increase • Beer is a sure value • Let them pick activities • No activities on weekends 39 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  40. FooLab Next Steps • I will tweet the slides: @afilina

    • Please leave feedback: http://joind.in/6842 40 Sunday, August 12, 2012
  41. FooLab Ask me how many hours my employee works Sunday,

    August 12, 2012