Developers and ideas, hm… (How to convince a developer to write down an idea?)

Developers are creative beings, they find new solutions on a daily basis, so they somehow have to be creative? Yes, but…

They are often very reluctant in submitting or explaining their ideas.

There are two reasons for that:
  1. They don’t trust others, or they think other will spoil their ideas. Maybe, others will not understand it or maybe they will not know how to realize it.
  2. They want to code it and finish it before anyone knows about it. Idea is their baby and no one should know about it before first stable version.
So, I was often seeing many developers submitting incremental ideas which generates savings or they have small improvements to their current product, but they will not do it if they don’t see the benefit. Small presentation in front of their colleagues or bosses will do it. Also, small rewards will also help in triggering idea submission.But what with business ideas? For giving “big” or business ideas , they really must trust the company. If they are disappointed or have no belief in innovation process of the company, you can forget assuring them that their potential ideas have a chance for realization.So there are 3 types of programmers according to belief in innovation inside the company:

1. Improvers – they are creating small tools or scripts which will help them or their team in seting-up environment or in easier/faster testing. These are improvements for everyday work which can help a team by saving time and in the end – money.

2. Non-believers – no chance to get an idea from this kind of developers, they have no belief in system and only hope to get ideas are laying in a long lasting presentation of success stories, but the outcome is even then – not certain. In a case of experienced developers it is much more difficult then with younger ones.

3. Innovators – no matter if previous ideas couldn’t be realized, this persons will generate new ideas and try with them. This kind of developers must be recognized and “nurtured” inside the company. Task Force teams or VIP persons which are used in special Calls for Ideas or targeted brainstorming sessions.

At the end those brilliant people will generate ideas, the only thing left is make it visible (ideas and developers).

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