Friday, January 06, 2006

Effective Developer Productivity

Just came across this article on productive coding and moving forward

The gist of the article is all about how productive a developer is each day. Everyone of us knows we dont code for 8 hrs a day. When we are in the mood (or in the zone) we can get close to 5 hours of productive coding. And when we're not, ah well, let's admit it we generate a lot of internet traffic, go write some documents .. you get the idea !

And when we see that we're behind on the plan and are going to be in trouble pretty soon, we create a big imaginary boot to kick us out of the stupor and get back to work.

This piece of truth generates a lot of insights

1) Pair Programming - Each pair would generate more quality code per day than what they would have done individually. Why? Coz if one of the developer enters his zone and starts programming, he enthuses the other enuf to get him productive. Left alone the second developer would be well twiddling his thums, picking his nose and waiting for something interesting (like evening !) to happen.

2) Task Swaps - When I am in the zone, working furiously, and i get a small task to do in addition to what im doing, i lose it. Face it, you're in the zone, your manager walks in and asks you to monitor the build every hour or create some quality (CMM ??) documentation before the end of the day, and that task is enuf to break me out of the zone. Period. So Ensure when you're in the zone to a) disable mail alerts b) close all IM's c) not respond to any requests for squeezing in one teeny weeny bit of work into ur day.

3) Getting into the zone - Many a time, i've come to office and did nothing productive for the whole day and left at the end of the day. How do you ensure that you can get in atleast a few hrs of produtive work every day just to make sure you can satisfy the daily plan tracking manic manager ? Getting started on something is the hard part. Start on something small and easy so that a) on completing it you feel better b) more importantly, if u try anything big/hard in which you cant get something to work in the first half-hour, will end up getting u further away from the zone. Have a lot of small wins and a few hours later, you can bring on your big guns and start blazing away at those nasty bugs/functionalities.

Happy Coding !

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1 comment:

Aparna said...

hey, liked this post!! made me realise i m not in "d zone" jus now!! :) he he!!

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