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What Do Computer Programmers Actually Need?

Perfect IT office by Nowy Styl Group - visualization
There are many office legends about computer programmers. According to the latest report “What Do Computer Programmers Need”, they are perceived as a very demanding group due to both working conditions and workplace. Are they really so fussy?

The IT industry is one of the most dynamically growing segments of the market. In the fight for talented people, both employers and recruiters are searching for new ways for attracting and maintaining the experts. Hence, it’s worth asking the question: What do employees actually need? In cooperation with Market Research Department of Antal, Working Space Research and Consulting Department of Nowy Styl Group took a closer look to the expectations of computer programmers regarding their office and employer. The research contributed to the publication of the report “What do computer programmers need?” Marta Badura and Anna Dziadkowiec, authors of this survey, are talking about the publication as well as the dream working environment for computer programmers.

According to the report, “The right working environment isn’t only about a properly equipped space but also about a positive experience of collaborating company”. What gives the greatest satisfaction in working as a computer programmer?

Anna Dziadkowiec (A.D.): Both the individual talks and the survey indicate that computer programmers really like what they do, that is the process of programming and creating. Their work brings them satisfaction, especially when they can perform their tasks in good conditions; in such environment which supports their work, where they’re provided with enough space for working in concentration and “disconnecting” from the world.

Are you saying that the right environment can make a computer programmer literally “indulged” in work?

Marta Badura (M.B.): Yes, indeed. It’s a very common phenomenon that computer programmers perceive their work as a passion. They can achieve the so called “flow state” in proper conditions, that is a maximum concentration on a given task, to which they have given themselves totally. Computer programmers emphasize in the interviews that they tend to forget about the world during coding, focusing purely and simply on their tasks. As one of the surveyed claims, there are phone calls first, then, there are mails, and finally, there is “proper work”. Meetings and talks are treated by them as an addition to their work.

A.D.: According to the survey, computer programmers don’t like meetings during a day. If they’ve a specified time for work, that is coding, a sudden meeting means taking that creative time away from them. They’re often distracted which can cause some problems with returning to the previous state.



By looking at the labor market, we can observe that it’s really hard to attract a good computer programmer. What makes that people want to work in a given company? What attracts them? You can offer various benefits or pay raises, but, in some point, these ways are no longer effective…

M.B.: This is also confirmed by the survey. The salary is concededly still important, however, many computer programmers declare that they don’t want to change their jobs unless they receive a substantial pay raise. In many industries, additional 1000 zlotys constitute an attractive amount of money, but, as computer programmers' salaries are relatively high, this change has to be really substantial in order they could consider changing their workplace. Furthermore, computer programmers appreciate technologies they use in work as well as issues related to atmosphere and relations at work.

A.D.: For small companies, especially those with a start-up atmosphere, relations are of great importance. Large companies and corporations are often treated by computer programmers as places where they can develop, gain knowledge, and then, move on. Computer programmers are actually aware of the fact that they’re wanted on the labor market. If they feel uncomfortable, they can easily change their workplace as there is a plenty of work waiting for them.


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