The Case Against Glorifying Developers for Wrong Reasons | by Manvik Kathuria | Jun, 2022

Recognition of software program groups and people wants a critical rethink

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It was a sunny Friday night, and I used to be busy doing the admin chores of backlog and dash planning. Then got here a slack notification that learn one thing like this.

“Shoutout to Xyz Abc for fixing the defect and rolling out the repair inside 24 hours. The client is happy about this. #ship #buyer #repair”.

The crew’s supervisor wrote this for somebody who did a wonderful job fixing a defect. I complimented them for this feat, and a number of other others chimed in to understand their improbable work. A couple of days later, I realized that the identical individual had applied the function that had the difficulty. This bought me excited about the tradition of recognition in software program groups.

I went again to the identical slack channel and began scrolling to learn all messages that referred to as out groups and people, recognising them for his or her time and effort. A sample emerged among the many majority of these — Rewarding and recognising those that had been fixing manufacturing points, responding to incidents, squashing safety vulnerabilities, implementing new know-how/framework, growing their automation protection or just doing what’s anticipated.

I had a deja vu a few comparable dialogue with a buddy a number of years again.

Me: How’s your present challenge going?

Good friend: It’s going alright, no points thus far and no showstoppers. I’m not too keen on that.

Me: What do you imply? Your challenge bought no points, it is operating easily, and packages are getting deployed with none hiccups, What’s to not like?

Good friend: See, if there aren’t any points, we might launch and nobody will recognise what now we have carried out. If there are points, showstoppers and also you remedy them, you’ll begin getting emails of recognition and appreciation for it.

Me: ………..(considering)…………..I hate to say this, however you’re proper. I believe we should always introduce synthetic defects within the system

Going again to the unique slack appreciation message, I began pondering that they had been by no means recognised for delivering the function however made heroes after they mounted a manufacturing challenge (brought on by them). Any software program may have defects; the quicker you come to phrases with it, the higher skilled you grow to be. Every software program launch brings new options and bug fixes that the crew identifies and prioritises primarily based on their affect and precedence. Defects which are Severity 1 and have a extra important impact are primarily launched as hotfixes.

Let me provide you with an instance of a cross-skilled crew that consistently delivers on their commitments, releases new options and bug fixes, and ensures their product/service is at all times up and operating. The crew collaborates nicely and could be very proactive in fixing new challenges, making certain the purchasers get a smoother expertise. With no hotfixes, no outage alerts at odd hours, and no excessive severity defects, they get on with their duties on daily basis. Theoretically, this reads like an important crew to be working with; sadly, their contributions will not be nicely highlighted as a result of they ship high quality constantly and by no means have any points, hiding them from the broader groups and senior management.

Then again, a crew bought a shoutout that learn, “Recognize the crew for squashing over 100 safety vulnerabilities within the product. Kudos to …..“. The entire firm praised them for this. Nevertheless, I ask why you’ll launch a product to a market with many safety vulnerabilities.

The query that arises in my thoughts is what’s the tradition of recognition we wish inside our organisation. Does that imply we should always reward builders for fixing points, fixing incidents, resolving safety points or attempting out new applied sciences solely?

“Reward, like gold and diamonds, owes its worth solely to its shortage.” — Samuel Johnson

Let me begin by saying that I wholeheartedly help recognition. Should you learn my articles, you’ll discover that I’ve given strong weightage to recognising and rewarding groups and people. Appreciating your crew and colleagues must be a part of your organization’s DNA and tradition. I can’t stress extremely sufficient the significance of recognition and its results on the general firm morale. Nevertheless, ship it with belief and sincerity and set the bar proper for the longer term. Recognising individuals with pretence or setting a low bar may be devastating in your crew’s tradition.

How do you set a bar for recognition, and what traits have to be exhibited by a crew or person who make their motion worthy of appreciation and recognition?

Actually, there isn’t any golden rule or framework that you should utilize in all cases throughout all groups. The onus is on management to focus on behaviours and actions that deem worthy of recognition. From my expertise as a developer and now main groups, these are a number of the traits I’ve picked up over time that I consider are worthy of recognition.


People and groups that ship constantly and consistently are dream groups.

Glorious Downside Solvers

Challenges are a part of life, and fixing them requires persistence and endurance. Appreciating problem-solvers, particularly those that go exterior their area, exemplify the traits of attempting issues exterior their consolation zone.

Proactive Possession

Discovering that may be improved after which making these enhancements reveals dedication and possession.

Wider Affect

Actions with a broader affect showcase the attribute of considering extensive and making life straightforward for all.


Folks you go to for recommendation when there’s an incident or a difficulty. They’re consultants, prepared to supply assist with humility.

Deal with Objectives

Actions that concentrate on going a step in direction of the crew or organisational objectives.

Further Mile

Keen to step up and do greater than what is anticipated of them.

Coach Others

Sharing data with others in a selfless method displays the standard of mentorship.

Many extra such traits are worthy of recognition. However what I wish to level out is that it is best to recognise and recognize traits that inspire others to do the identical. Demeanours that align along with your firm and crew values set the bar for honest appreciation. Initially, when choosing the foundations, you’ll have to make powerful selections, however slowly and steadily, it should grow to be obvious, and your groups will begin exhibiting these behaviours. As soon as the benchmark is ready, make certain to depart no stone unturned in making honest recognition part of your ethos.

“Folks work for cash however go the additional mile for recognition, reward and rewards.” — Dale Carnegie

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