An initial investigation of software practitioners' motivation
Motivation is one of the most frequently cited causes of software development project failure, reportedly impacting on project productivity, software quality and the overall success of the project. Much of the previous research into software engineers' motivation cites the job itself as the main motivator, yet little research has focused on why software engineers stay in the profession. This paper reports on an empirical investigation with experienced software practitioners which focuses on this issue and compares our findings with existing work. The results show that aspects of ‘people’ are important in job satisfaction and project choice, while a practitioner's standing in the community is a key influence on whether or not he/she will stay in software engineering; aspects of ‘creativity’ are mentioned most often as making software development worthwhile. When asked to identify three key elements of motivation, aspects of ‘people’ were mentioned the most often.