Posts Tagged ‘structure’

The Concentrated Developer

February 24, 2011 1 comment

As a rule, developers are keen on some level of structure. Not the type that enforces so many constraints upon them that they are spending more time meeting development guidelines, more the type that means that, for any given day, they at least have an idea of the project area they are working on, and the final result they are working towards.

On a personal level, I like my days broken up into two separate periods of time: before lunch, and after lunch. Within those periods, ideally I:

  • Would not have to deal with (non-urgent) support queries on systems that have worked exactly the same way for six months now;
  • Could ignore the legions of recruitment consultants and outsourcing companies assuming that they are the only people who have ever called me, and always start each call with “Hi, how are you?”;
  • Would not have to deal with the setting up of new projects, or contacting random people on the offchance that I would be the only person capable of dealing with them; and, most importantly,
  • Will work on one project, with clear requirements that don’t need me to refer back to project managers and clients constantly.

Joel Spolsky wrote that it can take 15 minutes to get up to maximum concentration, at which point any developer is at their most productive. Don’t think of a phone call, or a “quick chat about another project”, as being a minor inconvenience; your developers don’t. It is breaking their flow, and as a result it is costing you money.