ETEAM Blog What Makes a Developer Happy with the Project?

The role of a developer in a project goes beyond handling the technical programming stuff. For those who are working in the tech industry, you ought to know that it is quite difficult to recruit and keep a developer.

This is because they are in high demand, often poached and rare. The reason why they keep moving from one company to another is that most company executives do not know how to ensure their happiness. Tech-oriented companies that need developers should do away with their old motivation model of punishing losses and rewarding wins.

As Daniel Pink, a business executive, puts it, the most effective ways of keeping employees are through purpose, mastery, and autonomy. In this context, purpose can enable developers to appreciate their work and form long-lasting relationships with a company. They also need adequate opportunities for learning, improving and mastering their craft. Through autonomy, they get some freedom of choosing how, where and when they work. Here are other things that developers need to stay happy when undertaking a project.


Give them the Creative Freedom They Deserve

Just like other practitioners, developers also need space to work efficiently. An organizational psychology professor working with Montana State University, Brent Rosso, found out that the balance between constraint and freedom fosters creativity. This statement confirms the fact that programmers need some sought of creative freedom when solving sophisticated problems. They need to work autonomously to bring their most effective solutions to practice.

Besides creative freedom, developers need some time to invest in their inner desires and passion. When hired on a full-time basis in a company, their employer should pay for their further studies, sponsor professional meetups and send them to workshops and conferences. This is because most of them enjoy being around their fellow developers.


Involve them in Your Company's Strategy

David Norton and Robert Kaplan's book titled The Strategy-Focused Organization, focused on a study of the performance breakthroughs in companies for a span of 15 years.  It discusses that most top performing companies mastered the art of involving their employees in their strategies. Whether you enlist them for a project on full-time or part-time basis, be sure to fill them in your company's strategy. As for your company's strategy, fill them in on aspects such as product, marketing, and leadership strategies.

Since technology plays a pivotal role in business activities today, developers must be conversant with a company's strategy. To build some sense of ownership in them, allow them to participate in making open source tools and frameworks better. Focus on sharing with them the goals of the project, but not its specifications, since their skills lie in problem-solving.

Business owners should note that if a developer disagrees with a certain solution, there are high chances that targeted customers will also reject it. Communication acts as a medium for the developer and employer to exchange their thoughts. For the software engineers to earn some kind of entitlement, their employers need to contact them from time to time.



Empower them to be Masters in Their Field

It is a frustrating experience to participate in a project when you lack the required skills. Furthermore, programming languages and technologies usually change. This change requires programmers to add more knowledge on what they have for them to solve modern complex problems. When hired permanently, their employers should always empower them to excel in their respective fields.

When handing them a project, ensure that it is not someone else's. Developers dislike the fact that some clients hand them messes made by other people to correct them. If you need a revision on a certain code, spare some time to give the programmer a heads up on what you expect. The programmer will be willing to handle the project if you use this approach.

Besides assigning messy work to a software engineer, don't assign irrelevant projects to this expert. Software engineers like to work on projects that have numerous benefits to a business. They believe that relevant projects can help in putting their skills into practice. As technology is evolving, they want to work with enterprise owners who know what can drive growth in their businesses.


Let Them Feel the Sense of Purpose and Satisfaction

Programmers need to realize that their technical work makes a difference in the domain that their clients or employers belong. As Patrick Hill and Nicholas Juriano found out in a recent study, successful people have a great sense of purpose. Besides receiving the benefits and compensation for the work done, they draw pleasure from making people's lives better. They must feel that sense of purpose and satisfaction after completing a certain project.

Purpose and satisfaction act as incentives for them to keep developing solutions for complex problems. As a project manager, you can let developers see the value of their work after defining and tracking your project's success metrics. In turn, you will establish long-lasting bonds with them and increase their chances of accepting to work with you on future projects. You will also improve the quality of your code and ship products to clients faster.



Developers can work on your company's project as part-time or full-time practitioners. Either way, it is advisable to give them all the creative freedom that they deserve. It is also a wise idea to involve them in every facet of your company's strategy since they work with a goal of steering growth in your company. You can also empower them to excel in their fields or make them feel the sense of purpose and satisfaction for them to stay happy.

Get the latest from ETEAM straight to your inbox!

Follow ETEAM