4 things that will piss off your developer

April 14, 2014
3 mins

No matter what kind of company you’re running today, the use of technology is inevitable. You’re either using some kind of technology product or service to run your business. Furthermore, as your business scales, the requirement to build your technology becomes more and more pressing.

Enter the awesome developer. The answer to all of your scaling problem. The wizard who can will your ideas into working products.

Every company needs this kind of developers. But developers, at the end of the day, are people. They’re people with emotions and they too have limits. You often hear of companies with high attrition rates. Yes, a large part of it could be the availability of another offer. But a lot of times, developers leave companies because they are angry.

They could be angry about a host of things, from the way the company is run, to the way they’re treated or because of their insensitive boss barking meaningless orders at them. Having worked with some of the brightest developers from the world, we’ve compiled a list of four things that will piss off your developers –

Restricting Rules 

Given that we’re talking about good developers who are passionate about the work that they do, and are really good at what they do, restricting rules are a definite no-no. Developers thrive on freedom and like working on their terms. Of course, there are rules and regulations that every developer adheres to, but if it gets in the way of their creativity, or their need to experiment, you’re pissing your developer off.

The best retention strategy for a developer is providing them with an environment of freedom. Of course, there are constraints set by the nature of the business that you’re running, but within them, you’ve got to give your best developers as much time as possible. Most developers are productive in spurts and some of their best work comes in short periods of time and they appreciate the freedom to work like that.

Expectation without consultation 

The non-techies in an organisation look up to a developer as a magician who can will things into reality. However, as game changing as these ideas can be, non-techies often overlook the intricate details of building such a product. And often, these intricate details would actually make bringing the idea to reality a really difficult task. And if you don’t consult a developer about an idea’s feasibility and expect the job to be completed, you can sure well expect a pissed off the developer.

Most good developers have the uncanny ability to explain complex concepts in layman terms. Before seriously pursuing a development project, it might be a good idea to talk to your developer; be absolutely sure about what you want to build and see if it’s possible in the first place, before committing developer hours to it. While this might seem quite obvious, you’d be surprised by the number of developers who actually have this complaint.

Insensitive leaders 

This will piss off any good employee of a company. In the case of a good developer, the last thing you want to do is to put that person under an insensitive leader. This will weigh down on the developer and before you know it, your developer will be well on his way to another company.

Everyone needs good leaders to look up to; a leader who takes a subordinate’s personal goals and aspirations into account. More companies should start factoring in attrition as a way to measure the performance of a leader. The number of employees complaining about their boss is very high and a good developer will be no different. The only way to avoid this is to make it a company mandate to get managers to understand the importance of being sensitive to their developers’ personal needs and aspirations too.

Lack of a good peer group 

This one is quite tough to avoid, especially if your company is not a technology company. A good developer wants to be surrounded by other developers. Birds of a feather flock together and developers yearn the same as well. Every developer wants an inner circle of colleagues who can understand their deep geek jokes. Every developer wants to see the same kind of excitement towards a technology problem in their peers’ eyes as well.

If you’re building a company that needs great developers to build, make sure you never compromise on the quality of the people you’re hiring. Hire the absolute best and build a team of really good developers. Of course, an argument could be made that good developer are expensive, but the fact that one good developer is also as good as 10 average ones is also true. A good techie among a bunch of average ones might be good for the average ones, but the good one will leave for places that will give him/her a better peer group to work with. Never compromise on hiring.

If you’re a developer, feel free to use the comments section to tell us what else pisses you off


About the Author

Raghu Mohan
Raghu is an engineering grad handles Marketing at HackerEarth. Prior to this, he was an editor at YourStory.com. When he’s not working, you can find him at the nearest music shop having a jam session.
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