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Engineering Happiness

Engineering Happiness

What makes engineers happy? How can you measure and monitor it?

Given at Monitorama PDX 2015

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Laura Thomson

June 16, 2015
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Transcript

  1. Engineering Happiness Laura Thomson @lxt / laura@[laurathomson|mozilla].com !1

  2. Process Software System —Any Software Engineering 101 Textbook People !2

  3. Hypothesis - happy engineers: don’t quit, produce code, and don’t

    complain ! (assumptions: competence, motivation, fit) !3
  4. Metrics !4

  5. Don’t quit?! Retention/turnover But turnover sucks as a metric: (Extremely)

    trailing indicator Compared to what? ~30% mean turnover in SV Changes (spikes) are notable, but too late to be actionable !5
  6. Where is turnover useful/actionable? Look for anomalies Local maxima point

    to specific problems Junior? Senior? Management? Technical? !6
  7. “People leave managers, not jobs” ! Not only managers: Company/project/culture

    jumped the shark Stopped learning Burned out Better offer (Good manager can mitigate but not fully overcome these things) !7
  8. Productive?! Critical happiness metric at the micro level, per person

    (will come back to this) Less so as a macro measure of morale !8
  9. 0" 5000" 10000" 15000" 20000" 25000" 2008'03" 2008'05" 2008'07" 2008'09"

    2008'11" 2009'01" 2009'03" 2009'05" 2009'07" 2009'09" 2009'11" 2010'01" 2010'03" 2010'05" 2010'07" 2010'09" 2010'11" 2011'01" 2011'03" 2011'05" 2011'07" 2011'09" 2011'11" 2012'01" 2012'03" 2012'05" 2012'07" 2012'09" 2012'11" 2013'01" 2013'03" 2013'05" 2013'07" 2013'09" 2013'11" 2014'01" 2014'03" 2014'05" 2014'07" 2014'09" 2014'11" 2015'01" 2015'03" Pushes&per&Month& Time& Pushes&to&hg.mozilla.org& Holidays FX10 Firefox 4.0 !9
  10. Complaints?! “If the worst thing they have to complain about

    is the art hanging on the walls…” !10
  11. Complaints?! “If the only thing they have to complain about

    is the art hanging on the walls…” !11
  12. Complaints?! Sentiment on internal channels (Slack, Basecamp, Yammer, etc) Silence

    Again: more about individuals than overall !12
  13. Leading indicators of morale? Hours worked Downtime or # pages/alerts

    Tech debt Stock prices / Market share Technology (TIOBE, HN, etc) in decline !13
  14. “Glassdoor Bingo” (What companies? What causes?) !14

  15. Technical debt is an energy vampire for good engineers. !15

  16. Analytics lead monitoring. Surveys: infrequent, qualitative standu.ps, tinypulse (etc): frequent,

    quantitative (graphite for humans) !16
  17. Unhappiness, causes of !17

  18. !18

  19. !19 Not to be confused with

  20. !20 Not to be confused with Going into management

  21. “Burnout is defined as a state of chronic stress and

    frustration that leads to: physical and emotional exhaustion; feelings of cynicism and detachment; and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.” “Where do you fall on the burnout continuum?” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201205/where-do-you-fall-the-burnout-continuum (Downloaded June 1, 2015) !21
  22. Burnout causes: long hours too many pages too much travel

    too much bullshit missing out on life/family/opportunities !22
  23. GSD/BS ratio: politics excessive meetings cargo cult process tech debt

    !23
  24. Happiness, causes of !24

  25. ! Mastery Autonomy Purpose ! Pink, Dan. Drive: The Surprising

    Truth About What Motivates Us !25
  26. Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory !26

  27. Hygiene work environment - hardware, tools, snacks management / policies

    salary / benefits safety ! Messing these up makes people unhappy. !27
  28. Motivation achievement / recognition interesting projects learning new stuff growth

    / advancement ! Getting these right makes people happy. !28
  29. !29 Motivation Hygiene Awesome Terrible Just a paycheck Early stage

    startup
  30. Work on things you are good at and enjoy !30

  31. What type of engineer are you? Senior / Junior Structured

    / Chaotic Team / Loner Purist / Pragmatist Starter / Finisher !31
  32. Upwards, to the right, and straight on ’til morning.! (Questions?)

    !32 Get this print: https://www.etsy.com/listing/107306078/welcome-to-the-internet-hq-11x17