How to Keep a Developer Happy

How to Keep a Developer Happy

They keep our businesses from crumbling and maintain our workflow, but is your business prioritizing your development team's happiness? Here are some reasons why, and ways to improve and maintain a developers' happiness and promote a positive work environment.

As it is well known, finding a good developer for your team is hard, and keeping a good developer is even harder. With a substantial turnover rate in software, it's no surprise that developers don't stay long at some companies. There are a lot of factors that affect these employment statistics. Perhaps the work environment isn't right; maybe the developer is underqualified or overqualified. Maybe it's a matter of salary requirements. These are all reasonable circumstances; however, what if you are the factor? Perhaps there is something your team or work culture is getting wrong and not realizing. If you have found the perfect developer, then you also must ensure you keep them happy. How do you keep a developer happy? Here are some top tips to follow


Creative Freedom

Artistic Mind Art

Micromanaging is a dead form of business management. If you need to overlook every detail of your employee's work, what is the point? This may be even more relevant when applied to developers. Chances are if you are not a software developer yourself, you probably won't be able to read the myriad of coding languages. You may not even fully appreciate the time that goes into their every responsibility or process. Even if you do, who is to say you will approach every task the same way they do?

Giving a developer room to work and approach her/his work from a personal and creative standpoint often results in higher workflow and a more positive work environment. This is what real business management is about. It also means allowing the developer to change up their routine and improve what may otherwise be a monotonous rhythm into something a little more dynamic. After all, no one want's to do the same thing day in, day out, in exactly the same way.

Allow your developer(s) the freedom to come to you with new ideas, new technologies that may be beneficial to your company, and even new tasks they may want to take on. It is not to say that you should not provide any structure or guidance, but remember these are highly analytical and imaginative people who enjoy cracking tricky riddles. Not to mention that if they take the initiative, it is a good thing! That shows they are developing with your business and improving their communication skills.


Tools, Tools, Tools

Graphic IT

Innovation is the key to progress; it is also necessary for an ideal work environment. When you cannot provide up-to-date software and essential resources to your software engineer(s), you cannot expect them to thrive. With adequate technologies at their disposal, developers will want to explore new ways to improve productivity and make their tasks more comfortable, thus freeing up more of their time, and improving response rates. Another essential factor to consider is that these same tools can help developers learn new skills or enhance their existing ones. With such a need for developers in the UK's thriving tech sector, a developer who feels that she/he are working with outdated resources can quickly leave and find a company that does offer the right tools.


Market-Dictated Salary

Man graphic drawing money

Let's be honest; salary is one of the most significant deciding factors for a software developer taking a new role. Paying someone their worth is not only sufficient for them to take a job, but it's also necessary. In a competitive marketplace that is in constant need for more talented software developers, it hard to argue the case for a senior software developer to be paid the wage of a junior. While there may be very appropriate and crucial circumstances that affect salary, the market dictates the average, and it is vital to consider that.

If your business cannot immediately pay a competitive salary, then it is worthwhile to offer opportunities for advancement. This is an easy way to stay competitive in the marketplace, not allocated an unreasonable part of your budget and ensure that your software developer(s) grow with your business. If you are curious to see the average salaries for a software developer in London, try using a trusted source like IT Jobswatch.


De-Stress, the Key to Success!

If you have ever worked as a software developer, you will know that it's not all glamorous. It can be monotonous, confusing and generally mind-wrecking work. Combining the analytical and the creative mindset under a tight deadline can give anyone a headache. That's why it is vital to follow the initiatives of big tech players such as Google and Facebook. They allow their employees numerous outlets to get away from their work, relax, and de-stress, and it has proven to create a more productive and positive workplace.

Even providing little outings or activities can help your developer team recharge their batteries and come back to their tasks with a fresh mindset. It is also helpful for team building. You may even consider more flexible work-hours for parents or those with critical out-of-office responsibilities. These actions not only affirm your dedication to their growth but also prevents unnecessary stress from impeding on their tasks. Employees who know that the company they work for genuinely cares about their well-being and takes action to prove it will ensure their longevity in the business.


Trust Them to Make Good Decisions

Two team members brainstorming

There is a reason you hired a software developer for your business. Whether that is implementing new systems to help your business operations, or to manage existing software, they are vital to your business' success. If you are willing to give someone that much authority over your brand, you should also be prepared to consider their recommendations and decisions. While every decision may not be practical to execute from a monetary or resources perspective immediately, it is worthwhile to notice the long-term effects on your business. Perhaps spending more now will save you money in the long run, maybe implementing a new system which is more expensive, can be offset by the increase in efficiency and output. Developers will consider these aspects before making a choice. However, you must provide a framework where they feel they can voice their opinions and recommendations.


Ask Them If They Are Happy

Man smiling

It's a common-sense one, but it's one that often gets overlooked. The best way to address a problem is to solve it before it actually becomes one. Ask your software developer(s) how they feel about their tasks. Is it too mundane? Are they not allowed the creative freedom they desire? Do they have a particular project they wished to propose but were unsure if it was an appropriate time? Having regularly scheduled meetings to address these concerns can help alleviate complaints before they arise. Moreover, it is also another avenue to promote excellent communication skills. Additionally, it can be a way to encourage your team to come forward when they feel they have ideas that can benefit your business.

While this list is by no means exhaustive these are some good, key points to bear in mind when it comes to keeping a developer happy. Let us know your thoughts by sharing our post on social and commenting.