10 major reasons why developers leave companies

The talent market for developers has become quite crucial in this century, especially with the constant advancement in technology and almost every business needing the services of a developer.

However, even with the current economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, finding and retaining the best technical talent is still a problem that many industries are facing. For business today, knowing just how to not only attract but retain tech professionals—alongside what repels them—is very important.

As with many other roles, developers are affected by several factors that come from both within and outside the business. Here are some of the most common reasons developers give when leaving their jobs and how companies can turn the tide.

1. The feeling of unimportance

It is very important for intelligent people to always feel like their work is making a difference. Therefore, noting demotivates a talent dev more than realizing that the work they do would not be noticed or appreciated by anyone.

For businesses with talented developers, it is necessary to always reiterate the importance of developers to the overall business outcomes. Encourage them to understand just how the customer uses the products they develop and the impact it has on them.  

2. Failing to see how their work contributes to company objectives

Many developers today write codes not because they can but because they are challenged to fix a particular problem. If they fail to understand just how their work contributes towards solving a problem or achieving set organizational goals, they will rapidly lose interest.

Companies make the mistake of placing too much emphasis on meetings, documentation and processes and thus, the developers spend little time doing what they love, which is coding.

3. Lack of inspiration

Some of the best developers in the world are keen on always feeling inspired by the people they are surrounded by or the work they do. Once they start to feel like they lack purpose, they are bound to leave.

By keeping them excited with a vision that gives them a clear sense of purpose, they are bound to stick around for a long time­—as long as there’s mutual respect and the remuneration is great.

4. Poor compensation and management

Remember the popular saying, “Employees don’t leave the company, they leave their boss”? Well, it still holds true in the tech industry.

Each developer has their own unique needs and it is the responsibility of a manager to understand these needs and adequately meet them. When a manager is quick to resolve the challenge that a developer faces, retention is bound to be high. Other things such as competitive compensation are equally important as no developer likes to feel underpaid and undervalued.

5. Lots of creative roadblocks

Today, every organization is now a software organization, irrespective of its mission and vision statement. Dev productivity is highly crucial to many businesses and once there are lots of roadblocks hampering their creativity and capabilities, they are bound to leave.

Ensure you’re not creating a stifling environment for your technical team and allow them to thrive in open spaces that permit free-flowing ideation and technical creativity.

6. There’s no room for personal growth and development

Personal development is an important part of every employee’s career and once developers start to feel like they have hit the room, it can be more than enough reason to quit.

A lack of new challenging tasks or new technologies and having to repeat the same boring routine over and over again can make even the most loyal developer jump ships. Therefore, managers need to find a balance between challenging and trivial tasks and new and old technologies when working with dev teams.

7. Losing faith in their abilities

Once a developer starts to lose confidence in their ability to provide value to an organization, they will most likely quit. This may happen if more often than not, they feel like their inputs don’t amount to much on a project.

Software companies that want to continuously attract and keep tech talents should focus on Lean DevOps automation that empowers developers to carry out their most impactful work daily.

8. Losing passion for the work they do

One major reason why many employees including developers leave an organization is when they lose passion for the work that they do.

This mostly happens when there is a problem with the leadership in the organization by failing to recognize each dev’s motivations and passions and adequately aligning them with the work they do.

9. Stuck doing minor maintenance and upgrades

Due to how competitive the talent market in the tech industry is, many organizations make lots of promises to developers when hiring them. However, once these companies fail on these promises—which are typically centered around working on new and exciting initiatives—it becomes a huge cause for concern for the developer.

While a less experienced developer may have no issues carrying out minor upgrades and routine maintenance, a senior developer would find it very unappealing. Therefore, the best way to avoid this is to ensure proper rotation on projects, remove siloed knowledge and providing cross-training opportunities.

10. Toxic work culture

In today’s digital economy, developers have become the most important asset. They tend to leave companies due to several reasons including a toxic culture.

Organizations must improve their work culture to accommodate every employee and every role in a way that fosters an honest and transparent work culture. Having excellent leaders who understand the importance of workplace culture and can adequately manage and preserve these assets is a great way to achieve this.