This post is for programmers and managers who believe that spending more time on the project (in the office) is directly proportional to productivity of the programmer. Ok.. I’ll break a secret here.. “IT’S NOT”. Obviously you need to be in front of a computer to type, but the similarity with programming just ends there.
Here are few misconceptions by managers:
1. A programmer can produce more lines of code if he’s working on the project.
Probably true (if he’s programming at all). But more lines of code IS NOT necessarily what software needs. There are many other metrics which define productivity and ‘lines of code’ doesn’t really feature there. In fact its the other way around.
2. Programmer is available for status updates and meetings.
If one requires programmers to be around just for this reason, there are better ways to do it. Read about Scrum, offline status updates, etc. One argument is discussing technical issues with other programmers. That is true but can be done without extended hours too.
3. One is more committed to success of the project.
This one is completely WRONG. There are many factors that determine the success of project. Project execution, Team bonding, Effective communication… Spending time is not. A programmer can be doing lot of things right, with a long term view.. producing readable and highly maintainable code.
Ok. So what should programmers do with their time?
Utilize portion of your working time honing your skills and updating on getting more productive. Here are a few simple things you can do: