Does it matter whether IT people have fun at work? Autrijus Tang thinks it does, so when he set up the Pugs Open Source project, he had an explicit goal: Optimize for fun. The results are clear: More people get involved in the project, their work is of a high standard and they’re more creative.
Of course, this should come as no surprise. As any cognitive science expert will tell you, fun is a great way to focus the mind. Developers that aren’t enjoying themselves will slow down, write buggy code, make poor decisions, and eventually leave the project (even one that pays). Conversely, rampant fun will bring coders in droves, and give them a passion for their work that shows in quality, quantity, and goodwill. It’s a pretty good bet that optimizing for fun will produce a better product than almost any other method.
Here are the main thoughts of Autrijus on the subject (translated from geek-speak – sometimes it pays, having been a geek myself):
* Make fun your primary goal
* Embrace anarchy
* Avoid deadlocks
* Cast responsibility far and wide
* Working code is more fun than mere ideas
* Build a rich, supportive community
* Excitement and learning are infectious
Damn, that guy’s good!