How to keep developers happy: Send feedback after interviews and establish a no-interruption policy

A HackerEarth developer survey found that interesting work is as important and compensation, and YouTube tutorials are a favorite source for learning new skills.

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Software engineers want a clear career path, a significant reduction in regularly scheduled meetings, and a new rule for the office: No interruptions when the headphones are on. The results are in the 2020 HackerEarth developer survey that was released on Wednesday. 

SEE: Top IT certifications to increase your salary (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

HackerEarth surveyed students in software engineering and professional developers to find out what makes them happy on the job as well as the pain points in the interview process. This study was conducted from January to February 2020 and included 16,655 responses from developers across 76 countries. Students made up the majority of respondents at 71% with 28% of responses from professional developers.

Experienced developers ranked their top three job requirements as interesting technical challenges, a good career path, and good compensation. The next tier of must-have benefits are a company's financial stability, workspace culture, and new tech stack. The survey also found that employee stock option plans and Glassdoor reviews don't matter to most developers.

To achieve 100% productivity at work, here is what professional developers said they needed:
Fewer meetings                                                                             70%
Multiple monitors                                                                           61% 
Clutter free working spaces                                                           59%
A no-interruption policy when they have their headphones on     58%
Unlimited coffee/food all day                                                         53%
Dark mode in the office                                                                  38%

Developers turn to YouTube tutorials more than any other source for learning new skills, with 56% of professional developers listing this resource. Fifty-three percent said they like online competitive coding platforms, and 48% listed online certification courses.

The professional engineers who took the survey were mostly full-stack and back-end developers at 35% and 34% respectively. Only 9% listed experience with front-end development, and only 6% with mobile development. Data scientists made up only 7% of respondents, and people with machine learning experience were only 5% of respondents.

Professional developers listed these languages that they would like to learn:
Go                                     32%
Python                               24%
Kotlin                                 21%
Javascript (Node.js)          20%
Bash/Shell/PowerShell     18%
Typescript                         16%
Scala                                15%
R (Rscript)                        14%

SEE: The best programming languages to learn in 2020 (TechRepublic)

On the job hunt

When looking for a new job, developers are most frustrated by the silence that follows an interview. Forty-five percent said the lack of feedback after an interview was the most annoying part of the hiring process, followed by too many interview rounds and misleading job descriptions at 14% each.

When it comes to the skills test portion of the interview process, experienced developers favor the combination of a take-home coding test followed by an onsite interview. Also, developers prefer live video interviews to whiteboard interviews. This format allows developers to write and compile code in real-time, which gives hiring managers a chance to test job readiness. Here are the formats developers prefer:

Take-home tests followed by remote interviews                            26%
Remote interviews with online video and code editing tools         21%
Traditional whiteboard interviews                                                   19%
Option to decide the interview process                                         10%
Onsite pair-programming                                                                 8%
Remote pair-programming                                                               4%

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By Veronica Combs

Veronica Combs is a senior writer at TechRepublic. For more than 10 years, she has covered technology, healthcare, and business strategy. In addition to her writing and editing expertise, she has managed small and large teams at startups and establis...