IT Needs Gamification. Conclusions on Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2016

It’s been some time since Stack Overflow published its yearly report on developers and their work. The opinions of more than 50 thousand programmers, developers, software engineers and others, create a comprehensive picture of IT today. It also shows that IT needs gamification.

We take a quick look at it through GetBadges-green-tinted glasses.

The report, consisting of 45 questions, undoubtedly is a tidbit, but for some it may be too big to digest all at once. This annual insight into developers’ work sheds light on their favorite programming language, education, age, gender, whether they prefer Star Wars to Star Trek and much, much more.

Why IT needs gamification?

Apart from being an exhaustive source of numbers drawing a picture of today’s IT industry, the survey reveals, importantly for us, some issues and matters that can be rooted out by gamification. These statistics show that the industry is in need of gamification and validates its purpose.

In terms of gamification, the most insightful answers provided by respondents were related to job priorities, challenges and satisfaction across industries.

Whereas job priorities chart reflects that apart from salary developers put strong value also to other areas of work, answers regarding job satisfaction and challenges show that not everything’s coming up roses.

Developers value quality working environment

gamification quality working environment

The survey proved that developers, apart from salary and work-life balance, appreciate company culture and quality colleagues. It can be boiled down to two words: quality environment. And this one can be even more improved by gamification. How about creating exceptional company culture?

stack overflow job priorities

Source: Stack Overflow

Whether it’s me or you, we all appreciate having good time in a friendly environment at work. Precise vision, symbols and believes inside the company harden the relationships between colleagues and the company. These factors can be cemented to an even greater extent by the mean of gamification. The sense of an in-game mission, a common goal not only at work, but also in game, improves collaboration and team spirit.

In GetBadges, a game master can create events, spawn monsters of various qualities and create custom badges to bring into the game some inside company humor.  

It brings company culture to a whole new level and provides an additional source of employee satisfaction.

Challenges at work

gamification challenges at work

Secondly, we can also see that when it comes to challenges at work, developers face some burning issues. The most prominent problems include unrealistic expectations, poor documentation and unspecific requirements. Such problems can curtail enthusiasm and involvement at work.

it needs gamification

Source: Stack Overflow

 It’s a perfect environment for the introduction of gamification.

When working on a product becomes a thorny path, it is motivation that keeps the wheels turning. Game mechanics, such as badge system, experience points, titles, guilds and many other drive engagement and motivate people to take action. Game mechanics play the role of an incentive and helps people carry on through the project.

People working in the industry realize that developers are of a great value and it’s hard to maintain employee retention. Creating a friendly, quality environment makes developers more keen and interested in the job.

Job satisfaction

gamification boredom

Lastly, the survey on job satisfaction per industry provides two important insights, namely, it shows poor satisfaction across many industries except of one industry, that is the gaming industry.

it needs gamification

Source: Stack Overflow

Presented above, the humongous list of industries ranging from aerospace through banking to healthcare shows the low level of satisfaction across the board. It indicates that, on average, just a third of employees is satisfied with their job. Low satisfaction can be fixed by introducing gamification.

The survey shows that the industry with the highest job satisfaction level is the gaming industry. No surprise here. It’s due to the fact that developers in gaming industry work on a game and it instantly provides entertainment.


The survey shows that there some aspects and issues of industry that can be overcome or improved by gamification. Gamification gives a lot of opportunities of improvement in the area of company culture, satisfaction and challenges at work. Nevertheless, majority of people sees gamification as an unproductive and vague term. There’s more to the picture than meets the eye.

Stay up to date for more info on gamification! In the meantime, give it a try yourself and start playing!

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