FNB Codefest: “Reminds us why we do what we do”

Anthony Hugo, a software programmer from RMB made this comment at last year’s event; it shows why the new models of motivation really work.

Autonomy, mastery and purpose; these are the intrinsic factors of true motivation that Daniel Pink proposes in his excellent book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”. He also argues against extrinsic motivators like fear and reward, especially for knowledge workers such as software programmers. FNB Codefest tries to instil this new model of motivation; watch the video and see what people experienced. [paragraph 1 of 5]

Autonomy; “You’ve taken all the bureaucracy out” [Daniel Robus, 0:30] – large organisations don’t intentionally create red tape but it creeps in with size. Effective process controls in a large organisation are critical, customers trust banks with their information and money – they expect it to be looked after. Codefest creates a safe “play space” inside the enterprise for a few days that gives autonomy back to the coders who have the tools and skills to make magic with their craft. [2/5]

Malcolm Gladwell shows comprehensively in his book “Outliers” that people become masters at what they do the most and love to do regardless of why and when. Bill Gates, Lang Lang, Gary Kasparov and many more can attest to countless hours of mastering their skill (more than 10,000 hours) both at work and in their spare time. Codefest aims to bring spare time programming passions into the work place, “this is what we do in our spare time, we coders, we love to code” [Jacqui Diack, 2:25]. [3/5]

Purpose; “What we are doing at Codefest is at the core of what we want to do as a business” [Lezanne Human, 2:46] – the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” chronicles Viktor Frankl’s harrowing experience of Auschwitz. His survival depended on finding meaning; like any quest, successful fintech innovation is driven by people who really want to disrupt and radically improve. Whether it is the collaborative workspace, the solution benefits or even the peer recognition that coders get at the FNB Codefest, it is important to give them meaning and purpose (read here about whether bigger prizes achieve better solutions at hackathons). [4/5]

Don’t forget the cool-factor; the unwritten code of aspiration for any profession – find it and you light the fire of ambition. “It’s a really cool concept”, “nice to get around with new devs, experience gets shared … really cool” and, “it’s a lot more fun to do my work from here than it is to sit at Bankcity”. Every day across FirstRand our 4000 IT professionals find autonomy, mastery and purpose in what they do, this year’s Codefest aims to boost that motivation even more and offer a large dose of cool-factor. [5/5]

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