What demotivates software developers

Motivation for software teams

At the beginning of a software project, the team is highly motivated. Every developer is eager to develop a great innovative product. In this phase you have a lot of fun and may work day and night so that the product hits the market on time. The progress of software development, i.e. the productivity of the programmer, is also rapid during this time. New ideas and innovations can be implemented immediately and the team grows together.

Most of the time, however, (after a period of euphoria) everyday life sets in. But how do you get the innovation in the team and the will to build a perfect product that still fascinates users with new features after years?

Motivation 1.0 = fail

Some managers still believe that employees can be motivated through bonus payments. Various scientists have already refuted this. Most innovations are not controlled by bonus payments and, according to Daniel H. Pink, even the intrinsic motivation is destroyed. Last week I was reading a survey that the employer suggested old-fashioned models such as a company car or cell phone as a possible measure to increase motivation. I think that this is probably easy for the company, but does not make the employee more innovative and happier in their daily work in the longer term.

Motivation 2.0 = No longer demotivated

In recent years, by introducing agile methods, we have certainly contributed a lot to making software products better and developers more satisfied. We introduced the product owner and thus brought the requester on board in order to first develop exactly what helps the customer the fastest. The developer is more motivated because he receives immediate feedback from the customer. So he quickly sees that his work is useful. Through iterations, we have introduced a certain planning security and a process of how requirements can be tipped into the project and the priorities of the individual features can be changed quickly. For me, agility means a lot more: Constantly questioning yourself whether you can do better.

Motivation 3.0 = success

We at Atlassian have tried different approaches, fell on our faces, got up again, tested new things and sometimes had success. In a blog series I will present the things that have enriched our development with innovations over the years. Among other things, these motivational and innovation techniques have helped us become one of the most successful developer tool manufacturers in the world.

In the next few weeks I'll be writing about methods like

  • FedEx Days
  • 20 percent time
  • Dog fooding
  • Minimize distractions
  • Brown Bags
  • and a lot more ...

I'm not a motivational coach, just a software developer who is curious to see how you can have a long-term programmer work on a project with fun while maintaining the drive and quality of the product.

Ready to be Motivated?

Part 1: DogFooding
Part 2: avoid interruptions
Part 3: Recognition
Part 4: Brown Bags
Part 5: FedEx Days
Part 6: 20% time
Part 7: Have fun and do good

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Posted bySven PetersPosted inMotivationTags: Atlassian, fedex days, motivation