I started seeing this behavior in my developers, so what I did was to introduce a "Customer Support value hour." Programmers have to sit with the CS people for an hour and see their work and figure out solutions for their pains and the end users pain. They must do this every day. Once they started seeing the pain, their attitude changed. They now contribute to the engineering discussions with real-life experience on the issues we are facing.
This is an oft-overlooked aspect of re-engaging your programmers: connecting their efforts to real outcomes.
Guillermo’s approach may sound radical, but so were the results. Reading this makes me a wee-bit jealous of a team that “contributes to engineering discussions with real-life experience.” That would be a team that’s not only motivated by intellect but driven by empathy. This would make for an unstoppable team.
Do your developers have real-life experience?
How could you expose them to the real-life problems of your users?
What new discussions could you have?