Code Cheerleaders, would you be more motivated?

Programming cheerleaders hired in China to motivate male developers.

Would pretty girls walking around the office routing you on to do more be a motivator?

I think the idea would be a nice distraction at best…and for sure, a real problem with the female programmers at worst.


Yeah…that wouldn’t work in the U.S. (or most countries for that matter). Talk about a discrimination suit just waiting to happen…

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Yeah, I read that article too. I found the whole thing a bit interesting. I don’t see it ever working out in the US, primarily due to discrimination lawsuits, but I also wouldn’t be motivated by it.

I do think some of the concepts that they fulfill though would be motivational. Purchasing of breakfast, break rooms with ping pong, or whatever.

Really most of my motivation comes from the fact that I work in a very relaxed atmosphere, I get to spend 10% of my time on whatever I want each week, flexible work hours, and to top it off, my boss/bosses will occasionally bring in lunch/breakfast/whatever.

So on some level I feel I have some of those perks, but I like to think most companies do not, and I think they could get a lot of value by offering them.

Ok. Answer this. Why aren’t there discrimination lawsuits against football cheerleaders? What if you had an all male dev team? Isn’t a professional football team also just a business in the end?


My daughter’s on a varsity cheerleading team that happens to be co-ed. So if they have some male cheerleaders in the workplace for the female programmers, that would be cool, wouldn’t it?

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While i agree in principle with the idea WebMachine, i’d just think cheerleaders (male OR female) more a distraction than a help. I don’t know about China, or the rest of you guys, but when i’m coding something, I’m head-down burrowed deep into it, and people talking to me is only detrimental to my work quality/efficiency.


You’re absolutely right. Focus is probably going to improve efficiency a lot more than the cheerleaders.

It is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE for the developer to working that way. They either need to get with the program or get kicked out door.

The difference there is that the cheerleaders don’t keep going up to the players and annoy them while they’re on the field playing. If they want to dance around on the sidelines, good luck to them. Having them in your face while programming surely would destroy productivity.

I can image a conversation with an “office motivator”. You’re deep in programming land when a sweet voice says—“So, what are you working on?” — “Uh, what? O, um, just working on Git via the command line.” — “Ooh, wow, I love when you move that mouse thingy the little arrow on the screen moves around!”

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Maybe that will be something new at places like Facebook. Instead of a simple meeting of the devs, it is a “prerelease” rally. Like the rallies I had in high school in the gym. You go there and there’s a band, cheerleaders, the leaders and the dev team and a whole bunch of the “spectators” all cheering you on! Lol! :smiley:


No. There is only one thing that can really motivate anyone - money.

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Actually, it is scientifically proven that money isn’t a good motivator for workers who need cognitive skills. Money shouldn’t be a demotivator though. :smile:

Check this video out.


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It’s just a question of amount :blush:

If I were told, I would be given more money, if I finished faster, I’d be pushing to do things I probably normally wouldn’t. It would most likely lower my production quality. If I were told, I would be given more money, if I would produce better quality, I’d have to ask, what is wrong with my quality to begin with and those things I learn, if they are factual in my mind, would have been learned anyway, without the bonus. Money simply isn’t a motivator and in most cases, it is a demotivator.

Advances in money come with responsibility and/ or with specialization. The more responsible or specialized for things you are, the more money you can expect (you still have to sell yourself!). So, take on more responsibility or be more specialized, when you can. You’ll end up with more for it later.


If I were told, I would be given more money, if I finished faster, I would be more focused and spend less time talking on SitePoint instead of doing actual work :slight_smile: I think in real world “motivator” is something that makes people stay concentrated on the job and prevents their distraction on web browsing, chatting, smoking, drinking coffee and so on. Most people work for money and only those who already rich enough (or crazy enough) can afford themselves to work for idea.

So yes, I agree there are many motivators to make people work better, but money takes first place in that list.

That is an indication of poor utilization. If you can dilly dally at work and still get your work done and on time, the expectations put on you are simply too low. That is a problem with management and not a question of money or motivation.


Sure! And the most interesting part is I won’t increase these expectations by myself without extra money. I have no motivation to do that :smile:

I bet, if you are managed/ lead properly, you would increase your own expectations, without even consciously realizing it and without extra monetary compensation. It’s just that such leaders/ managers are rare.


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I cant help but think about this…

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If I were told I’d be given more money if I finished faster, I’d put in more hours. :wink:

Your YouTube video references an MIT study, and it’s probably worthwhile to read the actual study. For manual labor tasks, we obviously don’t always move as fast as we humanly can, and there’s a lot of room for improvement if sufficiently motivated. But for creative tasks, we can’t simply choose to be doubly creative because someone offers a carrot. Nor for concentration tasks can we simply decide to double our concentration. For example, in the MIT study, one of the concentration tasks was the game Simon, where you have to remember and repeat sequences of colors. Personally, I can’t be twice as good at Simon on a whim even if someone offered me some cash. And if it’s a lot of cash (big rewards), then that can put pressure on a person, which can make people do worse at the game. Hence the study’s conclusion: big rewards, lower performance.

But it seems to me that the conditions of that study don’t transfer very well to a real world workplace. Writing software isn’t all Simon-style concentration. A lot of the time, writing software is a grind. And if I’m offered a significant enough reward, then I can choose to work faster, longer.

Though, if you do that too much too often, then you can get low morale and burn out, so don’t do it all the time. :slight_smile: