IT firms expect maximum productivity from each of the developers it has hired. It is justified because they are paying good money, yet several factors are ignored that can negatively impact the team’s potency. Just asking someone to do more is rarely effective for bringing improvement, in fact it could make things worse. No workplace is perfect and compromises need to be made at both ends. Nonetheless, the jobs of developers can be fairly stressful and require extra focus. It is important that they are given a nourishing environment, thus we shall simply avoid or at least minimize the following practices at all costs:
As mentioned earlier, developers need to implement focus on a deeper level compared to many other office jobs. They have to immerse themselves into a special zone where they can’t afford any distractions. Both scheduled and unscheduled meetings can become a huge annoyance by acting as an obstacle between the developer and progress. Unexpected calls can be baffling and the developer can usually not regain the mindset he/she had before its emergence. Not to mention, meetings take up so much time; no wonder there’s so little left to do something that counts.
On the contrary, scheduled meetings keep the developer’s mind too occupied to concentrate on anything else. Similarly, one too many emails and messages can easily agitate a developer who is in the middle of solving a problem or discovering a potential breakthrough. Therefore, it is best to arrange meetings at the start of day, so developers can work with a freed mind till the end of his/her shift. Also, don’t let emails/messages turn into an endless chain; keep them seldom and to the point.
Invasion of Space
Nobody likes being watched all the time or deal with continuous interference. Providing a developer with some level of privacy is crucial for making them feel at home. If they’re not mentally and physically comfortable, you can forget about getting things done. Micro-managers often tend to be sneaky and skeptical, which makes developers feel insecure like crime suspects.
Developers need a sacred cubicle to let their true colors show. Do not place them in a situation where it seems like they’re being monitored 24/7. Checking on them once in a while is fine, as long as the person doing so has a positive and motivating attitude. An independent environment helps build confidence and ease the mind. Believe it or not, it doesn’t just enhance productivity, but also brings out elements of creativity.
A healthy environment leads to a clear mind which develops a greater capacity to work. Apart from human interactions, there are a number of abiotic factors in the background that can penetrate the developer’s bubble and bring about adverse effects. This includes things like the room temperature, noise, view, surrounding activities, etc. It’s hard to focus on work when it’s too chilly or you’re sweating waterfalls. Although “noise” is normally associated with annoyance, complete silence can be haunting.
White noise is actually good for developers, such as the sound of air conditioners, pouring rain, cars passing, occasional humming of birds and so on. On the other hand, audible chit chat among co-workers i.e all-day exposure to their official and personal matters can be very disturbing. This does not mean that they be seated in a soundproof room with no windows. Nonetheless partial aloofness and a peaceful scenery can do wonders; remember that even 5% of increase in productivity can make a big difference.
Seagulls can hardly cause any harm to developers unless they like to work in the open near the sea shore. Here we are not referring to actual seagulls, but managers within a company who act somewhat like them. They refuse to be properly involved in any project. Every now and then they will appear and throw tantrums; they’ll say a lot of negative things on no real grounds. Then they disappear for some time and repeat the pattern. This can be truly frustrating and damaging for the developer’s ego or self-esteem.
Most developing teams nowadays implement the Agile Software Development method which accommodates change at all stages. Despite the progressive approach, too much alteration in product requirements all the way is far from ideal. Making improvements as we go up is a different thing, but adding or subtracting features for no apparent reason can be infuriating.
Often when the developing team is asked to discard or change something completely at the last minute, it’s a lot of hard work and resources gone to waste. However, the managers hardly have a choice in these matters because they cannot afford to say “no” to the client and lose all funding.
Sometimes clients don’t provide sufficient information regarding their desired product; generally due to lack of knowledge or interest. Majority of projects that require bug fixes can be highly challenging if not provided with the accurate history or proper documentation. Developers have to spend too much time and nerves while looking for errors within a product that was originally built by someone else. Even while creating software from scratch, it is preferred to have a set of defined features, if not self-explanatory descriptions. In many cases, developers have to go with their gut, only to face rejection at the end.
The majority of IT managers follow the poor practice of creating tight deadlines after bargaining with the developer at the start of the project. According to the Agile method, any information available about the product at the beginning of development is limited. Requirements evolve as we make progress and there’s always room for improvement. Therefore, it is unrealistic to predict when and how the product will turn out right from the start.
Managers demand estimated time for project completion from developers, and then push for earlier dates. They assume the earliest date as the deadline, and pass it on to the client. When things don’t go exactly as expected, developers come under a lot of stress. They are constantly provoked by managers or client, which results in rushed code and low-quality product. Some even go as far as quitting when the workload becomes impossible to manage.
Everyone wants to be acknowledged and appreciated for their work. Sometimes managers tend to undermine developers by taking credit for their efforts and ideas. More than often developers are not in a right place to argue or fear to fight for their rights. Despite the patience they exhibit, waves of hatred loom inside them. They will not be up for giving their best in future projects and may even purposely sabotage them to make you look bad.