Relating Voluntary Turnover with Job Characteristics, Satisfaction and Work Exhaustion - An Initial Study with Brazilian Developers

Tiago Massoni, Nilton Ginani, Wallison Silva, Zeus Barros, Georgia Moura

High rates of turnover among software developers remain, involving additional costs of hiring and training. Voluntary turnover may be due to workplace issues or personal career decisions, but it might as well relate to Job Characteristics, or even Job Satisfaction and Work Exhaustion. This paper reports on an initial study which quantitatively measured those constructs among 78 software developers working in Brazil who left their jobs voluntarily. For this, we adapted well-known survey instruments, namely the JDS from Hackman and Oldham's Job Characteristics Model, and Maslach et al.'s Burnout Measurement. In average, developers demonstrated low to moderate autonomy (3.75, on a 1-7 scale) and satisfaction (4.08), in addition to moderate exhaustion (4.2) before leaving their jobs, while experiencing high task significance (5.15). Also, testers reported significantly lower job satisfaction than programmers. These results allow us to raise interesting hypotheses to be addressed by future studies.

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