Why Programmers Resign

Human resource is the most valuable thing an IT company can have, and the key to determine its success story. Maintaining human resource in an IT company could be a different thing from any other company.

There are some interesting fact from The Mythical Man Month, and I completely agree with them. Here they are:

The difference between a good programmer and bad programmer is at least:

  • 10x in productivity
  • 5x in program speed, space measurement
Data showed no correlation between experience and performance (but clearly there must be some).

In another words, a programmer with salary 20k/year is at least 10 times more productive than a programmer with salary 10k/year.

I ever heard a story about a company which is willing to double all of its IT staffs' salary to keep them from moving to a competitor. I totally agree with its action.

For example I would tell a story about a development team which consists of 1manager, 3 programmers, and some QAs, technical writer, etc. In January 2009, programmer A resigned. To cover his leaving, programmer B and C have to backup programmer A's work until the team got a new programmer to replace him. In the meanwhile they themselves are already having their own job and responsibility.

Then, in Februari 2009 the company got a new programmer, lets say a good programmer with 10x productivity we mentioned above. He will need 3 months to adapt with the new working environment, and it means in that 3 months, programmer B and C have to continue backup and support for programmer A's work.

From this story I can conclude that losing a programmer means losing money and everything for at least 4 months. Losing 2 programmers at once would double the number. Losing 3 programmers would exponentially amplify the number.

Why programmers resign? There are some reasons though. Here listed them ordered by the tendency:

  1. Dislike the manager
  2. Not gaining enough self-improvement
  3. Less respect
  4. Low salary
  5. Bad working space / bad facility
  6. Company rule
  7. Bad social life in office
  8. etc or personal reason
Number 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 are fates.

Number 4: give employees a raise when they deserve it, not when they're asking for it.

Number 5: upgrade employees' facility. By facility I mean computer and Internet. That are what a programmer live for.

Number 6: don't make a rule that is not fair to both company and employee. This world work in a balance way though.

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