Want to Retain your Top Software Development Talent? Stop Technical Debt before it starts.

by | Oct 4, 2023

B O N C O D E   B L O G


This is the highest turnover rate percentage of any field according to Linked In data published in 2017. Who holds the honor of this top churn rate? The field of software development.

A recent Forbes article lists 13 reasons why software developers leave- and while there are 13 different tag lines- there is a theme woven throughout- the inability to do what they really enjoy doing- which is building new worlds, creating new features and functions.

 “The most common theme we see is that developers are hired with a promise that they’ll be focusing on new initiatives and exciting things, yet when it comes down to it, they end up doing maintenance work and/or minor enhancements.”
Forbes, Robert Chapman 101 Solutions.

Maintenance work and minor enhancements are born from lesser crafted, hastily made software, an outcome primarily influenced by a desire to get a product to market quickly and satisfy the consumer. But this focus on short term customer satisfaction is causing long term dissatisfaction amongst devs’. To put it in plain terms- building software hastily creates a need for fixes in the future. The issue, is that when it comes time to make these fixes, often it’s a situation much like trying to find anything important in a university student’s messy dorm room. There’s a thesis paper in there somewhere, but when it comes time to find the hard copy for that dissertation, good luck.

In software development, the mess is often created by inconsistency and lack of standard in coding and building approach. It’s not unusual for software to be constructed by several different developers with several different approaches and practices. Without a standard to follow and consistent measurement of quality, well, it’s a recipe for trouble.

At BonCode- we aim to help our clients steer clear of this recipe for trouble. We do this most successfully by partnering at the start of a software development project. Through consistent monitoring, we are able to help give life to high quality software at the outset by establishing a standard of operation, dissolving technical debt before it has the chance to disrupt your software devs’ job satisfaction.

I don’t have to tell anyone in a position of leadership how costly it is to lose top talent. The word “turnover” has the same effect as saying the name Voldemort out loud these days. We know that it creates direct costs like hiring recruiters, accommodation fees for potential candidates and relocation packages. But perhaps it’s the indirect costs which have the greatest impact. Namely- the restructuring of priorities and decreased availability of top talent- which is often called upon to train new hires, pulling them away from delivering on established and new business opportunities.

In today’s consumer driven market, for folks in positions of leadership it’s so often a battle between the urgent and the important. The urgent often being satisfying the customer, and the important being- especially in the world of software development, doing so in a way that is sustainable.

Too often, technical debt is seen as something to manage later, a small price to pay for immediate satisfaction.

Perhaps the price is not so small.

Therefore, it’s simply a very healthy business case to manage your technical debt. If you keep it low, it will allow your software developers to work on exciting new things, stay motivated and at the same time your business will benefit from fast responses to changing needs.

Be a good leader, keep your retention low by letting us help you manage your technical debt. Give us a call.

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