Developer Worker Cooperative

A lifestyle experiment in health and productivity.

Full-time development is a meat grinder.

— Elixir / Erlang developer, founder of a local Elixir metup group.

Working as a full-time developer is definitely something you'll only do for a limited time in your life.

— Developer who switched careers to consulting.

In our IT department, people last about two years. Then they ask management to be transferred to another department. That is ironic, because the IT department is the one that management wants to staff the most!

— Person working in the sales department of a pharmaceutical company.

These are quotes from my conversations with developers, or people who work with developers — just a few examples. Many similar stories of freelancers exist.


It seems that our profession, as it is practiced today, is optimized for burnout. This makes it unsustainable in the long run.

That is because our society has a backwards, quantity-over-quality definition of productivity: more hours means more work done. This is not true when it comes to knowledge work.

Knowledge work:

  • creates value on a non-linear time scale
  • depends on the quality of lifestyle inputs
  • is very demanding, both cognitively and physically.

The cost of burnout is high to both individual and society. Loss of career capital, loss of income, stress, health problems.


We will form a cooperative of developers who will achieve more by doing less. We will demonstrate that a sustainable career in tech is possible, and that healthy developers not only last longer in their jobs, but are more creative and productive.

This is how we intend to fullfil this vision:

  • find freelance and / or part-time gigs for developers
  • help developers diversify their skill base within IT
  • help developers acquire skills outside of IT
  • teach them the foundations of a holistic lifestyle.

Details to come.