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FooLab             How to Motivate Your             Developers             Northeast PHP Conference - August 12, 2012Sunda...
FooLab             Disclaimer             My advice does not work in all cases.             Don’t blindly “cut-paste”.Sund...
Issues With Devs                         FooLab       •      Hard to recruit       •      Work on low-priority tasks      ...
FooLab             Not always by choice             It’s a product of the environmentSunday, August 12, 2012
FooLab             How do they perform             on their pet projects?Sunday, August 12, 2012
Anna Filina                            FooLab       • PHP Quebec - user group       • ConFoo - non for profit Web          ...
FooLab             Survival KitSunday, August 12, 2012
Salary                                       FooLab       • A study in Quebec shows it’s #1       • For free, they’ll work...
Positive Culture                          FooLab       • Would you enjoy working for yourself?       • Proud of their job ...
Communication                          FooLab       • Feedback is underrated       • Can they be honest with you?       • ...
FooLab             PhobiasSunday, August 12, 2012
Kansas City Collapse              FooLab       • Deadliest structural collapse              in US history       • 114 dead...
Changeophobia                          FooLab       • Change design before you code       • Check impact on other requirem...
Ambiguophobia                             FooLab       • Unclear goals       • “Let’s go over the bug tracker”       • Kno...
Deadlineophobia                             FooLab       • Arbitrary deadlines       • Consult devs before promising to cl...
Blameophobia                         FooLab       • So they screwed up       • Laying blame (berate for 20              mi...
Meetingophobia                                 FooLab       •      How often?       •      How long?       •      How crow...
FooLab             Small WinsSunday, August 12, 2012
Visible Progress                  FooLab       • Life is about the next              achievement       • Break into smalle...
FooLab             Junior DevelopersSunday, August 12, 2012
Limited Skills                          FooLab       • They can write code       • Don’t ask them to solve complex problem...
Proving Skills                                      FooLab       •      Let them have an opinion       •      Explain why ...
Know Not What to Do                               FooLab             • Can’t guess tasks             • Clear objectives, d...
Need Validation                               FooLab             • Tap on the shoulder when they do well             • Cod...
FooLab             Expert DevelopersSunday, August 12, 2012
Drive The Project                                FooLab             • IE6 compatibility             • Don’t distract; writ...
Extinguish Fires                        FooLab             • Constant fires will drain                    and piss them off...
Need Tools                                FooLab             • They want to be more productive             • Pay the darn ...
Micro Managemet                             FooLab             • Time sheets documenting every task (movie                ...
FooLab             Difficult CasesSunday, August 12, 2012
Characters                                   FooLab             • Make people uncomfortable             • Think they are b...
A-holes                                      FooLab             • Waste time on endless debates             • Create disco...
Emotionally Unstable                         FooLab             • Psychos happen             • Capable of verbal and physi...
Let’s Reduce Tension    FooLab                          34Sunday, August 12, 2012
Unskilled                                   FooLab             • Make mistakes; you fix them             • Start many tasks...
FooLab             Easy Shots Still WorkSunday, August 12, 2012
Accommodation                                    FooLab             • Respect religion / family / health constraints      ...
Gadgets                               FooLab             • Desk name plates             • Nerf Guns             • Video ga...
Conferences and Activities           FooLab       • Most kids enjoyed school              trips       • It’s a break + pro...
Next Steps                         FooLab       • I will tweet the slides:              @afilina       • Please leave feedb...
FooLab        Ask me how many        hours my employee        worksSunday, August 12, 2012
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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.

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Transcript of "How to Motivate Your Developers"

  1. 1. FooLab How to Motivate Your Developers Northeast PHP Conference - August 12, 2012Sunday, August 12, 2012
  2. 2. FooLab Disclaimer My advice does not work in all cases. Don’t blindly “cut-paste”.Sunday, August 12, 2012
  3. 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 reason 3Sunday, August 12, 2012
  4. 4. FooLab Not always by choice It’s a product of the environmentSunday, August 12, 2012
  5. 5. FooLab How do they perform on their pet projects?Sunday, August 12, 2012
  6. 6. Anna Filina FooLab • 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. 6Sunday, August 12, 2012
  7. 7. FooLab Survival KitSunday, August 12, 2012
  8. 8. Salary FooLab • A study in Quebec shows it’s #1 • For free, they’ll work on what they want • Pay enough 8Sunday, August 12, 2012
  9. 9. Positive Culture FooLab • Would you enjoy working for yourself? • Proud of their job • Grab a beer with them 9Sunday, August 12, 2012
  10. 10. Communication FooLab • 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. 11. FooLab PhobiasSunday, August 12, 2012
  12. 12. Kansas City Collapse FooLab • Deadliest structural collapse in US history • 114 dead • 216 injured • Due to a design change 12Sunday, August 12, 2012
  13. 13. Changeophobia FooLab • Change design before you code • Check impact on other requirements • Keep project’s objectives in mind • Stay focused on priorities 13Sunday, August 12, 2012
  14. 14. Ambiguophobia FooLab • Unclear goals • “Let’s go over the bug tracker” • Know your enemy (performance, spaghetti) • Set goals: measurable, attainable, deadline • No deadline = no requirement 14Sunday, August 12, 2012
  15. 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. 16. Blameophobia FooLab • 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 16Sunday, August 12, 2012
  17. 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 conversations 17Sunday, August 12, 2012
  18. 18. FooLab Small WinsSunday, August 12, 2012
  19. 19. Visible Progress FooLab • Life is about the next achievement • Break into smaller goals • Badge at every step • Can increase difficulty over time 19Sunday, August 12, 2012
  20. 20. FooLab Junior DevelopersSunday, August 12, 2012
  21. 21. Limited Skills FooLab • 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 21Sunday, August 12, 2012
  22. 22. Proving Skills FooLab • 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 22Sunday, August 12, 2012
  23. 23. Know Not What to Do FooLab • Can’t guess tasks • Clear objectives, deadlines, priorities 23Sunday, August 12, 2012
  24. 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 better 24Sunday, August 12, 2012
  25. 25. FooLab Expert DevelopersSunday, August 12, 2012
  26. 26. Drive The Project FooLab • IE6 compatibility • Don’t distract; write some docs • Don’t switch their focus • Avoid low-level tasks • They’re analysts and problem solvers 26Sunday, August 12, 2012
  27. 27. Extinguish Fires FooLab • 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 27Sunday, August 12, 2012
  28. 28. Need Tools FooLab • They want to be more productive • Pay the darn license • Online collaboration • Let them pick the tools 28Sunday, August 12, 2012
  29. 29. Micro Managemet FooLab • Time sheets documenting every task (movie commentator) • Experts can manage their own time • Give them autonomy; keep an eye on ROI 29Sunday, August 12, 2012
  30. 30. FooLab Difficult CasesSunday, August 12, 2012
  31. 31. Characters FooLab • Make people uncomfortable • Think they are better • Pair with patient dev to cool them • Don’t let them cross the line 31Sunday, August 12, 2012
  32. 32. A-holes FooLab • 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. 33. Emotionally Unstable FooLab • Psychos happen • Capable of verbal and physical violence • Worst thing that can happen to your team • Everyone is scared • Don’t wait: kick 33Sunday, August 12, 2012
  34. 34. Let’s Reduce Tension FooLab 34Sunday, August 12, 2012
  35. 35. Unskilled FooLab • Make mistakes; you fix them • Start many tasks without finishing • Drain energy • Don’t keep them out of pity • Train if salvageable 35Sunday, August 12, 2012
  36. 36. FooLab Easy Shots Still WorkSunday, August 12, 2012
  37. 37. Accommodation FooLab • Respect religion / family / health constraints • Help people learn the language • Let the shy speak without interruption • What about watching their country in finals? 37Sunday, August 12, 2012
  38. 38. Gadgets FooLab • Desk name plates • Nerf Guns • Video games on big screens • Ideas on thinkgeek.com 38Sunday, August 12, 2012
  39. 39. Conferences and Activities FooLab • Most kids enjoyed school trips • It’s a break + productivity increase • Beer is a sure value • Let them pick activities • No activities on weekends 39Sunday, August 12, 2012
  40. 40. Next Steps FooLab • I will tweet the slides: @afilina • Please leave feedback: http://joind.in/6842 40Sunday, August 12, 2012
  41. 41. FooLab Ask me how many hours my employee worksSunday, August 12, 2012
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