Flow in the profession

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (née 1934) is Professor of psychology at the University of Chicago and a renowned author. «He refers to as “happiness researchers”and established the so-called theory of flow during his career. The English word flow (dt. flow) is available in this context for activity noise or activity lust.

The flow theory holds that a human being during a (z. (B. beruflichen) activity, which demands a certain degree of concentration of him, in a kind of “flow state”can get, several physical and psychological characteristics which can be described, including»

  • that the person concerned is able to concentrate on its / his work
  • Requirement and ability are in a balanced, so that on the one hand no boredom is created by Unterforderung and on the other hand, no fear or blockade by overwork
  • Action and awareness merge – often with the effect that worries or concerns that have nothing to do with the topic of working have the persons concerned, fall into oblivion during the flow state
  • the sense of time is changed (» you will not notice how quickly time passes «»).

As a physical trait was to mention that in the past, studies on several subjects could prove a possible change of heart rate.

«A flow state, briefly: flow, in professional life provides generally for an effective Arbeitsweise.Der» workers «is agile but still safe (low error probability).

An important prerequisite is to be able to get into a flow, that the activity has clear goals. It must be a

  • provide immediate feedback and to the other
  • be auto-telisch.

You’ll find an immediate response such as mowing the lawn. With every square meter can be recognised progress his work -» you can see immediately what you did “- while at the seeding of plants no immediate feedback, because only after a few days you can see what came out here.»

Auto-telisch means that the activity has their objective in itself. An entrepreneur who works out an advertising concept and is the printing of leaflets in order, pursuing the primary objective to increase its sales, to bring forth but not beautiful leaflets. The printing company, which produced the leaflets, however, has the primary goal is to produce high-quality goods (leaflets). For them, the activity has their objective in itself.

The most tasks that are provided to software developers, facilitate a flow effect. For the functioning of a computer scientist is usually such that he based on a requirements specification («that is basically a requirement profile, is described in the what a program» can «must) a computer program or a part of the program developed by he types in the source code (program code) into your PC and then checks to see if this works – either at all or its performances according to -. Run normally, he then notes that his program created is still improvement, make (small) changes in the source code, allows the program to back» «and immediately finds a change which identify themselves as an improvement of the previous version but still further be optimized can, so that the developer makes more work on his product, etc.». (This suggests that development iteratively work…)

The time intervals in which he can verify the quality of its programming work, are usually”short enough”, to ensure the developer feedback of his work quality in short time intervals.» «He can so quickly realize what it» «did. This effect is, as already mentioned, one of the most important prerequisites in a flow. Thus, the goal of immediate feedback is reached.

Programming work has also the objective itself (Autotelie). The computer scientist wants to develop a functioning program (primary target). He must however not the goal to learn, for what purpose, by whom or how effective his product is ultimately used.

On the assumption that software developers as professionals are not overwhelmed by ordinary tasks but also no boredom feeling, because even in a simple programming task, hides a certain challenge, another important condition is fulfilled, to experience a flow effect.

In conclusion it can be said: there are quite a few professional activities that fulfill the requirements for a flow for the user. The work of software developers is here described as an example of one of these activities.