Devsquad founder and CEO Phil Alves is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the technology industry leading product development teams for multiple clients.
software Developers are some of the most sought-after people in the world. In addition, they are complex beings with unique requirements for the definition of mission fulfillment. With the demand for developers growing (jobs in this field are expected to grow 22% over the next decade), companies are under pressure to do whatever it takes to attract and retain talent.
First and foremost – above salary – employers need to ensure that product teams are made up of developers who feel creatively stimulated and intellectually challenged. Without work they are passionate about, highly skilled programmers will not only get bored and potentially look for opportunities elsewhere. The standard of work will inevitably fall. In a survey, 68% of developers said that learning new things is the most important element of a job.
The worst thing a developer can find out about a new job is that they are the most experienced person in the room and there is little room for their own growth.
Since only 32% of developers feel “very satisfied” with their work, you have the opportunity to position yourself as a company that prioritizes the development of its developers and attracts and retains top talent. So how exactly can you make sure your team stays energized and creatively engaged?
Take time for personal projects
78% of developers view coding as a hobby – and the best developers are those who have a real passion for software development in and out of the workplace. This means that they often have their own personal passions in the room, be it working with certain languages or platforms, or creating certain types of applications.
When they went public in 2004, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page wrote:
We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they believe will benefit Google the most. (This) enables them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have been made this way.
At DevSquad, we've taken a similar approach. We have an "Open Friday" policy where developers can learn and improve their skills through personal projects. As long as the skills acquired contribute to our work in other areas, the developers are free to use this time as they please, regardless of whether it is contributing to open source projects or building a personal product. In fact, 65% of Stack Overflow's professional developers contribute to open source projects at least once a year. Hence, it is likely that this will be of great interest to your development team as well.
Not only does this provide a creative opportunity for developers, but it also benefits from the ever-growing skills that result from it.
Provide opportunities for learning and teaching
One of the most demotivating things for a software developer is the work that is either too difficult or too easy. Too easy, and developers get bored. too hard, and morale can drop as a project appears insurmountable. Within our team, we are still very aware of the degree of difficulty of the respective project or task and the level of experience of the developers involved.