University of Hertfordshire

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Motivating developer performance to improve project outcomes in a high maturity organization

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-381
Number of pages17
JournalSoftware Quality Journal
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


In this paper we discuss the impact software developer performance has on project outcomes. Project performance remains unreliable in the software industry with many compromised software systems reported in the press. We investigate the impact that developer performance has on aspects of project success and explore how developer performance is motivated. We present interview, focus group and questionnaire data collected from a team of developers working in a software organization that has been assessed at CMM level 5. Our main findings are that developers value technical skills in their colleagues, but appreciate these especially when supplemented with good human skills. Software developers with a proactive, flexible, adaptable approach who are prepared to share knowledge and follow good practice are said to be the best developers. Motivators for these developers are pay and benefits, recognition and opportunities for achievement in their work. Overall, we found that technical competence, interpersonal skills and adherence to good practices are thought to have the biggest impact on software project success.

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