What Programmers Want

1. Donuts

Do not underestimate the power of donuts. A Friday gift of Entenmann’s or Dunkin’ Donuts ensures we will go the extra mile on your next project.

2. Coffee

If you occasionally provide donuts AND coffee, we’ll be hyped enough to go through a wall for you. We’ll only ask, “Which one?”

3. Pizza

This is self-explanatory.

4. Free Food

In all the years I have been in this field, if there is a lunchtime executive meeting we know about it. If it’s catered by the gourmet deli from the next town over, we know about it. Then, we wait. 2:00. 2:15. 2:30. Bingo. Oh the humanity. Like a pack of wolves we descend. Growling noises. Food flying up in the air.

At 2:45, the company-wide memo goes out about the leftover food. We smile to ourselves.

We’ve actually had someone come into the IT area annoyed about how we always eat all the food. As they complain, we finish sucking the meat off the chicken bones, smacking our lips.

It’s bad form to say, “You snooze, you lose.” I like to give the wide-eyed innocent look and say something like, “Oh wow, there was so much food there when I left. Chicken wing?”

5. Bagels and cream cheese

See donuts.

6. A comfy chair

We spend a good part of the day on our donut laden butts. Comfort is a high priority.

7. Three monitors

You have to do what we do to appreciate the beauty and grandeur of three monitors.

8. Not to be called programmers

Software Developer or Systems Analyst are nice. Personally, I like Solution Architect.

9. Not having to interact with anyone outside the group

We refer to these people as “outside people” and feign a nervous breakdown as we leave the comfort of the IT area, donut crumbs and all. Always gets a chuckle.

10. High pay

11. Mentoring (as long as I don’t have to do it)

12. Cross-training

13. Education (and not on our own time)

14. Respect

When I enter a meeting, even with executive board level personnel, I am usually the smartest guy in the room. If I’m with a colleague who is smarter (and there are many) then they assume that unspoken role.

You see, we not only have the ability to manuipulate bits and bytes into something useful, we are also very smart people in general.

So often, IT is seen as a cost center or a necessary evil. Give me and the team a chance, we can generate profits. Whether it’s a new mobile app or a redesigned faster ordering site, give us the ball and let us run with it.

And don’t forget the donuts.


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