Just Do It

I hate it, when people say that they will put something on their backlog. If it just takes 15 minutes, why the hell can’t they do it during the same day? It’s very hard to work with teams that never do stuff. They will put the thing on their backlog and it’s always going to be in the next sprint. Things get either done immediately or when the team gets tired of being asked about it. I prefer immediately.

I know that they cannot concentrate on their own stuff, if they have to do favors for others all the time. But sometimes something needs to get done urgently and it might be a very small thing. Hell, if someone needs something simple from me, I will always do it during the same day. I don’t want to make other people’s work any harder than it already is. I can surf reddit 15 minutes less. People are genuinely surprised, when I do stuff for them immediately.

It is called common sense, and you can apply it even if you are following some fancy methodology. I am not an expert on Agile or Scrum or Whatever, but I would assume that there is a section, which allows the use of common sense.

I have a tremendous respect for people who can help me with something on the spot without rambling something about their backlog. As a programmer, big part of my job is to communicate with others and make sure that the whole system is running smoothly as possible. It does not make any sense to refer to the backlog every time someone needs something.

Like most programmers I hate interruptions, but I hate it even more, if someone else cannot do their work, because I can’t find 15 minutes to help them. When I am in the zone, I don’t want to get interrupted by anyone, but when that rarely happens, most people have gone home already for the day. I guess you could compare it to having kids. You get stuff done when they are sleeping, but your responsibility is to be there for them when they need you. Software developers are a bunch of preschoolers anyway.

This approach works for me. I do my stuff on time and help others, when they need it. It probably does not work for everyone, but they could still try to squeeze things into their daily schedule instead of the mythical backlog.

Let the flaming commence!

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3 Comments

  1. Harry says:

    I follow the shortest-job-first (SJF) scheduling policy when someone calls me or stops by my desk. This lets me get them out of my way (mentally) and so I can focus better on my own work. Realistically, starvation does not happen… where I cannot do my own work because of continuous interrupts by jobs shorter than mine.

    Very much like Operating Systems scheduling.

    Note also that most metaphors in programming/software were brought in from the real-life situations and concepts. If you apply them back in real-life, you only have come a full-circle. I find it amusing also.

    Good post.

  2. I would write the title as Just (fuck) do it. I completely agree with you. There are times when I am just in the middle of something big, and all small things can get aside, but I try to do them ASAP, and also try to give an estimate and a possible quick solution for the questioner.

    Ruben

  3. DarkValkyrie says:

    There is always the possibility that the person whom you are asking to do a small task just doesn’t like you, and thus believes that putting off whatever you are asking of them is fine because you simply are not a priority in their working world.

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