Developer expectations

“Don’t expect them to stay with you 15 or 20 or 30 years…That’s not going to happen,” Mok says. “They will stay with you as long as they see certain things, including personal growth or personal value enhancement, whether that’s financial reward or career aspirations. But only think about being able to retain them for two or three years. If nothing happens, they will leave after their first year of employment.” —The CIO’s lament: 20-something techies who quit after 1 year

And don’t miss the Hacker News rejoinder:

Maybe in a different era it would make sense for a developer to be loyal to the company she works for. But we don’t live in that world anymore. Management has done its damnedest to commodify labor and has more or less succeeded. So, let’s be commodities! But if management wants to burn us like oil, they should expect to pay the market rate for it.

Avoid psycho-analyzing in groups

Avoid psycho-analyzing in groups – It’s never a good idea to ask someone if they’re in a “bad mood” in a large group, or why they’re embarrassed. If they’re either of those things, asking them when you’re in a group will make them even more so. If they’re not either of those, it will make the others think they are, and then put the person in question into one of those moods, potentially.

The Girlfriend Jacket Priciple

The Girlfriend Jacket – guys, how many times has this happened to you on a cold night? You’re leaving the house, you ask your special lady friend if she’d like her jacket as you’re putting yours – she says “no.” A few hours later, you two are walking along, she’s warm and cozy, wearing your jacket, and you’re cold. Jason Cohen pointed this principal out to me a long time ago: just bring her jacket for her. The general idea applies applies to many things, like strollers (“we don’t need it, I’ll just hold him!” she says).

(The gender here doesn’t matter: it could be the boyfriend jacket, or the scary uncle jacket – whatever you like.)