For me its accomplishing something by the end of the day.

I've been in IT for a few years now and I've noticed that the thing that keeps my morale up is being able to say "I accomplished something" at the end of each day.

I've found that accomplishing something is more important that my rate of pay or the tools and technology I use. If I run into a patch where I go for days or weeks...or worse months...without feeling like I've accomplished anything worthwhile...I find that my morale begins to drop to the point where I feel I need to move onto something else.

So what keeps you coming back to your job each morning? The pay? Technology? good co-workers? threats from your boss?

+6  A: 

some are:

  1. Good coworkers
  2. great work environment
  3. managers that listen to "the people"
  4. the possibility to employ side functions is encouraged
  5. great product
  6. lots of own responsibility
  7. posibility for learning
Could you explain point 4? What are side functions
Functions that have nothing to do with your work but are for the company (re housing team, first aid team, etc. ).
+1 for Good Coworkers.
+27  A: 

My mortgage.

lol +1 ...............
Click Upvote
:) +1...........
Paul Whelan
that's just hilarious, but sad if serious.
In the end, you need the job because you need the money. If you didn't need the money, you might be doing the same thing, but you would view it MUCH differently.
while this one had the most votes, I didn't accept it as the answer because I don't consider it a serious answer. If its just the mortgage that keeps us going then any job would do...
+2  A: 

Learning new things and beeing able to apply them at work.


Credit Cards and Loans I need to pay back!!

...and the holiday I hope to have... (that's more of a pipe dream)

+1  A: 

Not in order of importance:

  • Learning things
  • Feeling of helping the world go round (or at least the car-painting business part of it)
  • Team work
+5  A: 

Goals! Dream big, write them all over your walls. Seeing them every day will motivate you to do better each time.

Another thing that helps is having a supporting girlfriend/wife. I also find that working out at the end of the day is something you look forward to throughout the day.

Click Upvote
+8  A: 
  • I'm constantly challenged and learning things
  • I work with great people
  • I work in a great environment (mmm... breakfast time soon)
  • I simply enjoy coding and problem-solving
  • I enjoy helping other people on sites like this
  • I enjoy the fact that people like the product I'm working on
  • I don't know how I'd earn a living outside software, and it almost certainly wouldn't pay as well.
Jon Skeet

I completely agree on the value of acomplishment! The good thing is that this is something you can influence yourself when you organise your schedule.

Apart from that I like the following things about my job:

  • There is a lot of freedom where I can decide myself which way to solve a problem.
  • We have experienced colleagues that I can learn from
  • There is an inexperienced colleague who is learning from me (boosts my self esteem a little ;-)

OTOH what I don't like is:

  • Colleagues who follow the 'we have always done it like that' principle
  • Little or no management by our manager; he thinks we should solve any differences we have ourselves, without ever stepping in.

So far, the PROs outweight the CONs. And yes, I like receiving my salary, I would like to earn more, but that is nothing compared top the satisfaction of doing an interesting job.

+1  A: 


I have the chance to work in different technologies. Learning them and implementing them is great fun. When I fix a very big issue in the technology that I am working from a long time, I wont feel that motivated as when I fix a small issue in the new Technology that I am exploring.

+2  A: 

Working with other smart people towards a common goal is the most important thing to me.


Money required to enjoy life motivates me to go for work daily.

+1  A: 
  • my opinion is valued highly (I've worked where my opinion is worthless, and it's no fun.)

  • I'm expected to have ideas (my dad used to call me a "dreamer" and not in a nice way. Now I have to dream.)

  • I get my mind stretched (I'm writing code in 7 languages ... so far)

  • I'm expected to spend some time hooning around the internet, searching for useful stuff.

+1  A: 


what keeps me motivated in my job? Money!

why do I program? It is one of my passions in life.

If I didn't need the money, I would quite happily code for free as I enjoy it :-)

+1  A: 

The work. (only if it doesn't then I'm not)

At some point more money is just icing on the cake. It's more of a demotivator when it's market. It's all about keeping the brain occupied.

+1  A: 

My best motivations, so far, have been

  • Technology: the possibility to work with state-of-the-art technology (or just technology that is fun to work with) has always driven me forward
  • Coworkers: working in a fun environment makes it easier to wake up every morning
  • Learning: my first project was possibly one of the worst in the whole world (a long running Moloch that never delivered), but i learnt a lot about development process in general
  • Variability: being able to deal with different issues everyday makes it harder to get bored of my job
  • Possibility to work on my own: sometimes i find it easier to work in 'ninja-mode' with my headphones on and nobody around to disturb me, and being allowed to do so is a good motivation to keep working at the same place
  • Money: i understand that Maslow says self-realization is more important than anything else, but a high income can make me resist for a short period in a crappy environment

Actually, i found that having all of these motivations together is almost impossible (some tend to exclude each other, in fact), but at least a couple of them is necessary to keep on waking up every morning and commute for a couple of hours to go to work.

+2  A: 

I love my job, not because of the technology or financial rewards, but because I am deeply interested in the business domain in which we operate. I believe that our software products provide valuable tools to our (niche) community and, as a result, wider society benefits. (It is software that helps certain aspects of the drug discovery process). That is what motivates me.

In fact, before I got my current job, I worked on very similar software in my free time. I didn't want to throw away everything I'd learnt during too many years at universities! My earlier jobs weren't totally uninteresting, but I really just did them to pay the mortgage and fund a good holiday each year.

+2  A: 

Doing what I like :)


Hope that the next job will be better.


Not getting harassed by 8 different bosses...

Jason Miesionczek
+1  A: 

Red bull and Power Metal

+2  A: 

I want the product shipped.


Seeing something which started off as a blank text-editor window turn into something 1000s of people use every day worldwide. It's magical.

+2  A: 

Finding the (reason|meaning|purpose) behind what you are working on.

Example: I work for a logistics company specialized in medicine distribution. My grand-father was an Army veteran, and the nearest VA hospital is our client. So I always felt that I was taking care of my grand-father by meeting the hospital's needs.

+1  A: 

I've been programming professionally as a contractor for about 10+ years now and all I can say is that all these nice words about technology and self improvement and coworkers are all fine and all but that's not really what the motivating factor for me is. All will be gone and different tomorrow anyway.

Instead the most inspiring factor for me is being able to provide some kind of "help" or "improvement" to the people I work for and perhaps more important the people I work with.

  • If I'm able to simplify some code to make it more maintainable - good!
  • If I can improve the software so that the end-user will not be as annoyed as they were before - even better!
  • If I can contribute to a better working environment by writing some small scripts that help with a mundane and boring task - that will make my day!

That and the fact that someone will actually pay me for playing around with computers all day long. Amazing... I can't imagine what other line of work I would be fit to perform, I would get bored or fed up within a month. So everyday I go to work, I'm genuinely thankful that the world needs programmers.

Yeah, that and the mortgage of course...

+1  A: 
  • Sense of accomplishment - I got that bug fixed/feature done/refactoring change done.
  • Appreciation for work done - When a project is done there is that "Thank You" that can be quite nice and motivating at times.
  • Problem solving - This isn't quite the same as the first but I do like a good puzzle or problem to figure out
  • Paycheck - Got bills to pay, yeah but it isn't quite as good as the top parts.
  • Environment and co-workers are good and changes are generally accepted for making things better,e.g. switching to Subversion from SourceSafe or adding ReSharper to our Visual Studios. Also flexibility in time off and scheduling that is nice too.
  • Improving the world - Granted I can say this about most places, I like the good that the company I work is doing in the world.
JB King