You mentioned that developers leave studio’s for numerous reasons. How do some devs stay there for very long periods then (think 10+years)?

Most people choose to leave a job when their needs aren’t being met for some reason. These reasons tend to fall into one of four broad categories:

Scar! Brother! Help me!ALT
  • Personal reasons, e.g. caring for sick family, having children, pursuing a lifelong dream, wants to move out of the city/state/country, etc.
Pay me my money!ALT
  • Compensation/Career advancement reasons, e.g. being passed over or given no opportunities for promotion, pay does not rise with cost of living, pay/job title is not commensurate with the worker’s responsibilities, etc.
  • Job satisfaction reasons, e.g. hostile work environment, burnout, boredom with the role/responsibilities/project, does not get along with other team members, friends on the team are also leaving, etc.
You're fired and you need to get out.ALT
  • Job security reasons, e.g. the company/team/leadership/project is not doing well

We’ll set aside personal reasons here because those aren’t really something that the working environment can really affect too much. These other three categories - compensation, satisfaction, and security - are all things that the employer can affect. As long as a worker feels like their needs are being met - i.e. they have enough job satisfaction, compensation, and security to feel comfortable - they are quite likely to stay at their job. As long as that situation remains true for 10+ years, some employees will choose to stay there for 10+ years.

Oh, hey. Fancy seeing you here.ALT

Amusingly enough, my current studio employer collaborates with other studios on a well-known AAA franchise. I actually used to work at one of these other studios 10+ years ago. I was reunited in cross-studio meetings with some of my former coworkers who are still at that same studio 10+ years later. It does happen!

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