Effective Coding Time

13 Feb

I see may I.T companies make their employees sit more than 5 hours. In India, this goes up to 10, 12, 15, 16 hours at a stretch, yet most of them produce buggy software and many software projects fail. Why?

First the reason lies in the kind of employees the company hires. One must be very careful while hiring. You MUST hire employees who love to code and not those who have entered I.T field eyeing money. The person who codes must love the work he does. The second he MUST have an good coding environment.

This blog is not about that stuff, but I want to discuss abut effective coding time. People who were in code house with me must have seen that I make lot of jokes, prank, take lot of holidays, my team is always merry like people on drugs and drunk, yet we progress than most people who sit and code like army men fighting an enemy. How is that stuff possible?

Well if at all some one says that he will buy my software if I were to make my team regimental / sober I would say “fuck you I could make money in other ways”. Lets put that stuff aside, but if you notice a programmer carefully, you might see that he only codes only 3 hours, or 5 hours at the max when he works in his code house / office. That might be surprising, but its true. Most programmers head boils after coding for 3 hours. Mine boils after 1 hour of code.

When  say 3 hours it does not mean 3 hour stretch, but the three hours that actually that goes into converting his thoughts to the stuff he puts on the text editor. This three hours will have many gaps, mostly the programmer needs to think. One has to think like an author who writes an book, think how that some neurons that fire inside his cranium forming logic gets translated into source code. But the effective coding time is 3 hours mostly. More than that means possibly the programmer is dumb or his coding environment is not good and he must change job or his lifestyle.

Plus a  coders thought process when disturbed, it take his brain more time to get back that process. So when a programmer thinks, he must be allowed to think. There should be no interruptions.He should be able to do what he likes to do. Even a friendly social interaction might break it. This might explain why offices that encourage meetings a lot seems to have unproductive programmes.

Code houses must allow their coders to be flexible, its like writing a poem. You don’t say to the poet that he / she must write down his work on certain time, meet with boss to get instructions to put what words in a line and blah blah, neither poets should worry about patents (if you could understand what I mean). A coder like poet must be free to think, must be free to work any time, must be allowed rest, and when he feels like charging and attacking the problem before him, he must be allowed to run like cheetah.

One day a coder can have 10 hours of effective coding time, the next two weeks that follows he may have none at all. Any company that respects that and learns how the mind of a poet / author / coder works will have happy employees who like to work for it.

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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Technology


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