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Hunter Chang
Hunter Chang

Posted on

What keeps you motivated and what do you find rewarding in your career?

I've been in the web development industry for many years now and I find this is a tricky question to answer sometimes. Personal growth has always been a major driving factor in my career, and I find it satisfying to experiment with the latest web technologies. It seems like the best motivation and reward is being able to work on something you genuinely care about and have passion for.

However, we don't always have that luxury at work. Unless you are the owner of the company, it's hard to always be passionate about the work you are doing. What if you don't actually care about your latest project at your job?

This leads me to the question: What types of incentives and rewards work well in our industry? If you meet that tight deadline after months of coding, does your company do anything to reward you? Should they?

I can only speak to my personal experience, but normally it's a favorable annual review and a salary bump. Our company also uses https://bonus.ly as a peer to peer reward system, which is kinda fun but sometimes seems lacking. We also have at least 1 or 2 team building activities throughout the year.

I've heard that money is usually a bad motivator in our field. If you dangle a cash prize at the end of a deadline, it leads to more stress and poor code quality. If you have experienced with this, or if your company has a good system of incentives and rewards, please share below!

Top comments (8)

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codestuff2 profile image
Adam Whitlock

I would feel like the main incentive does end up being money, which I agree isn’t a great motivator. Maybe an extra day off or something else less cash related? Rewarding deadline based accomplishments is also tough since there are also issues with scope creep and deadlines being undoable.

My personal projects keep me interested in programming outside of work, but recently I am also trying to find balance in my life so I don’t get burnt out as easily. It’s tough for sure

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changoman profile image
Hunter Chang Author

Yeah I'm trying to avoid burnout as well. I didn't do any dev work at all last weekend and it was quite wonderful lol. Trying to maintain that work life balance!

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udiudi profile image
Udi

I haven't worked in a place that had a good reward system.
When I was starting out I would get a monetary reward if I met a crazy deadline, it forced me to work insane hours and doing a very low quality of work. I didn't like that, and I don't think that you can actually pay people enough to feel good with crappy projects.

For me, it is the ability to create, to make things do things and make stuff happen.
In addition, solving problems - both human problems and technical challenges.
So as long as the work is doing good for its users and it's a challenging work, it's a big reward on its own.

Money is something I always treat as paying people enough for it to never be a problem. Not being paid enough will cause issues that will affect the employee, the project and the entire organization.

So for me, if I was running a team, the reward would be to make this creation as great as possible, something the team can be proud of: refactoring, higher test coverage, better security, improving performance...

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changoman profile image
Hunter Chang Author

Thanks for this reply, I agree that solving problems can be rewarding. I think it's important for the developers to see their end results having a positive impact on their users, this is probably a great reward.

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salcidogrijalva profile image
Salcido Grijalva

I find really inspiring the fact that something that I made is making somebody's work easier or faster or whatever.
Also, many of my engineer friends are struggling with their schedules, with 10-12 hours shift and we mostly work 8 hours tops (and sometimes at home).

...and money, money is a really useful tool, if you always remember that money is not the goal but a tool in order to make life a little bit "easier".

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changoman profile image
Hunter Chang Author

Yes, I agree it's important to see your work affecting other people in a positive way, thanks for the response!

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changoman profile image
Hunter Chang Author

Thanks, I agree that different people have different motivations. Getting to know yourself and knowing what is important to you is key!

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