July 24, 2012, 11:57 AM —
We learned 100 years ago pushing workers too hard makes for less productivity. When will programmers learn?
A blog post by Evan Robinson, "Why Crunch Mode Doesn't Work: Six Lessons" resurfaced again, and the debate over death marches, 80+ hours per week demanded by software managers, began anew. Henry Ford made the 40 hour, five day week the norm in 1926, after a dozen years of testing in his factories.
Software management, of course, often feels more time pounding the keys means more production. But intellectual breakthroughs, and creativity, need reflection time, not more keyboard time. And Robinson even states that after a certain point, "each additional hour worked produces negative value." How? Mistakes that take time to be fixed.
Most software schedules are falsehoods and everyone knows it. This is where the problem of crunch time starts.
Dean Schutze on infoq.com
Finding out that the company just hasn't scheduled resources properly, has let projects slide without correction and expected that they'll get "magically caught up" at the end is just lunacy
Kren on train2game.com
True for me
Just by observing the results of my work over the years, I know that pushing myself to work more results in lower-quality code: More bugs, less documentation, more corner-cases that I failed to consider.
Peter Wagener on infoq.com
The more demanding the cognitive task, the more important sleep and relaxation are. That is why in Steve McConnell's classic Rapid Development he advocates a 35 hour week.
btilly on news.ycombinator.com
I wonder if one thing that distinguishes successful startup founders is that they are immune to some force that limits the amount of productive work that other people can do.
pg on news.ycombinator.com
Software development is hard to schedule accurately because user expectations evolve during the application building process. The analogy with home construction is a customer walking through a half-built house and saying, "now that I see the fireplace there, I can see it would be much better over here".
Kirstan Vandersluis on infoq.com
How many hours are you supposed to work? How many hours can you give a quality performance?