The identification of the factors that condition a software programmer’s productivity remains a key challenge for both scholars and practitioners. While a number of studies have focused on the impact of one or a few particular factors, the way these factors jointly condition programmer productivity is still unknown. This paper presents a conceptual model aimed at a comprehensive understanding of the factors that complement each other to govern the productivity of a software programmer. The model is based on complementarity theory and its systems approach and addresses an individual worker’s productivity, which accounts for cognitive, technological, and organizational characteristics. The analyzed factors are organized into a system of complementarities, offering two propositions that specify the conditions of a programmer’s productivity. The model’s key contribution lies in its unique configuration of two systems of complementarities, which have the potential to add to the literature on the productivity of software programmers. The proposed model can be employed as a guidance for the design of empirical investigations of the conditions of individual software programmers’ productivity as well as information worker productivity in general.

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