#17: How do you create happy programmers?

Kathy Sierra links to an interview with David Heinemeier Hansson, of 37 Signals, which talks about making programmers happy.

I’ve been studying that for quite a while. I remember back in the 1980s a programmer came into the camera store and was talking to me. He was down on his company (which won’t go named here but it wasn’t GYM). I asked him why he was bummed. He said his company had killed his last few projects. I still remember what he said to me “I am an engineer and I want to work somewhere that puts my work into the hands of customers.”

The guys who stare at a blank black or white screen and start typing and start creating the things we all find magical just want us to see their work in our hands. Is it more complicated than that?

Yeah, it is. 🙂

They also want a workplace where merit rules the day and discrimination is not a word that’s heard. They want good tools (you watch a developer’s eyes light up when you setup a high-end computer with dual-screen high res monitors).

Since there’s a lot of developers and their managers who read here, what else do you find makes for happy programmers?