Productivity is a measure of output from a production process, per unit of input.

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288
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39answers
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Why don't all companies buy developers the best hardware?

I must be missing something. The cost of employing a programmer in my area is $50 to $100 an hour. A top end machine is only $3,000, so the cost of buying a truly great computer every three years ...
145
votes
30answers
30k views

How many hours can you be really productive per day? How? [closed]

I find that I'm having a great deal of trouble staying alert 8 hours per day. I've heard of people who've negotiated work contracts of just 4 hours/day, arguing that they won't be able to do much more ...
141
votes
21answers
7k views

How do you maintain focus when a particular aspect of programming takes 10+ seconds to complete? [closed]

I have a very difficult time focusing on what I'm doing (programming-wise) when something (compilation, startup time, etc.) takes more than just a few seconds. Anecdotally it seems that threshold is ...
137
votes
25answers
13k views

Is it “normal” for people to not work?

After graduating from college I was hired as a junior programmer a little over a year ago. I quickly noticed that I was degrees of magnitude faster than all the other programmers; this seems to be ...
137
votes
22answers
23k views

Stuck due to “knowing too much” [closed]

Note more discussion at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4037794 I have a relatively simple development task, but every time I try to attack it, I end up spiraling in deep thoughts - how could it ...
123
votes
36answers
20k views

Programming with ADD/ADHD [closed]

I have diagnosed ADD. Mild but enough to affect my work: Easily distracted Can't concentrate on one project at a time Addicted to the web Procrastination etc. What strategies do you use to ...
121
votes
16answers
5k views

Does craftsmanship pay off? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Prototyping vs. Clean Code at the early stages Frankly, do you prefer Cowboy coding? After working in a number of companies, I am starting to realize that my commitment ...
115
votes
12answers
11k views

Time difference between developing with unit tests vs no tests

I'm a solo developer with a pretty time-constrained work environment where development time ranges usually from 1-4 weeks per project, depending on either requirements, urgency, or both. At any given ...
108
votes
16answers
9k views

How to avoid “DO YOU HAZ TEH CODEZ” situations?

I have a strange situation at work, where a colleague of mine often asks me and other co-workers for working code. I would like to help him, but this constant request of trivial snippets interrupts ...
106
votes
9answers
12k views

Am I too young to burn out? [closed]

I feel like I have burned out, even though I am only out of college for 5 years. For the first 3 years of my career, things were going awesome. I was never anything special in school, but I felt ...
98
votes
17answers
7k views

Being stupid to get better productivity?

I've spent a lot of time reading different books about "good design", "design patterns", etc. I'm a big fan of the SOLID approach and every time I need to write a simple piece of code, I think about ...
93
votes
18answers
21k views

How to explain a layperson why a developer should not be interrupted while neck-deep in coding? [closed]

If you just consider the second part of my question, "Why a developer should not be interrupted while neck-deep in coding", that has been discussed a number of times by smart people. Heck, even the co-...
90
votes
17answers
18k views

(Why) Should I learn a new programming language? [closed]

I'm quite proficient with Java, C/C++, JavaScript/jQuery and decently good at Objective-C. I'm quite productive with the languages and their corresponding frameworks too and do produce enterprise ...
82
votes
38answers
8k views

What programming skills have provided you the best return on investment? [closed]

What are the things that took you only a little time to learn, but had a big payoff? And how long did it take to learn enough before the they began to pay off? For instance, I’m not a master of ...
80
votes
17answers
7k views

How do you stop yourself from bringing work home? [closed]

Programming is a highly cerebral job, and one of the biggest problems I have is bringing my work home with me. It's so easy to do: whenever I get the chance to think, my mind naturally wanders to work-...
78
votes
20answers
6k views

Move on and look elsewhere, or confront the boss? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do you know it's time to move on from your current job? Problem: I had no prior experience when I interviewed, so I didn't know exactly what to ask them about the ...
72
votes
3answers
25k views

Correct definition of the term “Yak Shaving” [closed]

The wiktionary has two different definitions: Any apparently useless activity which, by allowing you to overcome intermediate difficulties, allows you to solve a larger problem. The actually ...
72
votes
2answers
17k views

Studies on how noise affects productivity of programmers [closed]

Does anyone have any links to studies that show how noise affects the productivity of programmers? Specifically I would like to see how/if productivity rises when noise levels decrease. As pointed in ...
66
votes
16answers
4k views

Should organizations penalize developers for the amount of defect reports filed against code they worked on? [duplicate]

Should organizations penalize developers for defect reports filed against their work products? I was having a discussion with my friend where he asks if a manager taking the number of defects filed ...
63
votes
38answers
3k views

What are the warning signs of impending doom to watch out for on a project? [closed]

Having worked on a failed project is one of the few things that most programmers have in common, regardless of language used, industry or experience. These projects can be great learning experiences, ...
58
votes
11answers
14k views

Metric by which to hold developers accountable [duplicate]

I asked a question on lines of code per hour and got torn a new one. So my matured follow-up question is this: If not lines of code, then what is a good metric by which to measure (by the hour/day/...
55
votes
6answers
33k views

“A good programmer can be as 10X times more productive than a mediocre one” [closed]

I had read an interview with a great programmer (it is not in English) and in it he said that "a great programmer can be as 10 times as good as a mediocre one" giving reason for why good programmers ...
55
votes
11answers
2k views

How do you stay productive when dealing with extremely badly written code?

I don't have much experience in working in software industry, being self-taught and having participated in open source before deciding to take a job. Now that I work for money, I also have to deal ...
54
votes
15answers
7k views

Dealing with frustration when things don't work [closed]

You ever try to implement something simple but for some strange reason it doesn't work. So you try a possible solution but then something else doesn't work. You keep trying different workarounds but ...
53
votes
12answers
3k views

How to take a step back and look at code with fresh eyes? [closed]

I've spent the last year as a one-man team developing a rich-client application (35,000+ LoC, for what it's worth). It's currently stable and in production. However, I know that my skills were rusty ...
52
votes
9answers
4k views

When do you know it's time to move on from your current job? [closed]

Have you ever reached a point at your job when you just know it's time to move on? When do you move to the point that you're willing to let go of the demons you know for the ones you don't know? ...
52
votes
6answers
5k views

Dynamically vs Statically typed languages studies

Do there exist studies done on the effectiveness of statically vs dynamically typed languages? In particular: Measurements of programmer productivity Defect Rate Also including the effects of ...
51
votes
22answers
21k views

What happens if you're unable to solve a problem? [closed]

I'm a year away from graduating from university, and I'm really looking forward to solving practical problems. Especially non-trivial ones which require a bit of research and a lot of thinking. But ...
51
votes
13answers
5k views

Should a software developer get a yearly equipment budget? [closed]

I am looking at a new position with a new company. I have talked to some people in the past (in general, not at this company) that they had been given a yearly budget to buy new computer stuff to ...
50
votes
9answers
8k views

What is the supposed productivity gain of dynamic typing? [closed]

I often heard the claim that dynamically typed languages are more productive than statically typed languages. What are the reasons for this claim? Isn't it just tooling with modern concepts like ...
50
votes
8answers
2k views

When stuck, how quickly should one resort to Stack Overflow? [closed]

I'm self-learning iOS development through the iTunes U CS193p course, and I often find myself stuck. I've been trying to get unstuck myself, but it might take me hours and hours to figure out what I'm ...
46
votes
8answers
2k views

How to advocate Stack Overflow at work [closed]

I am thinking of doing a short presentation at work about using Stack Overflow as a resource for your day job. What is your experience doing this? Would you deem it a valid resource to tell ...
46
votes
16answers
3k views

How do I deal with analysis paralysis?

Very frequently, I am stuck when choosing the best design decision. Even for small details, such as function definitions, control flow, and variable names, I spend unusually long periods perusing the ...
45
votes
8answers
6k views

Has there really not been one thing in the past 20 years that provided huge software development gains? [closed]

In No Silver Bullet, Fred Brooks makes a variety of predictions about the future of software engineering, best summed up by: There is no single development, in either technology or in management ...
42
votes
19answers
1k views

What to do about “stopping point syndrome”?

I have noticed a behavior in myself that I call "stopping point syndrome"... it means I cannot stop working until I reach a "stopping point" (or I become exhausted). In other words, if I am in the ...
41
votes
13answers
6k views

I am making 4-5x more story points than average, but producing bugs at half the rate. Graphs say it's 2x more bugs, how to deal with that?

So it is generally accepted that top tier programmers can produce an order of magnitude more/better code than their more average peers. It's also generally accepted that the rate of errors made in ...
40
votes
18answers
48k views

What is better for coding - desktop or laptop? [closed]

Use of desktops are decreasing day by day in daily life but for coding purpose are there any reasons for using desktop over laptop?
40
votes
9answers
2k views

What can one do when “lead by example” doesn't work? [closed]

I have been working for a big company (8000+ employees) for almost 2 years now, and was hired just after I finished my study course. Everyone here has to deal daily with legacy code which is often ...
39
votes
11answers
3k views

How do I prove to management that our programmers could work more productively? [duplicate]

Backstory I graduated less than a year ago with a degree in Computer Science (with extra courses in software engineering), and another degree in Software Engineering. I'd like to think that I'm ...
39
votes
23answers
13k views

Do you actually write 'clean code'? [closed]

I have seen some programmers tweaking their code over and over again not only to make it 'work good', but also to make it 'look good'. IMO, 'clean code' is actually a compliment indicating your code ...
39
votes
24answers
6k views

How do you stay focused at work? [closed]

Sometimes, the things I have to do for my job are interesting and engaging. Sometimes, they aren't. Occasionally, they really aren't. Do you have any particular strategies or tricks for dealing ...
39
votes
18answers
11k views

Does OOP fulfill the promise of code reuse? What alternatives are there to achieve code reuse?

Perhaps the greatest promise of using object-oriented paradigm is the code reuse. Some dispute that this was achieved. Why was it (not) achieved? Does code reuse as OOP defines it, make projects more ...
38
votes
20answers
25k views

How important is the ability to touch-type? [closed]

Did you learn to touch-type when you were already working as a programmer? If so how did it affect your productivity? Or are you still unable to touch type and do you think it holds you back? ...
38
votes
19answers
4k views

Would you purchase hardware with your own money to use at work to do your job better? [closed]

At work, I was given a reasonably-spec'ed machine (dual quad 2GHz, 4GB RAM, 160GB 7200RPM drive, Win7), but it was lacking in a few places (HDD / RAM). The IT staff was OK with me replacing hardware ...
37
votes
7answers
4k views

How do you combat programming fatigue?

Not fatigue as in 'I need sleep' but fatigue as in 'I just can't be bothered anymore' which usually sets in when you hit roadblocks in whatever project you're working on, generally the closer you get ...
36
votes
8answers
3k views

Is OOP becoming easier or harder? [closed]

When the concepts of Object Oriented Programming were introduced to programmers years back it looks interesting and programming was cleaner. OOP was like this Stock stock = new Stock(); stock.addItem(...
36
votes
9answers
5k views

Real world pitfalls of introducing F# into a large codebase and engineering team [closed]

I'm CTO of a software firm with a large existing codebase (all C#) and a sizable engineering team. I can see how certain parts of the code would be far easier to write in F#, resulting in faster ...
35
votes
17answers
10k views

Can you actually produce high quality code if you are sleep deprived? [closed]

I have heard about programmers coding for two days without sleep and drinking coffee and Red Bull. Also in movies like The Social Network, in a scene they show that Mark Zuckerberg has been ...
35
votes
12answers
3k views

How to explain my 5 burnt-out years off to a new employer? [closed]

Five years ago, I lost my ability to concentrate long-term, and therefore ability to code with professional efficiency. I know why it happened, I understood how it happened, and on top of being able ...
33
votes
22answers
3k views

Is it a good idea to always use Google as the first step to solving a problem? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Importance of learning to google efficiently for a programmer? Avoiding lengthy discussions, as a senior level student in CS, how can I get away from Googling problems I ...