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How to retain great developers

Odette Carney Developers

We all know the value of longevity. The longer people stay in a role, the more productive they become and the more value they add to your organisation. But longevity from staff, especially developers doesn’t come easily.

With so much demand for their skills in the market, developers can find a new role at the drop of a hat. Even if they aren’t proactively searching through Seek, they are constantly headhunted through LinkedIn. How can you contend with this and create an environment where your best developers stay and produce their best work.

We spoke to 20 of Australia’s best developers about what makes them stick around. Here’s a list of things that came up repeatedly:

Training

The pace of change in the world of development world is extremely fast. New techniques are constantly emerging. To keep up developers need continuous training.
Allocate time every week or month for developers to spend on training. This will help avoid burnout and will be beneficial for your organisation resulting in better code quality, more productivity and better outputs for customers.

Variety

A developer that has to work on the same types of projects day in, day out is likely going to get bored and leave. Choice of work plays a huge role in retaining developers. They want to work on fun, innovative projects, gain new skills and problem-solve challenges.

Flexibility

Some people work better in the morning, some work better at night. With developers, it’s important not to be overly strict on work times as their hours of peak performance may be different. As long as the job is getting done, does it really matter what time of day it happens?

Team

A junior developer that has no one to help him is not going to last long. Developers like to have smart teammates around them – someone they can bounce ideas off, learn and seek guidance from.
Set your organisation up with structured teams so that no one feels isolated or doesn’t have a teammate to discuss his work with.

Compensation

Being competitive on compensation goes without saying. A developer that can earn $20k elsewhere, is likely to go elsewhere. Having said that, it’s important that money is not the reason to stay. Striking a balance with the right pay and the right conditions is key to retaining great developers.

No BS

Developers like to come into work and get coding. They don’t like to be burdened with office politics or unnecessary processes that take time away from their core job. Management teams should maintain open communication channels as a lack of transparency can distract teams, causing uncertainty and leading to departures.

Freedom to do high quality work

Developers thrive in environments where they can be creative and try out new approaches.
Give them the freedom to be creative (and not be limited by previous methods). As well as being more fulfilled, they will also produce higher quality work.

Quality and diversity of projects is essential to retaining great developers. A happy developer uses cutting edge technologies and works on innovative projects. Give them these things and they will be more challenged, engaged and ultimately loyal.

And the proof is in the pudding: if they are happy, they will refer their friends through to work for you too.

The bottom line

Take the pressure off your developers with an AlreadyBuilt solution. Instead of doing boring development work that others have already done, free them up to develop high quality, new and innovative features and solutions.

Your budget will go further and the savings can be invested back into your team.

Visit www.alreadybuilt.com/solutions to see if your next project is already built.

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