Devs name their top productivity slayers
That one colleague who spends fifteen minutes noisily crunching through dry cereal every morning. That idiot who spams your IM system with stupid videos of cats and babies falling over. Your addiction to Dinosaur comics. As the popularity of George Stocker’s article “How to destroy Programmer Productivity” over on Reddit/programming demonstrates, we’ve all got our own esoteric concentration killers.
Since it was posted yesterday, the piece - inspired by the graphic below - has spawned over 600 angry laments from coders around the world. In his article, Stocker breaks down his own 22 workflow killers, which range from general issues like developer fights and open offices, to app alerts, and imminent mortal peril such as, “Things BEING ON FIRE RIGHT NOW DROP EVERYTHING.”
Aside from that last one, which of more of an HR matter, there are also clearly things we can do to mitigate these time killers. Having identified his concentration holes, Stocker identifies a clear set of methods for eliminating them, and arrives at the conclusion that, aside from external issues like open offices, because ultimately “each of us controls what makes us unproductive...Whatever I can control, I should control.”
But what happens when matters are out of your hands? Whilst Stockton doesn’t directly cite any conflict with senior management, for many Redditors, inefficient bosses, who often lack a basic understanding of the tech space, appear to be a huge pain point:
Noisy offices were also a bone of contention for many. Whilst a lack of white noise or the general hum of office babble may not trouble someone in an administrative or chatter-heavy role, for someone trying to get into a creative flow space, every solitary attack of throat clearing can be a new mental gremlin.
So maybe I should see if I have Misophonia, I feel like I can't concentrate sometimes because the guy in the cube next to me types like he is beating the keyboard to death, or maybe it's just me. I also have serious issues with hearing people chew their food. It drives me up the wall so much that sometimes I have to leave the room.
And then there’s good old failure to grasp the principles of Agile, mixed with an unfortunate burning desire to implement modern methodologies - no matter how half-baked management’s understanding may be:
We pay lip-service to being "Agile." For example, a stand-up meeting can last an hour.
Although as one commenter points out, many of these points could be applicable to many modern office set-ups, a lot of them are particularly prevalent in tech due to both the nature of the work, and a the diverse bag of requirements employees in startup environments present. What about you JAX readers - what makes you retreat into SoundCloud, and what could pull you out?