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Where We’re Going Wrong with Developer Productivity

Are you writing enough code, keeping up with the latest technology, or driving product progress? Developer productivity is a top priority for developers, engineering leaders, and businesses.

Aug 11, 2023 • 1 Minute Read

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  • Developer Experience
  • Professional Development
  • Data

Attempts to measure developer productivity can be risky, damaging, and downright misleading. From the infamous lines of code to brutal code reviews, every developer has a horror story of a time their authentic effort and problem-solving was mismeasured, or worse, even punished. 

In this talk, I want to propose a different, science-backed approach to productivity using research evidence from a study with 1200+ developers: developer thriving. 

I’ll tackle why “thriving” remains a challenge, exploring three myths about productivity that I believe hold our industry back, and thinking through better and more scientific ways of understanding productivity for engineering organizations, leaders, and developers.

You will leave this talk with:

  • Knowledge of how good problem-solving environments lead directly to higher-quality work, productivity, and collaboration

  • Tips on how to encourage developer thriving with cycles of motivation, learning culture, developer agency, and a sense of belonging

  • More scientific ways to understand and implement productivity.