“Motivation is a driving force by which human beings achieve their goals” Wikipedia. I think this is the way people start writing about something. These days you find lots of quotes and definitions from Wikipedia. I am not going to write about wikipedia though. I was listening to ‘This developer’s life‘ podcast yesterday, specifically the episode about motivation. They interviewed two people, one developer and one database administrator on what motivates them to go to work. Take a look at the picture (Photo: © MkeT) and imagine what motivates the farmers….. What comes to your mind first, money, pride, love of the profession, the people he feeds …. Honestly, when this picture was taken I was in a car feeling asleep, that is what I would have done if I was not traveling; but I would open my laptop and do something.
Before I started programming, I have tried to look at networking and then system administration (specially sun systems). I didn’t get the drive to get through it and become either a network engineer or a system administrator. If you are in one of these, you have your own reasons so you tell us what drive you to it, but for me at that time I had to drop that choice. I loved the theory about the networking and the technology and then when it comes to configuring the devices, I had to learn lots of commands. Same thing happened in the sun solaris administrators path. For few days I thought about the amount of creative work I could do with the commands and the effort. My logic that time was, there is a programmer behind both of this who’s telling the network and system guys what to tell the device to do a certain job; why not I become that guy behind, who’s telling people what to do to get what they want.
I started developing on what I took in class on programming. I loved it for real and the motivation was internal. I’m not writing this post to tell you how I got into programming, but what drives a programmer to do his job and if you like to comment to give you the chance to comment on what drives/ motivates you on your job. In the podcast I told you earlier, the developer used to work in a company where there he was the top guy. He was considered the ‘go-to’ guy for any challenge in the company. Currently, he works for Microsoft where there are lots of genius minds. For a moment I it made me think about my earlier years in Cybersoft, where I worked for four years. When I joined the company, there were lots of good programmers that I could learn from. In those days, what motivates me to go to work early in the morning, to stay late in the night was the passion of becoming one of them and learning to grow to their level. There is one thing clear, if you grow technically, you will have the chance to work in big projects and the return in finance is also satisfactory; however, there is something more to that, the people you work with. If the people you work with are also motivated, positive toward the thing you work, that is a great input. Managers, I think you have that kind of responsibility to make the work environment motivating.
Sometimes the things that motivate now might not be a reason for motivation sometime in the future. I think internal motivation and purpose of life is what remains in us for a longer period of time, even if it seems it vanished due to temporary ups and downs of life. What ever your profession is please tell us what motivates you to go to work, considering you don’t have time constraint at work, if you stay late in the night, what is it that keeps you in the office?
In contrary to the positive motivation there is a negative motivation. You might have faced it in different scenarios. If you are not lucky enough to work with all positive people around you, sure you get one motivated to do something negative. There are people who are motivated to get to office in the morning to make your life a misery. Have you faced one? I think this kind of people are one of the ruminants of the older generation, forgive my words if they are offensive.
Whatever motivates you, please let others know, that would be letting sunshine in to ones life, motivating them to get to their goals.