What Demotivates Developers?

by Noc Team on December 15, 2010

Manager: How long will this project take?

Developer: 3 months

Manager: Can you do it faster?

Developer: Well, maybe… if we have another developer, we might be able to finish it in 2 1/2 months

Manager: Can you do it faster?

Developer: Um, well, maybe, if everything goes perfectly, it’s possible it would come in a few days earlier

Manager: Can you do it faster?

Developer: No.

Manager: Well, what can you give me in 1 month?

Developer: …

Do you also have senior executives who like to pose random dates and force work out of you? If yes then you will agree with every point I make here. Such an attitude is a great demotivating factor when it comes to working within teams.

If you are stuck with such a dismissal existence then wake up, or else you can hit yourself with a hammer. The bug is still stuck, the code isn’t working, there is no moving forward and the manager is standing and shouting on your head because he wants his work on his given date.

Mangers are the key people who keep teams intact. They get paid for making everyone happy, satisfied and motivated. But when they demand and force, work out of these technical species, that is when problems erupt. Disliking even one member of the team and most importantly the team lead/manager will eventually can significantly increase level of frustration and can give birth to dissatisfied developer.

I have here divided the job of a developer into four different stages, and these stages reflect the structure which is followed by Greek tragedies. Where everything seems excellent in the beginning, but as the time moves forward everything collapses. Depending on their level of satisfaction with their work and with their team following is the cycle in accordance with which developers lose interest:

The Beginning often referred to as exposition: Satisfied and motivated:

“My job pays me well. We have excellent environment here and the work is helping me grow”

During the first six months of a job (almost) every employee enjoys his work as it involves learning process. The new team gets together and everyone seems enjoyable, great people, the job pays well and the work offers a lot of growth.

The Rising Action

As the time passes by “My job pays me well. But I have to do something about this irksome manager”.

Slowly and gradually the nagging manager, who creates nuisance all the time, but the best part is that the team helps me in moving forward.

Reversal of fortune: The Slow and Gradual demise

“My job pays me well. But if only I had a better manager, a better team and a better work environment”.

As the time moves forward work becomes less exciting, co-workers extremely irritant and the individual’s morale drops and slides fiercely down from the slippery glacier.

Falling Action: Headhunters and search for good offers

“I have had enough, everything and everyone is getting on my nerves, so its time to contact the headhunters”

The final catastrophe:

“A New Rocking Position, greater pay, better environment and excellent people to work with, do you honestly think I will wait. Nahhh.”

The job which was the best out there, the coworkers who had started with great team work and the managers who were highly energetic now become history

When all the sources of motivation collapse, then every employee heads his own way.  But how does environment change? How can an experienced manager create problems for his own team member? this lack of motivation and resignation occurs due to the following reasons

  • Technical reasons: Lack of technical facilities provided by the company
  • An infuriating environment. Where everyone and everything seems irritating.
  • Insufficient training provided: Many projects require advanced learning and training in new technology. Where there is lack of training there is lack of productivity. Unscrupulous companies will never stand face to face and discuss such issues involved.
  • Infrequent delegation of authority

When managers want everything in their hands and leave no room of growth for the developers around, problems occur. That is when your hard work is wasted from time to time. Bad managers don’t really realize how to channelize your work.

So the next time your manager comes back to you asking for work to be finished in one month. Then you have to be really clear to them with the right specifications. You need to drill it into their head.

Lesser time= lesser productivity= an unfinished/underdeveloped/immature product

So if he wants a product before time, then the above equation is what you need to show him. If he still persists on his stance then instead of being demotivated it is time that you need to do something about it.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali December 15, 2010 at 3:17 PM

very good equation

Mohsin Alam December 16, 2010 at 5:30 AM

Very well written article, these situations do arise and unfortunately very frequently.

But i would differ with the equation. In current technological scenario we are always forced to ‘do more with less’. Why? because technologies are evolving at unprecedented rates, there is always a better and faster way of doing certain tasks. Keeping your self up to date is the key. Its very possible that my one month of hard labor is not enough, another guy could be more productive in my humble opinion. Great article none the less.

Naeem Ahmad January 12, 2011 at 8:31 AM

This is good article and this is reality so every company care about these issues.

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