QZ.com: Why our startup has no bosses, no office, and a four-day work week



We couldn’t understand why people without technical knowledge had to tell programmers “what” to do and, furthermore, they had to supervise “how” programmers did it.

This article really resonated with me since I have frequently seen first hand how a lack of conscientious programming can cost an organization in the long run.Call me crazy but I have always taken the long view when coding since much of my work in recent years has involved unravelling the "shortcuts" and  sloppy work of previous programmer/developers. Why do so many programmers produce so much crappy code?

At big tech companies we frequently observed how programmers would do bad work in a short period of time and receive praise from their bosses. Over time, this leads to the standard: “let’s program with low quality but as fast as possible.”

So, blame it on the managers! Indeed after asserting that a developer needs at least a 4-hour stretch uninterrupted to be most effective, one of my favorite observations in the article neatly articulates the damage that even a "short meeting" can cause:

If for example, our boss assigns a meeting at 11am, then the morning is lost since I have to get ready for the meeting, attend the meeting, greet everybody, discuss the topics, then I have to go back to my desk and pick up exactly from where I had left off, see what I was doing and keep on programming. With all these activities, the whole morning is practically lost.

As the article points out not all developer/programmers are suited for a self-guided style of work, but I recently marked 3 years working almost entirely from home and have to agree that if you can pull it off, the benefits are tremendous, both in terms of quality of work and lifestyle. I believe my choice of platform (Lotus Notes) is also particularly well-suited to this style of work.


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