It turns out that the secret to retaining good RPG programmers is simple: pay them above average, and train them well.
Is this different from any other profession? Probably not, but in the System i world, holding onto good RPG talent and keeping them happy is not an easy task. During a surprise birthday bash in California, the folks at iDevelop chatted it up with another attendee who manages a team of RPG developers. Here’s their story:
It seems that she must be doing something very right because her team returned a 96+ percent job-satisfaction rating on a recent company-wide survey. The goal the company had set was less than 75 percent so the high rating among the developers was evidence of the great job the management team was doing to keep them happy and productive.
What’s her secret? She attributes it to two major factors. First, they pay attention to salary levels in the industry and make sure they are paying a bit above the average. Secondly, and we personally believe at least as importantly, they make sure all their developers are consistently and regularly trained in the latest features and technologies related to their RPG development. She feels this investment in training not only has the obvious positive benefit of making their applications as good as they can be and the developers as productive as they can be, but it also helps tremendously in staff retention.
Sometimes doing one of the most difficult things — like getting and retaining good RPG developers — takes simple solutions.