How to motivate developers.
These cretins are not even remotely sensitive to touch, heat or cold. They have no families, they don’t have gardens and homes to maintain or DIY, they do not need time, they have no love, thus no pets… sometimes they do not need money even (win!)
Chuck them into a small room, make them happy with a cheap coffee machine, and mention that overtime is rewarded with pizza, as a perk of course. You can sometimes motivate them by allowing them to work flexi-time, in disguise of course, where you allow them to come to work one hour earlier, and then they can leave one hour sooner. They won’t, because the traffic is even worse, so you will get extra time from them. This is a fantastic trick.
Another great area to motivate them in, is by having management that press hard, and long, sell more, press harder, deny technical debt. Make them come in on a weekend, the nature of these creatures are that they do not have personal lives at all, so don’t worry.
Let’s have a quick mention about environments. They do not need to focus at all, or concentrate, so chuck them all into an open-office plan. It works even better when the sales team, and other nanny-culture workers are in audible distance. This will save you some money.
Most importantly, do not ever feel that they are creative, passionate or quality seeking individuals. Do not make this mistake. All that complaining you hear about time, documentation, testing, tech-debt, let it go. They are just whining, they do not care about quality, and they sure as hell don’t mind being pushed into a corner where the level of work they are producing is going to come back to bite them in the balls (they have weekends to come to work to fix these things, remember?)
Here’s another great article about TIME, do read it: http://brianknapp.me/programmer-60-80-hour-weeks/
Developers are weird. Unlike other fields, where people take accountability and ownership of their creations, developers do not care. They just want to come in, write some junk, and leave. Sure, they might be more productive if allowed to work on their own schedules (a lot more!), but don’t let them, you don’t want them to think you are caring or respecting, and you sure as hell don’t want better quality and higher productivity from them. No sir, make sure they rock up at 9 and don’t leave before 6PM, and by god, if they take breaks through the day, to vent off some frustrations or get some air to think clearer, STOP them. This can not be tolerated.
I almost forgot to mention another thing. This really works. Dangle a carrot, that raise, that target, that extra leave day, throw it in there. You don’t have to make good, and come new year, a little 10% that barely beats the rise in food and fuel prices, will suffice. You know, why not slap a new title on someone? Make them a “Region Development Master Architect” or something, then give that one person, a perk, give him a parking spot in the shade, not that he needs it, he probably doesn’t care about his vehicle as much as you do, but it shows good faith!
In the end, just make sure you remember the key points, and everything will be OK, your culture will be good (Stalin’s guys loved working for him) and the productivity benefits from letting your dev team know that you are hip with their needs, will surpass expectations.
And dear lord, don’t ever trust them.
Good luck and thanks for the extra olives.