Dressing-gowns are smart   Leave a comment

Mmm, Frosties.

Wednesday. Hmm. The problem with being so far behind is you forget things, and that’s a particular problem when there was so little to forget in the first place. You will be pleased to know that something happened on Thursday, to make a change from going to the gym, eating dinner (corgette stuffed with cous-cous, veg and frankfurter) and playing AI War.

As version control was now sorted, it was time to make a branch (ooh, get you and your technical terms) and get on with my next big job. If you’ve seen the episode of The Big Bang Theory with the montage of Sheldon and Raj working on the theoretical physics problem, it’s quite similar to that. Except far less intense and focussed. And without Eye of the Tiger playing. Most of the time, anyway. I generally just read the spec every now and then, and leave my brain to get on with solving the problem whilst I do other things. Charging in to the code won’t make anyone happy; it’ll just make a mess. When I get to the bit that looks like I’m working, all the work has already been done. I’m just typing.

In this case, one of the other things was preparing for a task that had to be done smartly on Thursday morning, a task with which I wasn’t terribly happy. My boss wanted an analysis of a database, to see how many quotes somebody had produced in a given time. Fair enough, you might think. However, that metric doesn’t take into account how many jobs those quotes turned into, or how much they were worth. It’s also incredibly easy to game, to the detriment of the company as a whole; would it be better to have someone who creates dozens of minimum-value, near-speculative quotes, or someone who generates a single quote, after considerable negotiation with a customer, that turns into a nice, chunky job that brings in tens of thousands of pounds? And yet. I did mention this, but don’t know if it was heeded.

I think it’s reasonable to assume that staff will do what’s in their own best-interests, and that most of them aren’t stupid enough to sabotage their own incomes. But if you make their long-term income dependent on sabotaging their company, how could you blame them?

It did make me consider what I would do if lines of code per day were my productivity metric. Certainly I wouldn’t use VB any more. I don’t like VB; I use it because it gets things done quickly and easily. Maybe I’d start using assembler, or possibly just C or C++, using new-lines as whitespace wherever permitted. I’d also avoid third-party libraries and applications like the plague. My productivity would go through the roof!

And no work would ever get done.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s