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Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Who, What, How of Satisfaction for Frontend Engineers

This is an over-simplified view. But I was thinking about what really matters to frontend engineers in their jobs (besides money).

It matters who they work with

  • They want to be challenged by people smarter than themselves.
  • They want to work for someone who gets it and values what they do.

It matters what they work on with who they work with

  • The experience must matter. It must not be an afterthought.
  • The technology stack must be industry standard and make development fast.
  • The work must be relevant to our customers.

It matters how they work on what they work on with who they work with

  • They want to partner early & often with product & design.
  • They want to work in a lean, collaborative environment.
  • They want to have customer feedback integrated throughout the lifecycle.
  • Some parts of their work must be given back to the open source community.
  • They must be valued for the unique contribution they make.
  • They must be able to grow in their job to reach new heights.

What do you think?


Dominykas said...

As core values, these apply to any good software engineer - not just frontendies...

Anonymous said...

At my job they nail two of the three, but they're failing on the "What We Work With" aspect and that is kind of killing the job for me. I'm a pretty strong front-end engineer but we are encumbered with some pretty bad tech that makes even basic tasks take far too long. Get your tech right people. And if you've chosen a technology that is a poor fit, invest the energy in moving on to something else. Your engineers will be happier and more productive for it.

Anonymous said...

I've recently watched several good UI Engineers leave my company after getting burned out on a project which was supposedly following the agile methodology. There were a lot of factors but I think the main ones were too aggressive a deadline and too substantial a MVP.

The final score: the deadline slipped, the product was flawed, good engineers left.

For an organization, it's not sustainable to drive away good engineers in this way. I am excited about PD methodologies like Agile and Lean UX, but this is a cautionary tale that you can still burn out a good engineer even while using words like scrum, backlog, user story, etc.

Bingo said...

— "They want to partner early & often with product & design."

I wouldn't say "want to", I'd say they need to.