I am often asked what is it that I do that results in the programmers with whom I interact being so productive; what is it I do to get them motivated and to keep them motivated; and where can I find / who is the World’s Best Programmer.
My answer is many fold and I provide a framework towards greater understanding in part 1.
The path to the motivated programmer, the happy programmer, is unique to each individual. There are, however, some general, instructional guides towards better understanding for all involved parties, and especially regarding those conditions that make for that highly motivated programmer.
Today, let’s take a deeper look at Organization.
Programming is both an art and a science. The art can be found in requirements that a program must not just work, but be aesthetically pleasing (easy to maintain and understand, and sometimes enjoyable, appreciated and admired) to current, and future, programmers. The science keeps everything coordinated and efficiently functioning in harmony — be they the programming efforts of a team of one, or many.
And through, as well as with, the sciences and scientific arts come the call, the requirement, for Organization, and some basic steps and examples that can assist in creating an environment of Organization – within which is found the World’s Best Programmer.
Empower the programmer(s) with an organized, structured work environment. Such structure should clearly delineate which individuals are responsible for accomplishing/providing what and when. Clear processes avoid confusion. At a minimum, very clear processes should exist, and be succinctly documented, for…
Meetings. A daily (or regularly recurring) update meeting, where people can share their task status updates with the rest of the group and highlight challenges and potential project conflicts with potentially relevant parties, is very valuable. All meetings do not have to be, nor should they be, longer than is useful, but they should occur like clockwork, on specific days and times, with no exceptions (even if the next meeting is to give everyone a quick 30 second update that there are no updates). This institution of sacred meeting time builds regularity and consistency into the often overlooked value of information and knowledge sharing — and can be a central driver of all of the other highlighted programmer motivational tips.
Development. From the origination of a project idea through to business analysis, design, development, QA, acceptability testing and final project release there should exist very clear, ordered processes for working within each stage and regarding movement of a project from one stage to another.
And, as a corollary, the necessary tools and resources needed to accomplish the various tasks should also be made available to further bolster the Organization and consistency of the environment. For example, everyone should be making use of the same version control software, as well as applying the same procedures for checking-in, -out, and promoting the versioned content.
Furthermore, a well organized environment will be one within which goals and processes are clear, wherein the end goals can be clearly understood without overburdening any individual with excessive details beyond those needed for the current and upcoming tasks. This, while simultaneously allowing for the ease of access to deeper knowledge along with capabilities to be flexible and adapt to changing goals and business cases, will create an environment that breeds great programmers and, in which, the World’s Best Programmer is found.
The Search Continues
In addition to…
… and before this individual, World’s Best Programmer, is announced, the characteristics…
… will be further explored and discussed in the subsequent articles of this multi-part series.
Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series highlighting many of the key driver’s of your team’s motivated programmers, nor the denouement of World’s Best Programmer, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.
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