Over a million developers have joined DZone.

Programmer Happiness: It's the Little Things

· Agile Zone

Learn more about how DevOps teams must adopt a more agile development process, working in parallel instead of waiting on other teams to finish their components or for resources to become available, brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies.

Finding and keeping good programmers is a challenge for any business. Salary and promotion opportunities aside, sometimes it's the small things that add up. Although not the tipping point, they are part of the larger equation. Putting defection aside, happy programmers code faster and produce less bugs. What are those little things?

Proper Hardware
Notice the word "proper." Programming starts with the right computer. Companies do not need to break the bank. Decisions about CPU, RAM, hard drives, etc. are unique to each company. Choose wisely because adequate is one step away from problematic. Holding a quick yearly review helps avoid future lost time. Additionally holding honest, reasonable conversations about hardware is rewarding. Productivity is the key measurement, but don't forget to discuss:

  • Utilizing multiple monitors to increase efficiency. This affects video card purchases.
  • The proper keyboard and mouse. This may be unique to each programmer.
  • The use of a UPS to avoid power loss and spikes.

Productive Software
Outside of standard development suites, developers require other applications. Common areas include specialized file zipping/unzipping, complex text editors, graphic manipulators, sophisticated file searching, monitoring tools, and organizational products. These applications increase a programmer's effectiveness. The purchase of these tools should not be a barrier.

Great Surroundings
Productivity is 50% mental and 50% physical. Programmers remain seated for most of their career. A comfortable chair is a necessity. Most standard office chairs fall short of this goal. Physical health problems translate to lower mental output. Proper desk size, adequate room, and access to natural light are subtle but important factors.

Offer Flexibility
Job flexibility is a rising topic in organizations. Offering work from home options and flexible hours reduces lost effort while supporting a better work-life balance. Flexible hours can include freedom to arrive/leave as necessary, a four day work week, and/or summer hours.

Final Thoughts
Oscar Levant once said, "Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember."

Along the same lines, John Wooden stated, "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." The sections above are not meant to be an official checklist. They encourage conversation, which leads to higher job satisfaction.

Discover the warning signs of DevOps Dysfunction and learn how to get back on the right track, brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies.


The best of DZone straight to your inbox.

Please provide a valid email address.

Thanks for subscribing!

Awesome! Check your inbox to verify your email so you can start receiving the latest in tech news and resources.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}