Developer Motivation: 9 Ways To Stay Motivated

We've put our heads together to give you some advice!
Lee Higgins
Lee Higgins
March 28, 2019

In this digital age, distractions are everywhere. From active group chats to endless news bulletins, it can be hard to stay focused on our personal and professional goals. Learning how to stay motivated as a developer is easier than you may have first thought, however, thanks to the fast-paced nature of the industry.

In the interests of helping our fellow developers, we’ve put our brains together and come up with 9 ways to improve developer motivation.

Identify the root cause.

Spend some time troubleshooting your feelings in order to get to the source of the lack of motivation.

Do you feel unmotivated by the working conditions or the company culture at your workplace? Would you feel more motivated if you had the opportunity to take on more experimental or challenging projects outside of your niche? Are you feeling as if you need a new start altogether?

Once you’ve figured out the root cause, it should be easy to work out what steps you need to take going forward. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, you could, of course, apply to join the We Are Mobile First team!

Perfect the work-life balance.

It’s easy to feel burned out when you don’t keep your life in check.

Are external factors affecting your motivation at work? Consider changes you could make across the board. Get adequate rest, be present in your personal life and find a passion outside of software development that you can turn to when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Check out Ramiro’s post on minimalism and the work-life balance before scanning our Twitter thread for manageable ways you can work to perfect the work-life balance.

Learn to celebrate yourself more!

Too many of us wait for outside recognition to celebrate our achievements when really we should learn to be our own cheerleaders every once in a while.  

Take time to reward yourself when things go well. Acknowledge your successes and keep your portfolio up-to-date with all of your most recent projects. Having something you can turn to and instantly be reminded of your accomplishments is extremely important for your well-being.

If you work for a company, look at how they could build or enhance their framework for celebrating employee success – even if it’s just by adding five minutes at the start of a weekly meeting to acknowledge people who are doing good things.

Pitch to clients that excite you.

Make a list of your ideal clients. What industry are they in? How do they operate? What are their pain points when it comes to software development?

Think about ways in which you could work with them in an interesting way. How could your skills benefit them? What are they currently missing out on that you could provide?

Send them a creative proposal. Even if you’re met with rejection, you’ll have worked out what inspires you and what projects you’d like to take on in the future. If you work for a company, share your ideas with your co-workers. They may enjoy your ideas and, thus, be able to elevate them.

Network at events and attend hackathons.

Be an active member of both the local and global developer community.

Attend networking events in your area. Meet new people, develop your interests and get inspired. Alternatively, participate in hackathons and use your skills for good.

If you struggle to network effectively, read Albert’s post on networking for developers and check out our Twitter moment from our last Hackathon event at WAMF HQ.

Follow your favourite developers on social media.

Fill your timelines with developers that create things that inspire you and your work. They can often be found sharing industry news, advice you’ll want to listen to and opportunities you can take full advantage of.

Dip in and out when you’re looking for a burst of inspiration and don’t be scared to interact with your favourite developers every now and again when they raise interesting points.

Follow us on Twitter whilst you’re there!

Start a passion project.

If you’re struggling to stay motivated, create a plan for a project that you’re deeply passionate about. What problems do you want to solve? What niche are you most interested in?

Work out what you need to get started and dedicate time for it in your weekly schedule. Join up with friends to make it even more fun!

Alternatively, find an Open Source project that excites you.

Get a motivation mentor!

If you’re struggling to keep things in check, why not
look for a mentor

It could be a team member, a friend, or even a coaching professional!

Find someone you can bounce ideas off of regularly. Communication can make everything a lot clearer and you may stumble upon a wealth of ideas as a result.

Learn something new.

It’s easy to lose motivation when you’re doing the same thing day in, day out.

Is there an area that interests you that you’ve yet to research and get to grips with? If so, could you take a class and develop your skills?

Studies have shown that listening drives motivation. Listen and learn from your co-workers when they share their work with you. What skills could they teach you?

Set up a regular ‘skill swap’ with your peers in order to expand your collective knowledge.


How do you stay motivated as a developer? What advice would you give to someone that was struggling to stay motivated? Tweet us and we’ll retweet your responses!

We Are Mobile First is a digital product agency based in Barcelona. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Medium to be notified of our future posts and stay up-to-date with our company news. We share weekly content on everything from time management tips for developers to advice for new developers.