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Happy Software Developers Solve Problems Better

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the beatings-continued-until-morale-improved dept.

Programming 121

First time accepted submitter HagraBiscuit (2756527) writes Researchers from the Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy, have quantified and analysed affective mood index against objective measures of problem-solving effectiveness for a group of software developers. From the report abstract: "The results offer support for the claim that happy developers are indeed better problem solvers in terms of their analytical abilities. The following contributions are made by this study: (1) providing a better understanding of the impact of affective states on the creativity and analytical problem-solving capacities of developers, (2) introducing and validating psychological measurements, theories, and concepts of affective states, creativity, and analytical-problem-solving skills in empirical software engineering, and (3) raising the need for studying the human factors of software engineering by employing a multidisciplinary viewpoint.

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News flash (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360289)

People who are happy do better at things.

Re:News flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360467)

People who are happy do better at things.

Its more like individuals achieve better performance when they are happy. Either way that is really good news. :-)

Re:News flash (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360967)

Great - now you can tell your boss to f*ck off when you want to work on your pet project all day instead of fixing those unit test failures that are making you sad and less productive.

Re:News flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47361773)

...instead of fixing those unit test failures that are making you sad and less productive.

Unit tests are a crutch for poor software development. Any competent programmer, not the modern variety of idiots, thoroughly tests their own code each time they make changes or a set of changes. Normally, I test whenever I have added or modified a function/procedure/method. By the time the software is completed I ask a colleague to thoroughly test it using a set of written test cases which I developed during code development. I am taking a few courses now and all I hear is "why don't you provide *Unit tests for us?" These jackass classmates are too lazy to manually run the set of test cases provided in the specification document as part of the assignments. I wish universities would close their computer science departments and admit they've been failures.

Re:News flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47362417)

If you have automated testing, that should suffice, whether the tests are per-function (unit tests) or per-module. I am not sure what you're complaining about. However, your attitude is poor, and you seem to have an overabundance of ego. I am not aware of this being associated with ability; rather the opposite.

Re:News flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47366481)

Unit tests are a crutch for poor software development.

My GOD you are an ignorant fool.

Re:News flash (4, Insightful)

twdorris (29395) | about 2 months ago | (#47361017)

People who are happy do better at things.

Its more like individuals achieve better performance when they are happy. Either way that is really good news. :-)

OMFG...why do people have to reply like that? "It's more like", "Not only that, but", "It's worse than that because". Ugh. The one-up-manship drives me nuts.

How is "individuals achieve better performance when they are happy" any better than "people who are happy do better at things"? Seriously? How is one "more like" the article than the other when the whole purpose was to provide a sarcastic summary of a long-winded project to show some obvious results?

And the little smiley at the end does NOT make it all OK. It's not smart. It's not humorous. It's nothing but a bunch of drivel so you could hear your keyboard clack away.

And while you're at it, get off my damn lawn!

Re:News flash (2)

techhead79 (1517299) | about 2 months ago | (#47361191)

I'm just going to make a guess here...but you're not a happy software developer are you?

Re:News flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47366061)

It's more like he's a very sad one :(

Re:News flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47362877)

it's like PEOPLE! stop summarizing already!

Re:News flash (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 months ago | (#47360523)

That doesn't always apply in the arts.

True of any job. (5, Insightful)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47360315)

It's not just software development, but any job. If the employees are happy about how they're being treated, they'll do the best job they can, because they want to stay with the company. If they're not, they're going to do the bare minimum to stay employed while they look for another job at a better company.

Re:True of any job. (4, Insightful)

disposable60 (735022) | about 2 months ago | (#47360369)

It's not just work.

Happy people just plain _human_ better.

Playing on FUD (and creating it if there isn't enough) is what turns people into monsters.

Re:True of any job. (-1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 months ago | (#47360425)

Happy people just plain _human_ better.

I disagree. People who are perpetually happy, who never suffer, fail to build character or develop empathy.

Re:True of any job. (3, Insightful)

blue9steel (2758287) | about 2 months ago | (#47360447)

And you would know this how? In my experience there are no perpetually happy people.

Re:True of any job. (5, Informative)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about 2 months ago | (#47360451)

Happy doesn't mean never ever stressed or unchallenged.

Re:True of any job. (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 months ago | (#47360549)

They are Happy people, but it isn't Preschool version of happiness. It is a more complex form of happy.

Happy employees doesn't me smiley chipper people, who are high on their own good feelings. A happy employee can be down to earth, and dealing with some stresses. However the stresses are well managed, so they feel empowered to work threw the problems, not cower in fear of the problems.

For example if you have a bully boss, you will avoid her as much as you can. Give enough to get them off your back. Because their bulling will is something you cannot control, so you stress out having to deal with them, so you will do your best to avoid them.

Re:True of any job. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360607)

if you have a bully boss, you will avoid her as much as you can.

What does your wife have to do with this discussion?

Re:True of any job. (0)

nine-times (778537) | about 2 months ago | (#47360639)

I agree, up to a point. We worship happiness a little too much and fail to see the value of other emotions.

Re:True of any job. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360841)

One can't appreciate happiness until they've had some sadness. Many people are not aware how good they have it. Having "Everything", is not happiness.

Re:True of any job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47361281)

You really think one has to develop empathy and it cannot already be there? True enough that some people needs to be shown the way to demonstrate it. But that does not mean it's not there from birth. Having studied emotions for a long time my experience shows that people are happy because they are accomplishing things they set out to do, have self respect, and can deal with life's challenges without becoming overwhelmed. Regardless of having had trials and tribulations.

Remove any of those three and I found people less stable and able to win in life and resulting in lowered happyness.

People without any challenges are seldom happy. People who cannot overcome barriers in life are seldom happy. People who are easily overwhelmed are seldom happy. And people who appear to be happy but are not at all taking action in life have a very false sense of happiness that is also very weak.

There's an old idea that artist have to suffer to become great artists, it is a total fallacy.

Which does not prevent an artist who has suffered from producing great art. And they may indeed use the suffering as an inspiration. I look at art as high quality communication. Crappy art does not communicate very well whereas quality art gets straight to you with the intended impact.

Of course I've not offered any empirical evidence, but I think anyone able to observer others can see for themselves if it is true for them.

Re:True of any job. (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 2 months ago | (#47361293)

My definition of happy is having a problem to solve, as apposed to a constant grinding workload.

So handing me tasks that make other people groan makes my day.

Re:True of any job. (2)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 2 months ago | (#47361279)

Beatings will continue until you are happy and productive.

Re:True of any job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47361445)

aka 'The floggings will continue until morale improves!'

(not trying to one-up, just giving the version I'd heard :) )

Re:True of any job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47361605)

oh, sorry, just noticed which department this was posted from.

+0 irrelevant.

Re:True of any job. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47361841)

Beatings will continue until you are happy and productive.

There are MILLIONS of people in [Third World Country] who would be HAPPY to do your job for 1/6th the price!

Re:True of any job. (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 2 months ago | (#47362255)

Their cost of living is 1/6 too.

Re:True of any job. (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 2 months ago | (#47364627)

Their productivity would be considerably less than 1/6 as well

Re:True of any job. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360507)

Not necessarily. I have had jobs where I was quite unhappy, but I gave every project my best effort, as I had coworkers/managers, etc who were not responsible for the sucky job conditions that depended on my work. Most employees know that it is wise to leave a good impression, as it may bring opportunities down the road. Being unhappy or dissatisfied with your job but busting your ass anyway is a trait that tends to be remembered.

Re:True of any job. (2)

nine-times (778537) | about 2 months ago | (#47360617)

It's not just about putting in more effort to stay with the company, or putting in more effort out of loyalty. Both of those can play a role in increase efficiency, but it's also the fact that your brain's ability to function is impacted by mood. You will think differently when you're under stress, panicked, depressed, worried, happy, horny, angry, or hungry. Being in a "happy" state is often good for solving the kinds of problems that present themselves at work.

Some people make the mistake of saying something like, "You make better decisions when you're happy." That's not altogether true. Being in a different state of mind will alter your thinking in ways that may be useful for certain situations. Being angry might make you more ready for a physical fight. Being hungry might distract you from other concerns in favor of finding food, which can be useful in keeping you from starving. These are useful things until you're in the wrong state of mind for the things you want to get done.

Re:True of any job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47361037)

Happy people tend to have a manageable amount of stress, unhappy people tend to have too much stress. A stressed mind will be handicapped. Just ask anyone with anxiety.

Re:True of any job. (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 2 months ago | (#47363409)

Being unhappy tends to lead to increased awareness of details and a more cautious/pessimistic approach to problems. While that can be a handicap in many situations, it can be helpful when the shit hits the fan. "Stress" is itself a biological state that is priming us for bad situations. Stress can be helpful in dangerous situations. The problem is, in our relatively safe modern society, we have a tendency to enter a state of stress, and then never leave.

Re:True of any job. (1)

thhamm (764787) | about 2 months ago | (#47362719)

under stress, panicked, depressed, worried, happy, horny, angry, or hungry.

Where is 'drunk'? http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/ba... [xkcd.com]

Have to try coding horny though. Is it any good? :)

Re:True of any job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360881)

I'm in total agreement with you, but I'd like to go further.
It's not only a matter of motivation, but any job that requires creativity will see better results when the worker is happy -- particularly happy and well-rested.

Re:True of any job. (2)

matbury (3458347) | about 2 months ago | (#47361463)

Not true of any job but very true of jobs where analytical and critical thinking are necessary/important. Also a major factor in learning outcomes in education. Unless we accept that software developers are a separate and distinct species to homo sapiens, we've had conclusive science on this issue for decades, e.g. Stephen Krashen published his findings and formed the Affective Filter hypothesis for second language acquisition back in 1982: http://sdkrashen.com/content/b... [sdkrashen.com]

How many MBAs and HR degrees include affective factors on their programmes? My guess is they don't know, don't want to know. It just doesn't fit in with mainstream capitalist values.

Re:True of any job. (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 months ago | (#47361707)

It's not just software development, but any job./p>

Well, then Facebook can just use their mood-altering voodoo to make the world happy, and the whole world will be a better place, right . . . ?

Or they could Dr. Evil with it, and cause the collapse of our civilization!

Re:True of any job. (2)

ultranova (717540) | about 2 months ago | (#47363689)

If the employees are happy about how they're being treated, they'll do the best job they can, because they want to stay with the company. If they're not, they're going to do the bare minimum to stay employed while they look for another job at a better company.

More to the point, if your employees hate you, the urge to harm you in revenge is going to be part of everything they do. There isn't necessarily any calculation, or even conscious decisions, things just start going wrong. People will do their job exactly as told, refuse to notice any deviations from equilibrium while they're still small, and the chaotic nature of life takes care of the rest.

Re:True of any job. (2)

NickGnome (1073080) | about 2 months ago | (#47366149)

"It's not just software development, but any job. If the employees are happy about how they're being treated, they'll do the best job they can, because they want to stay with the company."
...

It also means they've got "buy-in". They approve of what you're having them do. The goals/aims are ones they want to work toward; they're worthwhile. They might see themselves as having a chance to have a proportional share in the firm's success.

But if the firm is doing bad things; if set A are getting the big bonuses or otherwise getting ahead, while set B of workers are knocking themselves out for nothing... they're not likely to be happy.

At the same time, if
1. someone does something or sees someone do something of no note but garners extravagant praise and other rewards; and/or
2. if he does something great or sees someone else do something great and the person/people who did it gets no praise or no rewards; and/or
3. if he sees people getting hollow praise but no other rewards for doing worthwhile things,
it kills his enthusiasm and his happiness, and undermines his ability to improve himself in his job, and most likely in his career for the long-run.

News at 11 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360337)

Happy people at work are more motivated to work than people that are inside a cubicle for 12 hours with the boss breathing on their neck.

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360717)

Unless the boss is a hot chick... then please breath down my neck

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47361339)

That's workplace harassment. Now go back to your chair and be quiet.

Management is hard (1)

gregor-e (136142) | about 2 months ago | (#47360349)

This is one more tricky aspect of managing software or any other creative/analytic project. You can start with the smartest, happiest people in the world, only to have your schedule blown because one of them is going through a messy divorce or a loved one gets cancer. The bad vibes can drag a whole team down. I forsee a huge market in happy pepper-upper pills for programmers. Oh, wait. That's what coffee is for.

Therefore... (4, Funny)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about 2 months ago | (#47360397)

The beatings will continue until morale improves

Re:Therefore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360599)

The beatings will continue until morale improves

Finally, something I can understand. I mean, I read the headline "Happy Software Developers Solve Problems Better", and all the individual words made sense, just not in the same sentence :)

Re:Therefore... (4, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 months ago | (#47360609)

I want to know where they found happy software developers in the first place.

Re:Therefore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360755)

Where I work ;-)

Re:Therefore... (1)

twdorris (29395) | about 2 months ago | (#47361041)

The beatings will continue until the smileys stop. If you're so happy, get back to work.

Re:Therefore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47363607)

The beatings will continue until my morale improves.

FTFY.

Re:Therefore... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47364279)

I'm declaring war on stress.
Anyone still experiencing stress at the end of the day will be fired.

Obvious solution (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 months ago | (#47360405)

Am I the only one who thought of employer-sponsored twice-a-day blowjobs?

...

Oh, I am. Dammit, this looks bad.

Re:Obvious solution (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360473)

you can give as many as you like :D

Re:Obvious solution (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 months ago | (#47360481)

you can give as many as you like :D

Since I'm on /., you can reasonably assume I'm male. And therefore... yuck.

Re:Obvious solution (4, Funny)

disposable60 (735022) | about 2 months ago | (#47360521)

I'm a woman, you insensitive clod!

Re:Obvious solution (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47360641)

I'm a woman, you insensitive clod!

Lies! Facebook and Google told me you don't exist.

Re:Obvious solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47362853)

I'm a woman, you insensitive clod!

Women may also receive blowjobs.

Re:Obvious solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47363031)

.... and?

Re:Obvious solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360555)

Am I the only one who thought of employer-sponsored twice-a-day blow jobs? Oh, I am. Dammit, this looks bad.

Nope, I'm sure the Romans tried it. Seriously, they probably did. Sadly the report detailing the results of the experiment were lost so the experiment needs to be repeated.

Re:Obvious solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360647)

Am I the only one who thought of employer-sponsored twice-a-day blowjobs?

Sadly when budget cuts arrive managers will tell you to give yourself a hand job.

Re:Obvious solution (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47360929)

Tuesday is you day in the barrel.

I disagree with this model of psychology (-1)

Grindalf (1089511) | about 2 months ago | (#47360435)

Mental and emotional volatility is not what to expect from good keen software developers, rock solid stability and enormous brain power is what to expect. They should not have a measurable “Mood.” I think this is a psychological model that has been invented by studying only mental patients and the system painted onto students with words and cajoling.

Re:I disagree with this model of psychology (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#47360479)

Ah yes. The thousand yard stare. [wikipedia.org]

Re:I disagree with this model of psychology (1)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about 2 months ago | (#47360513)

It depends on what you consider happiness. If Happiness means constantly slightly elevated dopamine levels as produced by non impairing drugs, yeah it's not going to do a damn thing. If by happiness you mean fulfilled by the work you do, no marital trouble at home, no crippling financial issues or personal crises outside of work taking attention away or requiring effort that leaves the employee sleep deprived, then yes it will make a huge difference. Happiness doesn't have some special effect in and of itself, but it is an indicator that problems that can creep into work time are manageable or nonexistent and that the person is a least somewhat motivated to do their work, which will produce much better results than the opposite circumstance.

Re:I disagree with this model of psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360595)

Are you a psychopath, autistic, or just insane?

Re:I disagree with this model of psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360939)

Lets roll the dice... 8 o ]

Re:I disagree with this model of psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360605)

I think there is a balance:

Morale is a vital factor. I have seen companies change management styles which changed employee morale from excellent to "why am I even working here?" When morale hit the skids at this startup I worked at a number of years back, security problems went through the roof, just because people didn't give a rat's ass about bothering with it. For example, people would actively intercept tailgaters and ask what they were doing, no badge, no entry. After the new management took over, nobody cared, and it became not uncommon for skulkers to get in and "liberate" laptops from offices. Root and enable passwords for machines eventually just got slapped on the box with a labelmaker (more permanent than a Post-It, and they didn't change.)

The cost in replacement equipment and IT policies of enforcing physical laptop security was a lot more than what was gained from the change in management [1].

It goes without saying that part of management is watching morale. Even in MBA school [2] they teach this in regards to management, because if it goes too low, the only thing a company can do is increase security or layoff and offshore, and that will make things even worse. The company I worked for that changed management styles? It went under when the core sales team jumped to the competitor... with the core dev team with them.

[1]: All hands meetings where everyone was told that they could be replaced at a whim with someone from an offshore firm, didn't help things.

[2]: There is a reason why I'm posting this AC... the shame would be too much to bear.

How much psych is based on college undergrads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360517)

How much of our "understanding" of human psychology is based on academic studies on college undergraduate subjects?

Ever wonder how many volunteer subjects try to fuck with an experiment?

Re:How much psych is based on college undergrads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47361351)

I don't know how you are a "volunteer" when you need to participle in so many experiments to pass a required 101 course.

Not news for anyone in the business (1)

HangingChad (677530) | about 2 months ago | (#47360575)

Talk about a headline from the No Screaming Shit Department, of course happier programmers are going to do a better job. There's no motivation to do your job well when you're miserable. That's why the team dynamics are more important than individual skill. I've seen one hot-shot programmer with great coding skills and horrendous personal skills totally undermine the team dynamic. No amount of skill makes up for being an arrogant ass.

Corporate solution (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360591)

Fire all the visibly unhappy developers! The beatings will continue until morale improves!

what? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47360635)

Happy developers? I didn't even know that was a "thing"
How could they have possibly run this test?!!? Frauds!

Re:what? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 months ago | (#47362163)

How could they have possibly run this test?!!?

By manipulating Facebook news feeds.

/ducks

Happy means less bs (2)

In-Ho Yi (2850891) | about 2 months ago | (#47360653)

For developers to be happy in the first place, there's gotta be less administrative and politics bs to begin with. No wonder programmers are more efficient in such environment

And lazy software developers... (1)

mgemmons (972332) | about 2 months ago | (#47360723)

solve problems best of all.

Also elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360739)

A friend of mine worked at a huge DIY chain. The founder and owner worked there and did any job in the house, he was 'one of the staff' and everybody loved him and "would have ran into certain death situation" for the guy.

Then the old man died and his son took over, straight from business school. The staff called his management style "Command & Conquer". He stripped people of their uniform on the floor and fired them on the spot. Suddenly, everyone hated their job and would do nothing unless absolutely required.

So I guess it does apply in more that just programming.

Re:Also elsewhere (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47363327)

The staff called his management style "Command & Conquer". He stripped people of their uniform on the floor and fired them on the spot.

Did he do this with the ion cannon, or the tactical nuclear strike?

My anecdote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360763)

I would have to agree. If you'll allow me to bitch, my experience at Initech was that I was doing pretty well solving problems, and was fairly content despite some boredom. Then I was "borrowed" to double duty with another team, as we don't believe in focusing on one project here. You're supposed to focus on every project all at the same time. Obviously this redefines the word focus a bit.

Anyway, the management for the new team was hellish; they provided threats instead of encouragement. Now instead of working to solve problems, I'm trying desperately not to have bad marks on my performance review as was explicitly threatened if the project failed. To make it worse, they made unrealistic deadline promises to the customer despite the fact that no one analyzed the work to provide a realistic estimate.

Instead of clarity of mind, I have worries. There's an unreasonable pile of work and no time to do it. I've asked repeatedly for additional help, but they cannot hire or borrow anyone else. Despite being an "important" project, there's no budget for even one developer's part time help, although they entertained the idea for a while. I suppose that was just to shut me up.

I guess it's not important enough to have a budget, but it is important enough to burn our developers out. Burnout is FREE! Also, the "important" project might get canned at some point because it's one of the many duplications of effort around here, because our organization is silo'd and projects are developed because they belong to our department, not because they actually serve customers.

This turned a "meh" job into one that I actively disliked. My productivity suffered as a result. Obviously, now I want to move on, and when I do there will be a few additional systems in the company that no one remaining on site understands.

Re:My anecdote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47361537)

This turned a "meh" job into one that I actively disliked. My productivity suffered as a result. Obviously, now I want to move on, and when I do there will be a few additional systems in the company that no one remaining on site understands.

Don't make the mistake of acting out of a sense of loyalty, as it is probably misplaced -- the lack of succession planning is certainly not your fault. You should move on to greener pastures just as soon as you can.

Disclaimer: I just did exactly that. Was headhunted, got a 40% pay rise, quarterly bonuses (where previously I'd had NO bonuses EVER, despite unstinting dedication). I am definitely not looking back.

Re:My anecdote (2)

david_thornley (598059) | about 2 months ago | (#47363571)

Note also that, if they show disrespect to you in your work, they're almost certainly not going to be loyal to you. One way not to have bad marks on a performance review is to get another job before the review.

interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360769)

This article is interesting but our fast paced internet startup requires high amounts of communication and collaboration so we're going with developers sitting side-by-side on long rows of tables in an open office.

Re:interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47361979)

sounds like a living hell

Correlation is not causation (1)

mck9 (713554) | about 2 months ago | (#47360789)

The easy, obvious, and self-serving interpretation: making programmers happy will make them more effective at solving problems. Alternative interpretation: people who are good at solving problems are happier than people who aren't. Corollary: maybe adding a foosball table in the lobby won't help after all.

Re:Correlation is not causation (1)

Shados (741919) | about 2 months ago | (#47360821)

More generic interpretation:

People get good at doing stuff they care about.

Happy Software Developers Solve Better Problems (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360819)

Stupid problems are often the way to sad developers. We once had a customer require in a custom interface to make "check boxes" mutually exclusive - when we suggested that industry-standard was to use radio buttons for that type of selection we were told they were just "more comfortable" with the squares, but didn't want users to be able to pick more than one.

Stupid. Sad.

Re:Happy Software Developers Solve Better Problems (-1, Flamebait)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 months ago | (#47360993)

Who are you to say that's a stupid problem? You're not exactly doing kernel development or low-level signal processing, here. You're designing user interfaces for people in exchange for money. Are you being paid by the "industry standard"? No; you're being paid by the customer. If they really want a fucking checkbox after you explain things to them, you either give them the checkbox or explain why it's too hard for you and forfeit the contract.

"But it's just meaningless aesthetics," you say. Well, yeah, you're doing low-end UI design. Get over yourself. You're not a scientist or an engineer.

Re:Happy Software Developers Solve Better Problems (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47361111)

Whores do what the customer wants, professionals do what the customer needs.

Re:Happy Software Developers Solve Better Problems (1)

burisch_research (1095299) | about 2 months ago | (#47361577)

+1 to both the AC and to retchdog. Both are right. But the most right is the guy right above me who said:

Whores do what the customer wants, professionals do what the customer needs.

I have an unpleasant meeting tomorrow where I need to exercise option B).

Sigh.

Re:Happy Software Developers Solve Better Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47363005)

Good whores are professionals.

Re:Happy Software Developers Solve Better Problems (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 months ago | (#47363299)

Well, thank god someone is standing up for order and propriety. Radio buttons should mean something, dammit! It's been that way for, uh, well, at least 20 years! Can you imagine the madness that would ensue if people used checkboxes for singleton choices? Human sacrifice! Mass hysteria!

The customer needs a radio button whether he knows it or not! One choice means you use a radio button!

Give me a fucking break. Maybe checkboxes fit the design of the site (or app, or whatever the fuck) better. I don't know.

Introducing HappyLang++ (2)

AnontheDestroyer (3500983) | about 2 months ago | (#47360909)

public happylittle HelloWorld : hugs Object {
        public ecstatic ambitious main(String[] compliments :-) {
                weee (int i =) 0 ; i 10; i++ :-) {
                        Compy.outAndProud.prettyplease.print("Hello, World!!!!" :-);
                }
        }
}

Re:Introducing HappyLang++ (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 months ago | (#47363463)

Now that you've proposed it, someone's going to hack a language entirely out of smileys.

Who knew? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47360961)

I expect this type of drivel from social "scientists". I'm appalled that this crud is coming from a computer science department. I expect that this is the sort of computer science department that will grant degrees to students who have never taken any programming courses (yes, I've actually interviewed such people who don't understand why they cannot get jobs as programmers).

Even for slashdot, this article is a waste of electrons.

Re:Who knew? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47362189)

I expect this type of drivel from social "scientists". I'm appalled that this crud is coming from a computer science department. I expect that this is the sort of computer science department that will grant degrees to students who have never taken any programming courses (yes, I've actually interviewed such people who don't understand why they cannot get jobs as programmers).

Even for slashdot, this article is a waste of electrons.

Apparently most organizations feel oppressing the IT and SE groups is the latest in a long list of MBA behaviors praised by shareholders and accountants.

wrong dept. (1)

NikeHerc (694644) | about 2 months ago | (#47361103)

This was from the "beatings-continued-until-morale-improved" dept. It should have been from the "tremendous-grasp-of-the-obvious" dept.

Duh research (1)

recharged95 (782975) | about 2 months ago | (#47361115)

Happy means you have more time to focus on the task at hand vs focusing on stress things that maybe non-work related (e.g. relationship issues).

Stressful employers makes it even worse to focus on anything in general, cause it leads to worrying about your job, aka income.

That explains why... (1)

jwestveer (1453691) | about 2 months ago | (#47362305)

That explains why Microsoft software ......

To all you coders out there -- (1)

volvox_voxel (2752469) | about 2 months ago | (#47362471)

Looking away from my code for a moment, I'm reminded of a quote from the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai" "Colonel Saito: Let me remind you of General Yamashita's motto: be happy in your work."

Pinko-Commie-Liberal Talk (1)

turgid (580780) | about 2 months ago | (#47362931)

That's what it is.

The end of quarter profit is what matters. Suck it up and take it like a man! Pull your weight like a true team player or you'll be let go to make way for a flexible, empowered, dedicated business-oriented go-getter from the thousands of them queuing up at the door.

If you can't do it right, or don't like it, get out. Don't drag the team down with you, loser.

Unhappy Programmer (1)

AkkarAnadyr (164341) | about 2 months ago | (#47363455)

(1) providing a better understanding of the impact of affective states on the creativity and analytical problem-solving capacities of developers, (2) introducing and validating psychological measurements, theories, and concepts of affective states, creativity, and analytical-problem-solving skills in empirical software engineering, and (3) raising the need for studying the human factors of software engineering by employing a multidisciplinary viewpoint.

Buzzwords make me sad.

Subjective opinion here (1)

Draugo (1674528) | about 2 months ago | (#47366479)

As someone who spiraled from mild depression to serious depression (where I still am) during the first four years of working at a software company I can confidently say that this was true at least for me. Furthermore the deeper into depression I fell the worse I became at problem solving and that deepened my depression even more because I felt I couldn't do my job as well as before and it also sucked enjoyment out of the job. It's a problem I struggle with every day. I try to keep telling myself that what I do is good enough but it doesn't help. We need more money in actual depression research. Depression is a killer in mentally challenging work like software development where you are faced with completely new problems multiple times a day and you have to come up with solutions based on knowledge you didn't have an hour ago. Also it's not something you can really talk about unless your boss is really understanding cause the guy who is slower than the rest is the first to leave if necessary.
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