What Do Developers Want?

Over and above a salary, there are certain things a developer needs – we all have needs. If you haven’t asked yourself yet, ‘what do developers want?’, can you actually attract the talent and skills that your company needs? At e-Merge, we are big on matching businesses with developers that fit the job spec and the environment rather than obsessing over ‘rockstar’ developers who may not quite fit the job spec. The trick to attracting the right developers is also, in part, attributed to accommodating their needs. So what do developers want? At e-Merge, we take it upon ourselves to know exactly this and to help developers find it.

Developers Want Respect and Support

When you hire a developer to do a particular job, you are doing so based on the knowledge and expertise they hold in their chosen field. While trust is earned, a certain amount of trust is still required from the start. Assuming you have hired a developer that you trust, the success of your team is dependent on respecting and appreciating your new team member, their work and their contribution to the project. You are investing in the professional growth of your developer which will enhance their ability to perform and ultimately benefit the entire team and the project at hand. After all, with all of their unique technical ability, developers have become the decision makers, this responsibility no longer falls in the hands of the man at the top of the food chain who may not have the required knowledge to dictate the technology and stack to use.

Developers Want to Work on Exciting Projects

For most developers, exciting work is one of, if not the most important factor influencing whether they take a job or not – the most exciting projects are also the most innovative, challenging and inspiring ones. Employees who are passionate about the projects they are working on are happier and more efficient at work. Unfortunately, not every project can be an exciting per se but by explaining the daily challenges your team face, you will quickly be able to gauge the developer’s excitement and willingness to jump right in. Think of it as dangling the carrot; explain what is to be gained by working with your team on your project.

Developers Want to Constantly Improve and Grow

Not too far from respect and support is the room a good manager will give a developer to improve and grow their skills. At a certain point, any job becomes routine, carrying out the same tasks day in and day out don’t make for happy developers especially because they themselves know how quickly the industry moves. Investing in their continuous growth and education not only helps them grow but it also helps the company grow and improve. Investing in the growth of your employees need not be time consuming or expensive. It can be done in the form of inviting guest speakers, watching TED talks or forming book clubs.

Developers Want Reasonable and Flexible Work Hours

A good work-life balance is essential for any person, not only for developers. We’ve all been a junior or intern in the office who was eager to take on as much as possible and impress everyone. Of course, life isn’t that simple forever. Too many late nights, early mornings and working weekends do not necessarily mean increased productivity. There comes a point in the evening when concentration is no longer possible. For developers especially, this is when you need to be honest with both yourself and your team manager; before expensive mistakes are made. Reasonable deadlines make for a good work-life balance and a sustainable work environment. What helps even more is flexible hours which can accommodate people with children or who live far away. These concessions humanise the work environment and allow people to perform at their best in a sustainable manner.

That Mythical Company Culture

Developers Want to Work with a Great Team. Company culture is a word that is bandied around in an effort for businesses to appear cool when they actually have no idea what they are doing. Company culture is more than a Friday afternoon beer with your team, it’s about the ability to challenge each other, learn from each other, appreciate each other’s strengths and write some amazing code. Developers want to work with a team that they are proud of and trust – that’s company culture really is.

If you’re a hiring manager or an HR manager you, probably know all about sliding into the shoes of others and empathy is the most useful tool in your arsenal. If you’re not usually the one holding interviews, think of it this way; if your work is not satisfying, it takes more energy and willpower just to show up. Is yours the kind of environment that is conducive to productivity and innovation? Keep your developers happy and your business will prosper.

Have we missed anything in this article? Are you a developer? As a developer, what is it that you want and are struggling to find?

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