How to Motivate Your Developers


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Anonymous at 13:45 on 12 Aug 2012

A good talk, although it was very propaganda-like, heavy on "keep the developers happy and don't get in their way" - for example, statements like "Experts can manage their own time". If everything in the talk were true, we'd never need project managers.

Things like "giving the easier tasks to more junior people" - while that's good, experts also like doing easy tasks. It's actually better if you split the work a bit more evenly, otherwise you run the risk of having developers with huge egos to overcome.

There were very few examples, but lots of how-to's (e.g. some ways to keep developers happy is to let them pick the software they want to use and pay for the licenses). The how-to's were good, but I would have liked more examples. All in all, the information was good, but not phenomenal.

Anonymous at 13:46 on 12 Aug 2012

While I appreciated the attempt to identify certain triggers of developer atrophy and ways to motivate, I feel there were too many assumptions made about the kind of environments in which these ways would work. Not every work environment is soul-crushing, and not every developer is motivated in the same ways.

I would've liked to know more about how one can discover what motivates an individual developer, and explore ways to incorporate these motivations into his/her work while still achieving a project's or company's short- and long-term goals.

Anonymous at 16:00 on 12 Aug 2012

Very good

I thought this was one of the best talks of the day. I really got a lot out of it. Anna has great advice and I thought she did a good job of presenting it. She talked about motivation-killers like unrealistic deadlines, ambiguous goals, and blaming people for failures instead of learning from and fixing them. She also talked about motivation enhancers like autonomy, control, learning, pride, and achievement. My only critique would be that there didn't seem to be a strong central thesis. I'm not sure how to sum up all of the things I learned. Nonetheless, it was a great talk. I would definitely like to see her again next year.

Anonymous at 07:19 on 13 Aug 2012

Good talk, very well presented. Easy and natural even when dealing with technical problems at the beginning.

This is a good overview of how to deal with common situations when leading a team. Some of the advice about dealing with types of people was a little too short or shallow, but I thought the tips for creating a good working environment and the questions you should ask yourself were spot on.

This was a thorough presentation - Anna definitely covered all angles of what motivates and what demotivates developers. I would like to see the talk be a little more upbeat although the happy unicorn slide made my day!!!! Thank you, Anna, for well thought out presentation.