On the Rands In Repose blog, there is a very good classic article on the dangers of boredom in the software development industry. It discusses ways to increase the motivation of developers. Mainly it amounts to letting the developer work on an interesting problem once in a while to prevent boredom and repetition. It can be a grind to go through the same old work or to always focus on delivering something by a particular deadline. His advice is to let software engineers work on fun problems and projects that are open-ended (similar to Google’s 20% time).
Techniques to Improve Developer Motivation
Here are some of the techniques suggested to prevent boredom in software developers:
- keep an interesting problem in front of them
- let them experiment
- they can only ‘take one for the team’ for so long
- protect their time and embrace the ambiguity of their experiment
- aggressively remove noise
- tell them what the hell is going on
These six techniques are not only ways to prevent boredom but great ways to make software developers appreciate their manager.