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Journal Journal: 40 hours a week of productive programming?

I've been reading Joel Sposky's new book, The Best Software Writing I: Selected and Introduced by Joel Spolsky and the article from ea_spouse. Let's talk about the 40-hour programmer work week. The shelves are replete with software engineering books which also claim programmers' productivity drops past a certain point. Thus smart managers are encouraged to limit their programmers' time in the office to 40 hours a week.

I'm now entering the second hour of a conference call. No way can I get any productive work done. I sit here, half listening, surfing slashdot. Yesterday I attended two hours of meetings. Next week, we have a corporate enforced site shutdown (mandatory vacation). And yet, I still have to get all my work done, work that will require those productive 40 hours a week.

If I'm in meetings or getting interrupted, when am I supposed to get my own work done? Evenings and weekends, naturally. I've caught myself thinking, "I'll have to put such-and-such off until the weekend" because it'll take several hours of focused concentration which I can never have during the week.

Well, at least I can surf while on a phone conference. Driftnet meetings, those meetings that pull in everyone whether or not they could be necessary, are a completely fscked waste of my time.

Anyway. Let's see what's doing on at Amazon these days.

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So... did you ever wonder, do garbagemen take showers before they go to work?