What if we set out to create a place that software engineers want to work?
Where might we begin?
We might begin with constructing the most beautiful building and providing unlimited, top of the line equipment.
We might begin with a problem previously thought impossible to solve.
We might begin with an idea so important it would improve the world for every living person, and their children.
We might begin with the opportunity for them to become rich beyond our wildest dreams.
We might begin by giving them control over what tools and languages they use and how, when and where they work
We might begin by providing generous salaries, unlimited vacation, flexible schedules, catered lunches, and on-site massages.
If we do this, they might line up around the block for a chance to join, enduring days of testing, group interviews, whiteboard exercises, and intense pressure.
All this might create a place they want to work, but it won’t create a place they want to stay.
My core thesis
Lately, I’ve been spending time working about my “core thesis.”
My focus is on helping you become a great leader and build great dev teams where your programmers stay and thrive.
But that’s my mission – the desired outcome.
The question remains: “What creates a place programmers want to stay at?”
Thus far here’s what I’ve hammered out:
“A place programmers want to stay at requires a person they love working for. A person they love working for has built a special relationship between them. Both parties contribute to the special relationship, and both benefit from it.”
It’s not that the first ideas don’t matter; it’s that they don’t matter enough to prevent someone from leaving if they don’t enjoy working for their boss.
I dunno, what do you think? What part of this sounds right, and what part do I need to develop more?
I’m looking forward to your thoughts as I work through this.
Thanks in advance,