Monday, November 9, 2009

Motivating programmers

Dan Pink had an extraordinary presentation in TED regarding the disconnect on traditional reward system. We have learned over and over about the power of incentives and how they should improved motivation. However, science has proven that for complex problem this does not work. Instead, it could dull thinking and it slows creativity. It was impressive that for the past forty years what science has proven the business has not noticed.

Contingent motivator (cause and effect) it's a good approach for 20th century tasks for simple set of rules (narrow our focus), but for most jobs/problems (specially programmers/software engineers) extrinsic motivators are better because we need to see the entire context (work with our left and right brain). He explained it extremely well using the "candle problem".

I can watch this presentation over and over, and always find something useful. Highly recommend it.

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