What Motivates a Programmer?

As I sat quietly listening to one of my friends discuss what he wanted to improve in his workplace, here are some of the things I found

He did not really complain about the salary, but continuously explained that he was no longer feeling challenged in his work. Some employees would not mind continuing at the same task for the rest of their lives but the life of a programmer is way different. After listening to his story, I did grab some things about what motivates programmers.

  1. Problem Solving: A programmer does not want to continue solving the same problem every day using the same technology or idea. A programmer loves to solve different problems at any time using different techniques and methods he/she can lay their hands upon. Doing the same task daily does not create a source of joy for a programmer and when a programmer does not change tasks, he feels frustrated and demoralized. So for any company who has developers, endeavor to keep programmers more challenged with different issues daily rather than having to remain at the same task.
  2. Autonomy: A programmer would really love to move at a certain pace on a project and not be delayed because of certain factors. Having to wait for certain things to happen before a programmer can get back to solving problems is one of the greatest problems programmers face. Ability to choose what to work on, time schedule and technology to use are some of the decisions programmers love to be involved in and not to be simply pushed into doing something because that is what the employer wants. I have never seen any programmer who wants to deliberately fail, so if a programmer is given the opportunity, the only thing I know is the programmer would always do his best.
  3. Growth: Any organization that wants to keep a programmer must be such that the programmer grows. Growth means being better than the person you were yesterday as a programmer. Becoming a better problem solver using various skills and techniques are some ways a programmer sees growth. A programmer would want to be able to see an idea and simply think of a better way to solve the problem than is already available. Without growth, this is not possible.

Beyond these few points, I would also advise that for any programmer to remain motivated and developing, some personal habits have to be inculcated. Some are:

  1. Reading
  2. Being Religious
  3. Exercising
  4. Eating Good Food
  5. Sleep

These extra few habits would in a long way build a developer even before he seeks for further means of development from his/her environment. The highest point of any programmer I believe is to develop a solution to a problem in a way no one has ever conceived of.

Keep being motivated and become more better.

Thanks for Reading