Developer under time pressure ? work faster : work better

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//for those not familiar with ternary operator the title means:
if(isDeveloperUnderTimePressure()){
    workFaster();
} else {
    workBetter();
}

Mind reading and predicting future techniques aren’t fully developed yet. So lot’s of software development projects is late. It get’s better when the agile processes are successfully adapted but it’s not always the case.

There’s always more work to be done in the project than we initially predicted. Business needs change, we misunderstand the expectations, estimation errors can be also a case. There’re lots of reasons something can go wrong.

“Improvement” ideas

Here’re two common ideas supposed to help get your work done in time:

  • You put in more hours.
  • You compromise the quality of the product.

That’s recipe for a disaster.

Overtime catch up

There might be some benefit in a few extra hours worked on Saturday to meet a Monday’s deadline, but you’d want to catch up with your private life at some point.

Nobody can continually do creative intellectual work for over forty hours a week. Your effectiveness will decline sooner or later.

Compromise the quality of the product.

Imagine you have to implement new functionality. The manager stays over your head and tells you to work faster. Or tells you there are only 16 hours in a budget to implement the functionality.

Now, you can do it in a quick, but messy way or take your time to put in place a cleaner design. If you choose instant gratification in that step and implement the change quickly and not cleanly, you’ll pay the price in the long run.

It’s called technical debt. Technical debt is anything that should have been done as part of a development but wasn’t. Those are unrefactored code, unresolved bugs, missing documentation, missed test cases etc.

Technical debt is like any other debt—you keep paying on it. Development time is getting longer. Implementation of new changes slows down because of debugging and hard to spot defects.

Don’t cut corners. Improve.

Schedule pressure leads to cutting corners, overwork, and growing technical debt. This slowers delivery of valuable features.

Help to build awareness inside your team about those things and you’ll see the great benefits in the future.

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