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Happy Developers are
Better Developers
Jason Straughan - Grok Interactive, LLC
● Managers of developers
● Project Managers
● Lead Developers
● Sr Developers
● Mentors
Who is this talk for?
Who is this talk for?
Anyone that writes code
or works with someone
who does.
MBA
Why Me?
I’m a developer.
Why Me?
● Why happiness is important
● Leadership skills that build happy workplaces
● Ideas that work, and some that don't
What i...
How to make your job a better
place to work
What is this talk
about?
noun hap·pi·ness ˈha-pē-nəs
happiness
● the state of being happy
● an experience that makes you happy
http://www.merriam-w...
adjective hap·py ˈha-pē
happy
● feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.
● showing or causing ...
Happiness is a shared
experience of joy or pleasure
resulting from events or
situations that are unique to
each individual.
Employees thrive and are both
happier and more productive in a
positive environment where they are
supported, inspired, ch...
● Increase positive emotions
● Buffer against negative events
● Attract and bolster employees
Effects of Positive Practice...
A sense of confidence that the team will
not embarrass, reject or punish someone
for speaking up.
Harvard Business School ...
10X
Developer
A miserable
developer will take
two times as long to
write bad code than a
bad developer.
"Your brain at positive is 31% more
productive than your brain at
negative, neutral or stressed"
- Shawn Achor
● Better (able to) secure jobs
● Better (at) keeping jobs
● Superior productivity
● More resilient
● Less burnout
● Less t...
What makes
developers happy?
Developers want to be challenged
and appreciated while creating
software people use.
3 Virtues of a Great Programmer
● Laziness
● Impatience
● Hubris
- Larry Wall, BDFL of Perl
YMMV
Hiring
Autodidactic
Resourceful
Empathetic
Junior
Developers
Properly
Resourced
Team
Continuing
Education
$$$
1:1
Theory X
And
Theory Y
Social Psychologist Douglas McGregor of MIT
● Dislike working.
● Avoid responsibility and need to be directed.
● Have to be controlled, forced, and threatened to deli...
● Take responsibility and are motivated to fulfill the goals they are
given.
● Seek and accept responsibility and do not n...
Theory Y
Is Widely Accepted
as Superior
Empathy
cannot be
faked
● Happy Developers == Better Developers
● Happiness is unique to individuals
● Work should be challenging
● Environment sh...
Implement
Test
Iterate
Empathy
cannot be
faked
Jason D. Straughan
@jdstraughan
jasons@grok.rocks
@GrokInteractive
Happy Developers are Better Developers
Happy Developers are Better Developers
Happy Developers are Better Developers
Happy Developers are Better Developers
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Happy Developers are Better Developers

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Happy developers are more productive, make better teams, write better code, and retain their jobs longer than miserable developers

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Happy Developers are Better Developers

  1. 1. Happy Developers are Better Developers Jason Straughan - Grok Interactive, LLC
  2. 2. ● Managers of developers ● Project Managers ● Lead Developers ● Sr Developers ● Mentors Who is this talk for?
  3. 3. Who is this talk for? Anyone that writes code or works with someone who does.
  4. 4. MBA
  5. 5. Why Me?
  6. 6. I’m a developer. Why Me?
  7. 7. ● Why happiness is important ● Leadership skills that build happy workplaces ● Ideas that work, and some that don't What is this talk about?
  8. 8. How to make your job a better place to work What is this talk about?
  9. 9. noun hap·pi·ness ˈha-pē-nəs happiness ● the state of being happy ● an experience that makes you happy http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/happiness
  10. 10. adjective hap·py ˈha-pē happy ● feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc. ● showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment ● pleased or glad about a particular situation, event, etc. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/happy
  11. 11. Happiness is a shared experience of joy or pleasure resulting from events or situations that are unique to each individual.
  12. 12. Employees thrive and are both happier and more productive in a positive environment where they are supported, inspired, challenged, and appropriately resourced.
  13. 13. ● Increase positive emotions ● Buffer against negative events ● Attract and bolster employees Effects of Positive Practices on Organizational Effectiveness The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science
  14. 14. A sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up. Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson Psychological Safety
  15. 15. 10X Developer
  16. 16. A miserable developer will take two times as long to write bad code than a bad developer.
  17. 17. "Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed" - Shawn Achor
  18. 18. ● Better (able to) secure jobs ● Better (at) keeping jobs ● Superior productivity ● More resilient ● Less burnout ● Less turnover
  19. 19. What makes developers happy?
  20. 20. Developers want to be challenged and appreciated while creating software people use.
  21. 21. 3 Virtues of a Great Programmer ● Laziness ● Impatience ● Hubris - Larry Wall, BDFL of Perl
  22. 22. YMMV
  23. 23. Hiring
  24. 24. Autodidactic Resourceful Empathetic
  25. 25. Junior Developers
  26. 26. Properly Resourced
  27. 27. Team
  28. 28. Continuing Education
  29. 29. $$$
  30. 30. 1:1
  31. 31. Theory X And Theory Y Social Psychologist Douglas McGregor of MIT
  32. 32. ● Dislike working. ● Avoid responsibility and need to be directed. ● Have to be controlled, forced, and threatened to deliver what's needed. ● Need to be supervised at every step, with controls put in place. ● Need to be enticed to produce results; otherwise they have no ambition or incentive to work. Theory X Managers believe that their employees:
  33. 33. ● Take responsibility and are motivated to fulfill the goals they are given. ● Seek and accept responsibility and do not need much direction. ● Consider work as a natural part of life and solve work problems imaginatively. Theory Y Managers believe that their employees:
  34. 34. Theory Y Is Widely Accepted as Superior
  35. 35. Empathy cannot be faked
  36. 36. ● Happy Developers == Better Developers ● Happiness is unique to individuals ● Work should be challenging ● Environment should be forgiving ● Theory Y > Theory X Takeaways
  37. 37. Implement Test Iterate
  38. 38. Empathy cannot be faked
  39. 39. Jason D. Straughan @jdstraughan jasons@grok.rocks @GrokInteractive

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