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Your developers have noise-canceling earphones, but do they have a noise-canceling workplace?

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Your developers have noise-canceling earphones, but do they have a noise-canceling workplace?

18-05-2023 Dvir Paravi

Meet flow – the metric you need to measure to improve productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction in the team!

Interrupting software developers during their work can have detrimental effects on their productivity, code quality, and overall well-being. Achieving a state of flow and engaging in deep work is crucial for developers to efficiently solve complex problems and produce high-quality code. Constant interruptions disrupt this state of deep focus, leading to context switching and increased errors.

By minimizing interruptions, developers can maintain continuity, work more efficiently, and meet deadlines. Uninterrupted focus also contributes to job satisfaction, prevents burnout, and fosters a healthier work-life balance.

It demonstrates trust in developers’ abilities and allows them to utilize their skills to the fullest. Organizations that prioritize uninterrupted work environments create a conducive atmosphere for developer success, enhancing productivity and overall software development outcomes.

What are the 3 main interruptions and what should you do?

1. Constant change of work plan

We work in highly dynamic workplaces and requirements tend to change from time to time. But sometimes, we rush to start development and end up throwing away code, working time, and developers’ motivation.

What to do?

Managers need to be attentive to frequent changes and recognize the trend, it might be more efficient to stop coding, re-group our requirements and go back to the team. Sprint progress doesn’t matter if you’ll end up throwing most of its outcome.

2. External interruptions

You can’t avoid it, it will happen and many times it even promotes better communication and collaboration between development teams, QA & CS

What to do?

Before planning the team tasks, take into consideration “the big picture”. What other teams are doing, will they encounter issues that might need your team’s attention.

Save some buffer for it – Good planning solves a crisis before it happens.

No one can predict or prepare for everything – too many interruptions? Identify the source and the subject – allocating dedicated resources for it might be more effective than random unmanaged approaches.

3. Meetings

Developing is a team effort, taking a developer to a one-hour meeting can affect the entire team. Developing is constantly engaging in a process that requires collaborations and micro-syncing.

What to do?

Know your audience – Developing teams have a daily routine: standup meeting, working in the “zone”, lunch break, and so on. Setting a meeting adjacent to breaks will be less of an interruption than in the middle of a coding session.

Think DACI – For each meeting you need the Driver who sets the meeting goals and oversees it. The Approver that needs to take the final decision. Contributors that bring relevant information to the meeting and are enablers for the decision-making. Informed persons that have no effect on meeting goals.

If the developer is a contributor, is there a way to deliver the information in an offline way? many times contributors lead the first stage of the meeting and for the rest of the meeting, they will wait for the meeting to be finally over.

If the developer is informed – a meeting summary or short sync talk might be more time considerate.


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