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What makes developers happy at work

Are developers actually happy at work? And what makes the difference between happiness and unhappiness: salary, flexibility, intellectual challenge, or all of the above? Stack Overflow surveyed over 350 developers around the world and came up with a new study. Here is some interesting data from it.

Developer happiness in numbers:

  1. Roughly 70% of working developers are happy at work right now, with over 90% saying it is important for them to be happy at work. India, the U.S., Germany, Spain, and the U.K. are the five happiest countries for developers.
  2. Salary (60%), work-life balance (58%), flexibility (52%), productivity (52%), and growth opportunities (49%) were the top five reasons for developers to be happy at work. Similarly, the inverse of these reasons were the top five reasons developers are unhappy at work: a low salary, no work-life balance, feeling unproductive at work, and the absence of growth opportunities. Feeling unproductive at work was number one (45%) among the factors that cause unhappiness—even above salary, which slipped to fourth (37%).
  3. When asked what makes for the ideal work environment, developers put windows, quiet surroundings, bright natural light, and plants at the top of the list.
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