Developers working on a project
Image: nd3000, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Even as the Great Resignation forced many companies to reshuffle a number of employees for various positions, those in developer roles were the most likely employees content to stay with their organization. New data released by Stack Overflow details that 70% of the 350 workers surveyed are working in developer positions and say they are happy with their current roles.

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Developer insights on satisfaction

At the end of 2021, Stack Overflow detailed that almost 80% of developers surveyed at the time were not actively looking for work elsewhere, and that the biggest drivers to stay with their current employers were salary advancement, flexible work environments and opportunities for gaining additional knowledge about their roles.

In the updated study posted on March 17, some of the same sentiments were shared, as the reasons for developer happiness were:

  • Salary (60%)
  • Work-life balance (58%)
  • Work flexibility (52%)
  • Productivity (52%)
  • Growth opportunities (49%)

As the last two years have shown unprecedented growth in the tech industry, it may come as a surprise that these developers are willing to stick with continuity within their enterprises rather than venture out in search of potential increased benefits elsewhere. Of the 350 developers surveyed, 90% said happiness within their role and workplace are crucial in showing loyalty to their employer and remaining at their current job. The five countries that boasted developers in the developer roles that had the highest rate of satisfaction from employees were India, the U.S., Germany, Spain, and the U.K.

Ways organizations can increase the happiness of their developers

On the other hand, the 30% of developers who responded they were either unhappy or indifferent to their current jobs in the survey said that the reasons for this stemmed from a low salary, an uneven work-life balance, the feeling of being unproductive at work and lack of growth opportunities within the organization. The biggest reason for this unhappiness according to the survey was related to feeling ineffective at work, according to 45% of developers who responded.

“Feeling productive at work plays a much more critical role in team happiness than we probably realize. It shouldn’t be as surprising as it is,” said Matt Kiernander, technical advocate at Stack Overflow. “When I code, I don’t like disruptions in my flow state. Constantly stopping and starting makes me feel unproductive. We all want to feel like we’re making a difference, and hitting roadblocks at work just because you’re not sure where to find answers is incredibly frustrating.”

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As illustrated in CircleCI’s study, one way to combat the unevenness employees feel in their work-life balance is to create larger teams to help avoid burnout, especially when it comes to employees taking time off of work around the winter months. Tech workers have also shown a keen interest in increasing their competency and data literacy within their defined roles, which falls right in line with a reason for unhappiness in Stack Overflow’s findings.

With hybrid and remote work becoming the dominant model in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees said the aspects that make up an ideal work environment were windows, quiet surroundings, bright natural light and plants. As 45% of those surveyed said they preferred working remotely to being in an office setting, a greenhouse-type setting may be the best fit for those attempting to operate undistracted.

While an increased salary and opportunities to advance in developer roles may leave some organizations without many options, there are several other ways to make sure employees in this area of employment are looking to stay with their current company for the long haul.

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From the hottest programming languages to commentary on the Linux OS, get the developer and open source news and tips you need to know. Delivered Tuesdays and Thursdays