Unmotivated Developers are Unproductive Developers
To maintain a high level of performance as a software engineer, you need to be highly
motivated. The relevant technologies are constantly changing, and it requires signicant
effort to stay up-to-date. Some of the most successful engineers are the ones who are
intrinsically motivated by the challenges of solving difficult software problems.
Potential Interview Questions to Identity Motivation
What Was the Most Rewarding Project You've Worked on? Why?
This question is usually asked to help determine whether you have traits that are desirable for somebody in this role. It can also provide insight into your personality and help determine whether you are a cultural fit for both the company and the team.
There really isn't a right or wrong answer with this one. Just be aware that you should try to position your answer so that it aligns with what you think might be desirable traits for this particular position. For example, you could describe a situation where you were motivated by a challenge, and then created a solution.
- "I once worked on a web application that was leaking database resources. Typically we'd discover the problem when the application performance began to degrade. Eventually the application server would become unresponsive. Then after 30 minutes or so, when the resources had timed out and been returned back the resource pool, the application would start functioning normally again. Initially we employed a brute force approach. I and another developer would comb through our application code and make sure that every database resource that was opened was then subsequently closed appropriately. This was a very labor-intensive process. Alternatively, I developed a solution using the Decorator pattern in which we were able to close database resources automatically, and log error stack traces indicating the location of the offending code. This saved us hours of time, and fixed this nagging problem forever."
Any response that indicates that you are motivated by material factors will be viewed negatively. You want to demonstrate that you are motivated intrinsically by the challenges that you'd typically face in this particular position.
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