Skip to main content

Why a programmer should not be interrupted

I've searched for this a few times on the Internet before, and found some examples, but none as clear as Joel who, as usual, has produced a hilarious article describing the issue.

It is amazing how true all this is, he worked at Microsoft, so I guess he's had plenty of experience.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000043.html  Look at point 8.

I copy the funny part, but read the whole article as it contains other important steps any company should follow.


Here's the simple algebra. Let's say (as the evidence seems to suggest) that if we interrupt a programmer, even for a minute, we're really blowing away 15 minutes of productivity. For this example, lets put two programmers, Jeff and Mutt, in open cubicles next to each other in a standard Dilbert veal-fattening farm. Mutt can't remember the name of the Unicode version of the strcpy function. He could look it up, which takes 30 seconds, or he could ask Jeff, which takes 15 seconds. Since he's sitting right next to Jeff, he asks Jeff. Jeff gets distracted and loses 15 minutes of productivity (to save Mutt 15 seconds).
Now let's move them into separate offices with walls and doors. Now when Mutt can't remember the name of that function, he could look it up, which still takes 30 seconds, or he could ask Jeff, which now takes 45 seconds and involves standing up (not an easy task given the average physical fitness of programmers!). So he looks it up. So now Mutt loses 30 seconds of productivity, but we save 15 minutes for Jeff. Ahhh!



Thank you Joel.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How do you fix a roll of aluminium foil once it's started spiralling?

I had this problem.

Seen a post on Reddit.  Old one.

"This thread is archived
New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast"
That is a shame.  As I now have a better answer than any of the posts.

Get a pair of tweezers and scrape down from the part of the foil roll that is "stuck".  

Don't matter if it digs down into the layer beneath.  Try to maintain even digging across the roll.

Worked a treat!

I've had a idea for Boris.

This is what he should do.

He should go to Brussels and demand:

1) End of EU commissioner/president appointments.  These should be directly elected by the Members States populations.. think "US President"-style elections.
2) Move the European Court of Justice or the European Central Bank to somewhere in the UK (not London)
3) End the monthly move of the European Parliament to Strasbourg.
4) Probably a few other things he can come up with...

THEN

Come back to the UK and offer this new deal (and Remain) or full out (with all the implications like loss of NI and subsequently Scotland) to the people in a new referendum.

Spanish verbs

Damn Spanish verbs can be frustrating.  I been trying for 13 years, and still get confused.  Must be the old brain.

I found a great "Cheat Sheet" (for fun try getting a Spanish person to say that :)) on Dummies.com but it a bit long so I cut it down a bit to just the most useful verb endings.

The cheat sheet is only good for regular verbs, and the most important/often used ones are irregular.

So last intercambio I worked with my friend to translate some typical sentences.

Here we are:


My mother was here until today,

Mi madre ha estado aqui hasta hoy,

and she will probably be back in April.

y ella a lo mejor volvera en Abril

We all had a nice time.

Nos lo pasamos bien.

Tanya & Isabel went to Barcelona on Sunday for appointments Isabel had yesterday and today.

Tanya y Isabel fueron a Barcelona dominigo para hacer encargos Isabel tenia ayer y hoy.

They are coming back now and are expected to be at home when Henry and I get there.

Ellos estan volviendo ahora mismo y se espera qu…