Survey on Developers: it’s good to take care of your own career …

Pictures and Graphics in PT-BR. But with some good will it is understandable...

The research on how Developers perceive their Managers has been closed … Without encouraging results.



This question was only for demographic purposes. As all developers are reasonably treated the same way, it was out of curiosity. Also to generate concentration in the questionnaire.

  • Several replies were from the Electrical Engineers. The ideal was to have a more assorted public, however, their role is still, in sort of way, predominant on embedded market.

On the picture, 67% of embedded systems professionals are from EE.

Working Activity

For the very same reason of question 1.

  • As it would be expected from electricial and related engineers, high concentration on Hardware.

Management Activity: Perception x Execution

We don’t care about Talents.

This question is one of the most important questions in this survey. Its function is mainly to assess what theoretically the managers were tasked with doing. I recommend evaluating this data carefully. It will be the basis for various analyzes, even on other questions.

  • The myth of the technical manager is no longer the main problem of companies. I would say that in terms of people management, talent and leadership subjects, the great plague are Project Managers. Followed by product managers or business managers.
  • People management is held as critical to company success. Even more than the addiction on controlling deadlines. But that’s not how the team perceives…

Time is Money.

This question makes a check with the previous question. If what managers have prioritized is in accordance with their responsibilities. When crossing this data with the previous data, we come to some very sad conclusions…

  • The 26% who should be focused on people management, are not. It is the lowest priority of managers.
  • Logically, timing is everything for Project Managers and Business team.
  • The technical quality of projects is the third priority. This data surprised me: it means that our engineering quality has increased, which is good.

People Management? Meh.

This is another question that evaluates how managers are devoting time to important but not urgent activities. A true people manager should be concerned with deadlines, yes, but there are other important activities such as Knowledge Management, Innovation Management and also People Management. Conclusions:

  • In fact, managers are not only bad at managing people. They are bad of any management, except the management that looks for deadlines. Most managers are reasonable or bad at anything that could increase team performance.
  • Without a policy that focuses on people management, we have a manager who believes in authority and punishment. It is no wonder that the products developed in Brazil have so little innovation…
  • And note that the column “human resources” reflects the same as other people management results…

Everyone for Themselves

With this question, the goal is to do a final consistency check. In addition, it is also to evaluate whether the problem is human material in the person manager or if he/she is unprepared by the manager. The result tends to indicate that it is only the lack of preparation, which ends up being a relief. More conclusions:

  • Quite expected. If a manager does not care about people management, obviously he fails at coaching and feedback.
  • The good points: many managers are technically competent. And most are very ethical. Unfortunately, there are still about 20% of bad elements in corporate hierarchies.
  • Now look at two similar graphs: most managers make quality decisions with reasonable consistency, which generates reasonable quality. With reasonable cooperation. We still have islands within the companies and so we do not have an “excellent” within these 3 factors.

Your career is yours and it is not your manager’s problem.

This question also sought to assess whether the lack of relationship would be correlated in some way with the results. In fact, it seems to be. Look:

  • I am sorry for the 19% who always receive feedback from a manager who does not have priority in people management …
  • Look at it again: deadlines and results are always charged.
  • Career, every man for himself.
  • Now let’s see an issue that is hidden within processes and improvements: innovation. There is no concern in doing better, just in doing something new.

Coup of Mercy … No!

With the final result, the idea is to evaluate if managers would be well or poorly evaluated and to verify the compatibility of this evaluation with the result of the other questions. Thereby:

  • Interestingly, there is a strong tendency for the developer to evaluate his manager well. And this is totally worrying: most receive nothing, no feedback, no coaching, nothing about career. Even so, the developer thinks his manager is good enough.
  • Conclusion: developers do not know that they are masters of their own career or do not care about that.
  • The interviewees tended to give evaluations to the manager based on human material and not necessarily on the professional skills of the manager.

I had one book as a prize for identified replies.

About rftafas 183 Articles
Ricardo F. Tafas Jr graduated in Electrical Engineering at UFRGS with focus on Digital Systems and achieved his Masters also in Electrical Engineering on Telecomunications Network Management. He also author of "Autodesenvolvimento para Desenvolvedores (Self-development for developers). Ricardo has +10 years experience on R&D Management and +13 years on Embedded Eystem Development. His interest lay on Applied Strategic HR, Innovation Management and Embedded Technology as a differentiator and also on High Performance Digital Systems and FPGAs. Actually, he is editor and writer for “Repositório” blog (, editorial board member at Embarcados ( and he is Management and Innovation Specialist at Repo Dinâmica - Aceleradora de Produtos.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments