Practices leading to Enhanced Developer Productivity

Chandan Rai bio photo By Chandan Rai 2 min read

As a developer, I feel that the most treasured thing in a developers day is the Uninterrupted Attention Span, and great care should be taken to put the distractions at bay.

Developers, be spared!

We have hard problems to solve that nobody else has ever solved, but it’s a marathon not a sprint, and focusing requires deep concentration, not frenzied meetings.

We should cultivate the habit of doing focused work – one task at a time – starting with 30 minutes of uninterrupted work on a single task, and gradually extending it up to two hours.

We should avoid multiplexing and minimize multitasking. It increases productivity by avoiding wasteful context switching.

As a tech lead or manager, if we choose Agile for our team, we should not be blind to the realities of the situation. Agile is not a magic wand.

Managers, don’t be mean!

We, as human beings, are obsessed with elitism. This obsession is even worse with our upper strata of the society, who are well heeled. Same goes with corporations. This might be good but it also has a flip side.

As we grow the corporate ladder, we move towards managerial or supervisorial responsibilities. We start treating ourselves as elites and distance ourselves from the working class, very soon we are surrounded by other elites, the unnecessarily confident and loud mouth class, always giving a false air of superiority and a false picture of ground realities is presented by them.

Any non empahetic or cold shoulder response to the the working man may tick him off. Give him what he needs!

Managers: want productive devs and fewer bugs? Make sure they have frequent 3-hour blocks with no interruptions. Quiet spaces.

These are the major developer’s productivity killers:

  • Notifications
  • Meetings
  • Emails
  • Interruptions

Great managers know and try to obliterate them. Bad managers cause them!

Teams, be lean!

Running an organization is like running a family. In family, it’s not wise to have too many children and not be able to rear them well in a respectable manner. In modern age, the cost is extremely high in every respect - money, time, attention. Small family means better life - quality education, proper food, proper medical care and thus a better life.

Same goes with the organizations. Modern monolithic organizational structures should be refactored into distributed structures, the microservices way, having their own responsibilities and interfaces clearly defined with no overlapping with each other. There should be mutually agreed communication patterns and modes. They should fail independently.