Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's your motivation for programming?

Studies since the 1970s that show that Intrinsic motivation (from within) rather than Extrinsic motivation (external factors like money) is the main motivation for people doing good work. In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink talks about the various research and studies and even gave some suggestions on how to improve your workplace, if you are a lead or manager go read the book. If you don't have time to read the book, RSA has a nice video (about 10 mins) that sums up book quite nicely.

So what is your motivation for doing your job as a programmer? What are some of the motivations that you have for continuing to do programming as work? Here are some that I came up with, feel free to add more in the comments section.

1. Joy of knowing that there is always something new to learn

I am always amaze that there are still so many things that I can learn in this field, and that's a motivation for me, because I will always have some new framework, language, technology to play with.

2. Joy of finding a solution to a problem.

Solving a problem be it in programming, performance or a process issue is always satisfying

3. Joy of seeing a user liking your solution.

For most of us, we program for real users and its a good feeling when a user tells you that you did good work.

4. Joy of doing work with people that you like or like minded.

 I am glad to be able to work with a bunch of guys who I like and feel comfortable with, the pantry talks and the lunches help make for a more interesting day.