Software Development Productivity

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jethro's picture

I have been working on a project for the last week and half that has some very complex coding required. There are a number of variables, arrays and concepts I need to keep in the front of my brain as I juggle the data and the concepts around so as to create the correct code to pull the right information out into reports for the client.
Every time I get interrupted by a phone call, the kids or something else, my immediate brain drops most of that and I end up coming back to the computer saying "now what the heck was I working on?"

There are a bunch of articles that explain just what is happening there (and no its not old age!)

Joel Spolsky puts it best

With programmers, it's especially hard. Productivity depends on being able to juggle a lot of little details in short term memory all at once. Any kind of interruption can cause these details to come crashing down. When you resume work, you can't remember any of the details (like local variable names you were using, or where you were up to in implementing that search algorithm) and you have to keep looking these things up, which slows you down a lot until you get back up to speed.

Hacknot has a good article that goes deeper and references some good material.

Jakob Nielson talks about developers' productivity from the human angle.

Theres an interesting discussion about offices vs cubicles in the comments over at fastcompany