Monday, April 17, 2017

How To Keep Your Best Programmers

How To Keep Your Best Programmers provides an interesting perspective on why talent stays (or leaves) an organization. It's worth a read, simply because of the wide perspective provided with the references.

In my opinion, the primary reason people leave an organization is that value tends to decrease with time. Erik Dietrich captures this well in a quote that discusses the value apex. (This source for this quote is Up or Out: Solving the IT Turnover Crisis.)  

The value apex is a function of the ability to generate new ideas and the perception of others about those ideas. In simple terms, if your interest wanes good ideas dry up. If you get pigeon holed no one will listen anyway. It is a question of managing diminishing returns. 

The interesting question arises following realization you've joined an organization where value convergence is the norm. That organization is dead. It just doesn't know it yet. The obvious symptom of value convergence is an organization where nothing is written down. People seek to create the perception of value by putting themselves in positions of power by virtue of the knowledge they hoard.

My take on the meritocracy inversion is that IT organization should be flat. This avoids seniority based heirarchies and permits the creation of a system of renumeration based upon merit and the solutions produced. A flat organization fleshes out the senior loafers and the capable junior people.

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