Why Are Developers So Resistant to Change?

Thursday Jan 24th 2013 by Developer.com Staff
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Many have been burned by bad experiences with past managers.

Over the years, developers have developed a reputation for being resistant to change. In this article, Datamation's Eric Spiegel offers five reasons why developers may be reluctant to try new processes and development tools:

  1. Shame—When developers get caught doing shoddy work they may be embarrassed and resist efforts to make changes designed to avoid the same problems in the future.
  2. Bad timing—if a proposed change might delay project delivery, developers understandably resist.
  3. Fear—like many people, developers sometimes fear changes that are unfamiliar or that they don't understand.
  4. Mistrust—developers who have had bad experiences with mandated changes in the past may not be very willing to give additional changes a fair hearing.
  5. Just becasue—some developers just have personalities that are naturally resistant to change.

Spiegel tells managers, "If your best efforts to avoid the other change resistance factors are not sinking in, don’t waste too much time on these folks. Instead, focus on winning over the majority of the staff. Then consider it a victory and move on."

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