When I started doing software at Microsoft in 1989 there a clear and open recognition of the vitality of unbroken concentration. We had private offices, minimal meetings, minimal process. That changed very suddenly but it took a while before inhibiting concentration and maximizing interruption was right out in the open.

It really peaked in the Vista project; we had 20 hours a week of recurring meetings, and it took a 70 hour work week to get a half dozen hours of actual work done.

I’ve been talking to a bunch of freelancers on Slack; most of them seem, in terms of how we thought 30 years ago, completely deranged. Concentration isn’t anywhere in the picture, and they talk about cutting corners in code to meet deadlines because writing tests, or rather a single test per module, is the Prime Directive.

It’s crazy out there.

American Software Developer living in Vietnam. Classical musician (guitar, woodwinds), weightlifter, multilingual, misanthrope • XY

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