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Drive, Motivation and The Lotus Online Community

There's been a recent question on how to motivate the IBM Lotus Notes Domino Application Developer. Today this video came across my news feed:

This video, from, discusses motivation in the workplace. In summary, by removing the concerns of money from the highly-skilled person, not simply treating those people as a resource (or, some might say labor), and getting the hell out of their way, you'll wind up with amazing contributions.

But is that what motivates people like Tim Tripcony, David Leedy, Yancy Lent, Mark Hughes, Declan Lynch, or Nathan T. Freeman?

I hit the Sametime contact list to find out...

Tim Tripcony

when I think about the discussions bouncing around this week it wholly depresses me. But when I think about the code I'm writing (when I'm not allowing myself to get distracted again), the high comes back.

Then, like a beacon of all that's good, Tim flew off into Domino Designer to write another open source solution for the community...

David Leedy

I've learned a lot from the people in the Lotus Community. Contributing back what I can is my way of not only saying Thanks to those who have helped me, but to return the favor for those that need help themselves.

Honorable mention for his first response, which I'm certain would get this post block on most corporate content proxy filters...

Yancy Lent

I would NOT have become a developer if it weren't for Lotus Notes. I think a lot of people feel this same way and have an amazing amount of gratitude for the product line because of it. I remember years of thinking, I get paid to work on puzzles. How could I not give back and share the love with others that feel the same way.

Yancy recently spoke at our May 2010 LTIE Community Meeting about his motivation behind creating and maintaining, which is a community resource I use Every. Day. Thanks Yancy!

Mark Hughes

  1. Selfish Ambition - Recognition - Better Job opportunities - 15 seconds of fame - prizes 8-)
  2. I like to help others figure things out - it helps me feel like I have done something good and worthwhile.
  3. Paying it forward - I have received so much help and support from others contributing, I want to get others to do the same.
  4. Making Lotus Notes a better experience for users - lets face it there are probably only a few developers out there that don't need help and ideas from others to make the best applications possible. We all hold puzzle pieces to the same puzzle, but if we do not come together and share them none of us can see the full picture of what is possible.

Special thanks to Mark, who stepped back from his l33t work with XPages, HTML5, and the iPad to contribute.

Declan Lynch

Contributing to the Lotus Community is all about passion for a product and wanting to share that passion with as many people as possible, both the good and the bad aspects.

(On a side note, Declan didn't see himself as a leader in this community. I wanted to take a few lines to publically -- as I also did in IM -- correct him: he is a leader in this community, and his contributions are greatly appreciated!)

Nathan T. Freeman

Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.

Now, as for my motivation... When I leave work, the kids are asleep, and Shirley [my wife] is watching something on TV, I'm coding. When I have to go onsite, the drive is consumed by thinking up new ways to leverage the platform to do things that people don't think IBM Lotus Notes and Domino can do.

My immediate reaction to a friend who asks for help with something is that the end-product would make an excellent addition to

What drives me is pretty simple: I want to believe that when someone downloads one of the apps I've published or reads something I've written, that it helps them and makes their day just a little bit easier. It gets them home to their families or gives them more time to spend with their friends. And, if they're sitting on the couch next to their spouse who wishes to watch TMZ... well, perhaps they'll crack open an IDE and give back.

What about you? What motivates or -- perhaps more importantly -- demotivates you? Share your thoughts via the comment form below.

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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