The Alarming Relevance Of Motivation

Dr Stuart Woolley
CodeX
Published in
7 min readMay 31, 2024

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There are two const variables in corporate life, int money and bool motivation;

“Image generated using OpenAI’s DALL·E.”

Do you remember the old joke that goes alone the lines of “how many people work at X?” — where X could be X¹, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesco, <insert your company’s name here> — and then when you try to quickly add them up in your head the elderly and rather cynical, yet quite progressive², engineer standing next to you immediately replies “oh, about 1 in 10”.

Even funnier is that fact that most of the people listening think that the progressive engineer is joking, and laugh along accordingly.

Us progressive engineers, however, we know the real truth.

That truth is, of course, that it’s a pretty fair estimate if you’ve been around the code block³ a few times, eyeballed a project manager’s accidentally shared calendar over a Teams call, or just have been subjected to any reasonably sized software project over an extended period of time.

People just aren’t busy all of the time, which, if you think about it, is a bit of an unrealistic expectation when it’s all said and done in the Grand Game of Software Engineering.

Things therefore often degenerate into a game of chicken between developers having to look like they’re busy all of the time, due to the surveillance and presentee based…

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Dr Stuart Woolley
CodeX

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, X, and Overwatch fan.