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Unhappy Developers Lead to Bad Code and Bad Processes


A disgruntled developer.

Research has found unhappy developers can adversely affect the development process.

Credit: Thinkstock

Researchers at the University of Stuttgart in Germany have examined the effects of software developers' state of happiness on performance and found unhappy developers adversely affect the development process and software products.

The research could explain why some software companies treat their development teams with significant perks, such as ping-pong tables, foosball, and cappuccino machines.

A clearer understanding of this correlation could lead to successful intervention and higher productivity.

The findings were based on an analysis of the textual answers self-reported by developers to a questionnaire.

Reduced cognitive performance is the biggest impact of unhappiness, as about 40% of developers self-reported that unhappiness impacted their work.

In addition, unhappiness from negative situations produced mental unease such as low-self esteem, high anxiety, burnout, stress, and possibly depression.

The researchers also found unhappiness leads to low motivation among developers, withdrawal from their work, and quitting jobs.

Finally, unhappiness causes developers to take shortcuts in the development process and to deviate from the process or the agreed set of practices, which often leads to poor code quality.

From Network World
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