Sunday, February 17, 2013

False Urgencies

Recently, The Job has offered me a number of occasions where the usual software development process of asking for an estimate has been skipped entirely,  Several times, the Manager is sending out an email announcing the next code freeze in 2 days, with a list of unfinished bug reports.  So there is a sudden scramble to finish things that night well be too much to finish in the remaining time.

This rant about bogus deadlines addresses this issue.  One of the tenets of good software is that is takes some time, and it is at least somewhat a creative endeavor.  So rushing your developers just to meet an arbitrary deadline is counterproductive.

Give them room.  Provide the list of desired changes, get estimates, and then juggle the schedule or the list to fit.

Oh, and never think that twice-daily, 2+hour progress meetings with VPs, EVPs, and the rest of the C-level wannabees are going to help.  Nothing ruins concentration more than knowing that in 3 hours you are going to have to explain why you haven't made "satisfactory" progress solving a problem, where "satisfactory" means "saving my division customer satisfaction rating so I get my 35% bonus" for the EVP

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