Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Slogging Epidemic?

A few years back, if you are spending around 55 hours a week on your computer, you better be a geek. You are working out of passion to create some breaking product or in a Silicon Valley startup company. But this is no longer true. These days, most of the Software Developers are 'spending' atleast 55 hours a week, ending up in a 11 hour day at office or work through the weekend. I wonder, why the life is becoming so hard for the software developers.

Here are some of the responses I came across:
--> Work load is too much. Organizations are cutting the costs by reducing the man power while the amount of work keeps going up.
--> Software development is becoming highly complex and to stay current, you have to spend lots of time in managing the new stuff.
--> If you are not slogging, you must have finished your assigned job and you may get new assignment. So to avoid new work, pretend slogging.
--> If you are not slogging, then you are looked as if you are not committed to the success of the project, so you will be in the next pink slip list. You just can't afford.

While I agree one need to spend extra hours to get things done ocassionally, particularly in software development where almost everything is uncertain, I do not believe in slogging every day. If you slog almost every day in 4 consecutive weeks, some thing is seriuosly wrong.

Whatever may be the reason, the slogging epidemic is unreasonable. And I do not believe that any of these slogging teams can ever produce a better quality product. I found that these slogging teams spend good chunk of their time in fire fighting and fixing the bugs they created while they were slogging.

I agree fully with the argument of Joel [Hitting the High Notes], that best programmers under best working conditions produce the best software. "The quality of the work and the amount of time spent are simply uncorrelated."

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