Devs name their top productivity slayers
Misophonia, inept managers and Agile fails all cited as major workflow killers. Whats jamming your gears?
I’ve tried explaining to managers before that an hour-long meeting is really two hours, because of the half-hour before and the half-hour where we can’t really be productive. Even a ten minute meeting is really almost an hour of non-productivity.
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.Managers… are weird, sometimes. I remember one who thought that by standing over my shoulder and staring while I was trying to track down a bug – was going to motivate me or something. He had no idea about programming or what to do, but somehow looking over my shoulder and constantly distracting me was going to help.I really think some managers would try toschedule “5 minute meetings, every hour” if they could.. you know… to find out why things aren’t getting done quicker.
It’s remarkable that we’re still having articles written on this, as though it’s new information, when Peopleware was written almost 30 years ago. One of the major conclusions was unsurprising: Programmers need a quiet environment to get work done. The most quiet environment is a private room. No one expects a programmer to get work done without access to a computer, but there are many companies that expect programmers to get work done without access to their mind. This is equally unrealistic.
Noise cancelling headphones have saved my life. Sure, I miss the occasional phone call. But that doesn’t bother me. It has a blinking red light that usually catches my attention.
Drum and bass for me. unz unz unz unz
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.
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?Social interaction is important to keep the stress low, but there has to be a balance. Agile scrum sessions are awesome when they are productive, but a daily meeting you have to attend because the PM needs to adjust the percentage points in his Gannt chart is the kind of thing that drives people batshit to the point where nothing gets done.