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Francis, thanks for your reply. Indeed many of us love an adventure. Many of us like paying back (or paying forward) the help and inspiration we have received. Of course many of us love getting some form of recognition for the hard things we have accomplished. And finally, many of us just personally love the feeling of accomplishment gotten from accomplishing hard things - whether anyone else knows and recognizes the accomplishment or not. My response was in no way blind to any of these motives/incentives, so yes, I am nodding! But I can't help but think you glossed over the real question I asked. Gaining the skills to be a good coder, rocket scientist, doctor or whatever, is no easy task. One starts on that path with only an inkling of the work that will be involved, and only a guess as to whether he will have any affinity for, or talent with, the skills he'll have to learn. And whether formal or informal, the course of study and practice will be long and difficult. So the question remains: what motivates a person to begin on a years-long program of study and practice? Having started on it, what motivates this person to stick to that long slog through the study and practice needed to achieve mastery? Imagine your Shackleton ad had "FOUR YEARS OF SCHOOLING AT YOUR OWN COST REQUIRED BEFORE ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY BEGINS" as its final sentence. Years of potentially expensive study and practice are an investment one makes, usually with some calculation as to how long the repayment will take. Dan Pink's entire scenario seems to take place within a group of people who have already made that investment and paid it off. So, again I ask, what will motivate people to make the initial and hefty investment in study & skill building requisite to becoming one of those "highly skilled" people on whom Dan Pink's talk is centered?
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2010 on The Vast and Endless Sea at Coding Horror
The 'cartoon video' *wants* to think it has taken money completely out of the equation. Q: But how do you *incentivize* people to endure the long, hard, and often expensive courses of study necessary to become a good coder, rocket scientist, doctor, or whatever? A: With the promise of high wages.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2010 on The Vast and Endless Sea at Coding Horror
Jeff, you said "Newbie programmers, or competent programmers who are phoning it in, are absolutely not going to have the moxie necessary to get things done remotely -- at least, not without a pointy haired manager, or grumpy old team lead, breathing down their neck. Don't even think about working remotely with anyone who doesn't freakin' bleed ones and zeros, and has a proven track record of getting things done." (I added bolding.) I think this is pretty scary advice to be giving, especially from your pulpit, which is not a small one. Have you tried remote development with newbie coders? Have you tried it with enough newbies to feel you've gotten a good sample? If you haven't, then where do you get the experience to add so much emphasis to this point? I haven't seriously tried it either - in fact I'm a newbie coder at best (since my actual experience is more of the sysadmin kind). But I have a suspicion that I'd be at least an OK newbie coder to have on a remote dev team, as long as other sufficient motivations existed. Which is to say that I have dicked around with hobby things, and they tend to move forward in fits and jerks. But that's because motivation is spotty, not because capability is lacking. I could be wrong, but I suspect that with the right newbie coder, remote dev would work alright. I suspect what you are saying here is that you have the luxury of working with great coders and since you have it, you're going to take advantage of it. And yup, if a person has that luxury, why would they voluntarily give it up? But to suggest that a person without that luxury should simply fold tents and give up is, I think, not such a good thing to do. I''m just sayin'!
Toggle Commented May 6, 2010 on On Working Remotely at Coding Horror
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May 6, 2010