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The Best Programmers

June 18, 2013
Keeping the best programmers is always a challenge.

Keeping the best programmers is always a challenge.

Are you one of the best people at your job? If you are, then do you experience some of these feelings and look to move on?

  • Frustration
  • Boredom
  • Lack of a challenge

Or have you settled into a routine that you like and can live with? If it’s the latter, you might not really be one of the really talented people. Read this piece on How to Keep Your Best Programmers. I found it interesting that it looks at the motivations and reasons why very talented people might not like a job and move on. I think it’s mostly correct, though it’s not necessarily talent that determines whether people stay or go.

I think most people find these same frustrations or issues with their jobs. Whether you’re a guru level programmer, or a basic beginner, if you perceive an inversion of meritocracy (or you are bored, or you don’t enjoy the job), you’ll look to leave. Whether you can is another thing completely.

Many of us have various levels of responsibility, to our families, creditors, or even ourselves. Those responsibilities may cause us to rethink the problems with our current job, and appreciate the security of just having a job. This is especially true in today’s world where loyalty is in short supply from employers, and many of us know that the next position may not be more stable in terms of employment for the foreseeable future. As the saying goes, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

That’s the crux of the issue. A job is a job. I’ve found that to be true across many positions over the years. Some I enjoy more, but ultimately there are always tasks or duties in every position that are drudgery. They are just work. As long as you understand that, and appreciate the challenging and interesting things about your job, you’ll be fine. It’s also why I place more importance on the other staff than I do on the job responsibilities. It’s much easier to put up with a boring or annoying job if the people are interesting than it is to put up with a great job when the people suck.

Steve Jones


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