An indecent amount of time. A scandalous amount of time. Never canceled, never let out early. But the kids have never known anything else.
Back then Microsoft, and probably a lot of other companies too, understood that we do our best work when we are allowed to concentrate without interruptions. It was called Flow and the highest priority of management was to protect us from interruptions. That’s why we had the free coffee and drinks, that’s why we had offices with doors and a Do Not Disturb sign was to be taken seriously.
And we got tons of work done, and with a lot fewer bugs.
Now the desire to work alone is seen as mental illness, toxic, antisocial. When developers can’t concentrate they not only get less work done, they produce more bugs. But instead of going back to what worked in the past we get additional layers of process and on Medium we get shit-tons of articles about the correct way to do unit testing, product owners, and all kinds of related BS that just interrupts us more. And unit tests? Dear God.
A few months of agile and I was ready to leave the industry I once loved, but boredom entered the picture so I taught myself iOS and ended up freelancing from home in .NET. No meetings, no teams. One conference call per week, like old times.
I think if I had to attend a sprint retrospective (“let’s talk for three hours about what we just learned about teamwork”) I’d end up in the hospital raving in delirium.
At least nobody talks about pair programming anymore. I’d rather be in an auto accident than do that again.
Tired of writing about this kid stuff, so I wrote it all up.