I'm a Human Inbox

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Why Crunch Mode Doesn't Work

Why Crunch Mode Doesn't Work is an article speaking about the issue of long work weeks in the programming industry, specifically the gaming industry. Almost every other industry in the world realizes that overworking your employees just doesn't work and actually makes things worse. So why do people think programmers, or any knowledge based workers, are any different?

Any way you look at it, Crunch Mode used as a long-term strategy is economically indefensible. Longer hours do not increase output except in the short term. Crunch does not make the product ship sooner — it makes the product ready later . Crunch does not make the product better — it makes the product worse . Crunch raises the odds of a significant error, like shipping software that erases customer's hard drives, or deleting the source tree, or spilling Coke into a server that hasn't been backed up recently, or setting the building on fire. (Yes, I've seen the first three of these actually happen in the last, bleary days of Crunch Mode. The fourth one is probably only a matter of time.)

Man, and knowing all that I somehow managed to go to bed last night and get only 6 hours sleep. You'd think I'd learn.

Link (via Slashdot)