It is wonderful and surprising that programmers are so motivated by the desire to create beautiful, useful, or crafty artifacts. This desire is not unique to programmers, nor universal, but it is so strong and common among programmers that it sets them apart from others.
This has practical and important consequences. If you ask programmers in the php programming field to do something that isn't beautiful, useful, or clever, their morale will be low. There is a lot of money to be made by doing ugly, stupid, boring things. But ultimately, the fun will make more money for society.
There are obviously entire industries organized around motivational techniques, some of which apply here. The programming specific elements that I can identify are:
- Use the best language for the job;
- Look for opportunities to apply new techniques, languages and technologies;
- Try to learn or teach something, no matter how small, in each project.
Finally, if possible, measure the impact of your work on something personally motivating. For example, when fixing bugs, counting the number of those that I fixed that do not motivate me at all, as this is independent of the number of issues that may still exist and weakly affects the total value added for clients of my business. Relating every bug to a happy customer, however, is a personal motivation for me.
How to be trustworthy
To be believed you have to be trustworthy. You must also be visible. If no one knows you, you won't be trusted. With your loved ones, such as your teammates, this shouldn't be a problem. You build a relationship of trust by being responsive and informative to people outside your department or team. Sometimes someone will abuse that trust and ask for unreasonable favors. Don't be afraid of it, just explain what you have to give up in order to be of service.
Don't pretend you know something you don't know. With people who are not on your team, you may need to make a clear distinction between “not knowing right away” and “not being able to understand it, never.