What makes developers happy?

Short Form


A discussion of what makes working as a developer a pleasant, rewarding experience


Everyone wants to be happy, but there doesn’t seem to be an easy answer for what makes people happy, and it tends to vary from developer to developer. How important are good pay, level of challenge, coworkers, commute times and a number of other factors in determining satisfaction with our jobs?

It’s often easier to point to things that don’t make us happy than to define what does. For example, arbitrary process and rules, not releasing code, bad managers are all things that I frequently hear cited as reasons for being unhappy at a position.

I’ll briefly talk about what I’ve found that helps or hurts my happiness as a software developer, and then lead a discussion to see how close a group of people can get to a consensus on the issue.

Speaking experience

Previous open source bridge: http://www.mattrobinson.net/2012/01/17/testing-antipatterns-open-source-bridge-2011/
Various small tech talks at workplaces
I have not given this talk before and intend for it to be a guided discussion


  • Robinson 005


    I’ve been working with Ruby and Perl to build web apps, configuration management software (currently with Puppet Labs) and script my life since I graduated college with a degree in Applied Computational Mathematical Sciences (ACMS) with a focus on discrete math and algorithms (the title wrapped 3 lines on the diploma and really just meant I couldn’t pick just one nerdy major).

    I’m particularly interested in writing easy to read and understand code after being forced to read the horrific code others have produced and left me to maintain. I think good testing practices go a long way to helping here.

    In my non-nerd time I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, traveling, meditating and recently playing with my baby daughter.