Derik Whittaker

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What makes me NOT want to leave a company/client/shop

Many times while you are doing the whole interview dance the company will ask you why you left a former company or client.  But how often do they ask you what you need/want to not leave your NEXT place?  Sure some times they may ask what makes you happy, or what type of place do you like.  But how often to they ask you point blank, what can WE do, what can WE provided for you not to leave this company (assuming you were to hire on)?

Over the years of working/consulting for various companies I have learned a thing or two about what I am looking for to not make me leave a company and I thought I would share them.

Allow my voice to be heard 
As someone how is relatively opinionated (shocking I know) I like to know that my comments/thoughts/concerns will be heard.  I need an environment where I can feel free to voice both my happiness as well as my displeasure.  If I do not feel that I can be heard, I do not feel like I can make a difference (more on this below).

Put me in a position to succeed
Every employee wants to feel like they can succeed.  No-one wants to or likes to fail.  In order for me to be happy I need to feel that the team I am on is put into a position where we can succeed.

One example of how to do this is by having reasonable expectations on what can be done both both me and the team.  Nothing puts you in a place to fail fast than unreasonable expectations.

Put me in a position to make a difference
I want to feel that all the blood, sweat and tears I pour into my work is going to make a difference.  I like to know that something I did had a direct positive affect on someone else's job being better, easier or faster. 

By allowing me (and others) to make a difference we will work just that much harder and take just that much more pride in our work.  And when this happens, watch out cause the success is about to start flowing like a tidal wave.

Make effective communication must be priority
I need a place that believes that open and honest communication is the key to success.  I want to be kept in the loop on all things that directly relate to the project I am on and the department I work in. 

I want a manager that will let the team know what is going on and is willing to share information that pertains to the team openly and freely.

Manager that will battle to the death for their team
I want a manager that will stand up for and fight for their team.  This shows me that they are not afraid to try to do what is right.  If I have a manager that will fight for either me or the team, I will in turn fight for them, and am also more willing to go not only the extra mile, but even the extra 10 miles.

Team members that challenge me
I want to work with people that challenge me both as a developer as well as a person.  I love to learn, and I want co-workers that want to be the best because this will in turn challenge me to up my game and force me to learn something new.

Cool technology
Do I really need to explain this? 

FYI, cool technology does not have to be the latest version of XYZ language, it could simply working with something that is new to me or different.  It could also be doing something that I have done before, but in a new way.

I am sure my list seems like mostly obvious things, but sadly many places lack some if not many of these.

Till next time,

[----- Remember to check out DimeCasts.Net -----]


Posted 06-23-2008 2:50 PM by Derik Whittaker

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Comments

DotNetKicks.com wrote What makes me NOT want to leave a company/client/shop
on 06-23-2008 4:58 PM

You've been kicked (a good thing) - Trackback from DotNetKicks.com

Dave Schinkel wrote re: What makes me NOT want to leave a company/client/shop
on 06-23-2008 5:06 PM

>>>Make effective communication must be priority

that's one of the biggest problems right there, managers who play favorites, do not communicate, and play games

Others:

1) Teammates with huge cocky Egos which make the environment like it's some kind of High School

2) Poor hardware.  Lets face it, if it takes you 10 minutes to boot and it's not because of apps you installed or have running in your startup, and VS takes more than 20 seconds to open or compile, that's a problem.  When you're using a customer service laptop with a 5400 rpm hard disk and 1 gig of ram, that's a problem.

3) Working from home.  This needs to become common.  People who abuse it hey, they won't last.  People who are mature can handle it just fine and in fact are more productive in fact due to less distractions.  I say all companies should try at least 1 day a week working from home.

4) Fair reviews and also reviews against the boss.  After all if your boss truly cares about the team, he will want honest feedback whether it's anonymous or not.  At the same token, the review should be balanced.  Most managers pick out all the good stuff you do if they like you, or all the bad stuff you do if they don't.  There should be a balance to both good and bad feedback and no favorites here.  Coming out of you review should be motivating.  Maybe you did not get the 5% raise, and you only got 3%.  But the manager should make sure you come out motivated, not depressed for the better of you and the team as well as the manager himself.  Moral is a huge problem on teams and usually that's driven top down.

Kalpesh wrote re: What makes me NOT want to leave a company/client/shop
on 06-23-2008 10:08 PM

Is there a process of asking feedback, when someone leaves the organization in US?

I hated this when I worked in India. This becomes a mere formality, where they ask  things from a questionnaire & one wouldn't vent out frustration (what is the point of it, when one is leaving anyway?)

For reviews sake, one should make a note of things that can help make it a point at the end of the year. Usually, people remember recent things & specifically bad things. So, bosses would be glad to show recent bad things. One has to be noting what good work has been done in the past 1 year to prove the point?

Dew Drop - June 24, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew wrote Dew Drop - June 24, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew
on 06-24-2008 7:39 AM

Pingback from  Dew Drop - June 24, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew

superjason wrote re: What makes me NOT want to leave a company/client/shop
on 06-24-2008 1:55 PM

I think this is closely related:

What a developer needs from their manager - www.ytechie.com/.../what-a-developer-needs-from-their-manager.html

Arjan`s World » LINKBLOG for June 24, 2008 wrote Arjan`s World » LINKBLOG for June 24, 2008
on 06-24-2008 4:20 PM

Pingback from  Arjan`s World    » LINKBLOG for June 24, 2008

jd wrote re: What makes me NOT want to leave a company/client/shop
on 06-24-2008 10:31 PM

What about lazy team members who slack for most days and you got to carry the load? That's one reason to leave if managers are not willing to do anything

Geek Daily » Blog Archive » 2 tried and true ways to frustrate and discourage your developers wrote Geek Daily » Blog Archive » 2 tried and true ways to frustrate and discourage your developers
on 06-26-2008 11:01 AM

Pingback from  Geek Daily  » Blog Archive   » 2 tried and true ways to frustrate and discourage your developers

Giancarlo Frison wrote re: What makes me NOT want to leave a company/client/shop
on 06-27-2008 9:26 AM

Career perspectives, friendly environment, continuous skills improvements. Yes I agree.

Any claims on salary?

Derik Whittaker wrote re: What makes me NOT want to leave a company/client/shop
on 06-27-2008 9:33 AM

@Giancarlo,

No.... to be honest pay is one of the last things i worry about.  

You can offer me a ton, but if your company sucks I will pass.  Or you can offer me a respectable amount and if your company is good I am all yours.

Derik Whittaker wrote Developer training, a real (non)success story
on 06-30-2008 8:42 AM

About a year ago I created a few posts on the topic of Developer Ramp time and how companies can help

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