The concept of drive popped up on our radar thanks to an excellent book by Daniel Pink with the same name. The premise of this book is to prove what really motivates people to be great at the their jobs. It is quite a good read and I highly recommend it, not only for the learnings about motivation in the workplace but also as a lens for which game design and player satisfaction and participation can be viewed.
Here is an entertaining summary:
When evaluating our culture and working to define how we want to improve it the concept of drive plays a critical role. There are several points made here that help inform the way in which we strive to run our studio. For example, we seek to provide autonomy through our milestone development process by having each developer propose and commit to the tasks that they believe will most support the overarching milestone goal.
There is no doubt that we still have many improvements to make, but ultimately if we are able to create a working environment that encourages autonomy, mastery, and purpose for everyone then as a team we should all be stronger for it.
What does this have to do with screening and interviewing candidates? The output of a developer who is properly motivated should look like this:
- You accomplish amazing amounts of quality work
- You exhibit bias to action, and avoid analysis-paralysis
- You embrace innovation, minimize complexity, and fail fast - knowing that it's OK to fail fast for the sake of progress
We look for evidence of this behavior, either in previous jobs or through other personal examples, when talking to our candidates. The points above represent a developer with drive who should respond well to our culture and environment.