Amid the mass shuffling brought on by the pandemic has been a flurry of resignations. In particular, the data shows that the tech sector has seen resignation levels higher than many other industries.

This is curious. The pandemic has been a catalyst for businesses to become more digitally focussed as they pivot toward online offerings in line with customer demand and consumer activity.

So if demand isn’t the issue, then what has driven tech professionals to resign in such numbers?

Some thinkers have asserted that it is exactly this high demand that has compounded developer dissatisfaction.  Busy teams working on products and services within an industry of rapid growth is a recipe for significant burnout.  To say that the demand for digital during the pandemic was ‘high’ would be an understatement. Almost overnight, businesses and individuals turned to digital solutions to work, socialise, shop, and just about everything in between.

What fuels developer resignations?

Research conducted at the close of last year highlighted that 80% of developers weren’t looking for new opportunities. So if the resignation levels aren’t due to devs seeking new jobs elsewhere, then perhaps the dissatisfaction lies in the jobs they already have?

What makes developers happy?

Here are some factors that influence developer happiness.


Data from Stack Overflow suggests that 70% of developers are happy at work.  There are some regional variations, however.  Developers in India, the US, Germany, Spain, and here in the UK are the happiest.  68% of UK developers that were surveyed consider themselves to be happy at work.

Can money buy you happiness?

To post-pandemic workers, salary isn’t everything (although it helps!) 60% of developers believe that salary is a contributory factor in their happiness, but it isn’t the only thing. A healthy work/life balance, flexibility, productivity, and opportunities for growth were all cited as being important when thinking about what makes them happy at work.

If you are looking to support your tech team in their professional development, read our recent blog for some useful how-tos.

This data isn’t exclusive to developers though. The pandemic has forced us all to re-evaluate what makes us happy at work and many surveys concur with these findings.

Developers love to be productive.

Unsurprisingly, developers love to be productive (52%). This includes being able to see the tangible results of their work (45%) and code without interruption.  Many developers who were asked found constant interruptions or manager interference to be significant contributors to work dissatisfaction.

Management roadblocks and constant stopping and starting were reported to interrupt the developer’s ability to work well.

Does hybrid and remote working contribute to developer happiness?

The pandemic has also catapulted remote and hybrid working into the mainstream.  So if the home has become the new office, has this arrangement made developers more or less happy in their jobs?

The survey asked developers about their ideal workspace.  They concluded that windows, quiet surroundings, bright natural light, and plants were all conducive to a happy working environment.

They also asked for a chair. Demanding creatures, developers.

Home vs. office?

When asking developers about where they would prefer to work, only 27% would rather work in an office. 45% state that their dream working arrangement would be entirely from home.

What makes developers happy? The takeaways.

For employers wanting to retain their developer talent in 2022, it’s important to consider what will make them want to stay.

Developers want

  • A balanced work/home life
  • Flexibility
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • A fair salary
  • Autonomy in their workload
  • Meaningful tasks and work
  • Productivity
  • A quiet, naturally lit environment
  • Greenery and plants

not forgetting

  • A chair.

If you are looking to recruit a new team of developers, our recent blog posts on What developers look for in new opportunities and How to use your tech stack to hire top developers may interest you.

About the author: I work hard to find the best opportunities for my candidates and the best talent for my clients. My honest and pragmatic approach helps me to build lasting relationships and deliver real value.  I have extensive experience helping organisations overcome their critical challenges in the digital environment, and have worked with everything from start-ups to major global brands.

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