So much is said about building a company culture, keeping developers motivated and committed. There are dozens of guides and top tips widely spread across the internet, but have you ever wondered what really makes developers happy and satisfied in their workplace? (and this is not Xbox or table football).  What do they expect? And what would make their job more effective? 

It’s time for a 21st-century successor to Agile – Async Software Development.


Here are the 4 points you need to bear in mind to keep your tech team satisfied:

1. Modern tools

Take advantage of async collaboration tools like GitLab, GitHub, Bitbucket. All of them provide three basic features: 

✔ Each deeply integrates version control with issue tracking.

✔ Each offers rich prioritization and assignment features.

✔ Each wraps all that up into a slick user experience that any member of the team can use, including nontechnical employees.

2. Flexible work environments

Let people decide for themselves. Some people work better in crowds, others work better at home. Some love open space, others need more privacy. Some are early birds, others – night owls. Don’t assign desks to anyone by default, instead, adopt a hotelling policy at your office.

3. Meetings only as a last resort

✔ Forget the planning meetings. Product owners may fill issues in the issue tracker, assign priority, assign them to people, and set a release milestone. Your engineers will know what to do by simply working on whatever the highest priority issue is in their queue.

✔ Skip the daily standups. Product owners may check the status in comment threads of issues and post a question when needed.

✔ Give up the backlog grooming sessions. Product owners review issue queue and should reassess priority on their own reaching out to others for advice when necessary.

Creative professionals need long stretches of uninterrupted time, so arrange a meeting only when all other channels of communication aren’t suitable for a specific issue.

4. Comprehensive documentation

With better-documented workflow, your workers won’t need to interrupt each other to search for ‘tribal knowledge’. Putting an answer in a FAQ or other form of async communication is much better than a constant shoulder tap.

If you are a technology-driven organization you must be aware that everything changes, even approach to work. Try to understand your people better and they will repay you.

Based on: Manifesto for Async Software Development.