Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Some random quotes

"People need uninterrupted time to get things done. 37signals is spread out over four cities and eight time zones. From Provo, Utah to Copenhagen, Denmark, the five of us are eight hours apart. One positive side effect of this eight hour difference is alone time. There are only about 4-5 hours during the day that we’re all up and working together. At other times, the US team is sleeping while David, who’s in Denmark, is working. The rest of the time, we’re working while David is sleeping. This gives us about half of the day together and the other half alone. Guess which part of the day we get the most work done? The alone part. It’s not that surprising really. Many people prefer to work either early in the morning or late at night - times when they’re not being bothered. When you have a long stretch when you aren’t bothered, you can get in the zone. The zone is when you are most productive. It’s when you don’t have to mindshift between various tasks. It’s when you aren’t interrupted to answer a question or look up something or send an email or answer an im. The alone zone is where real progress is made. Getting in the zone takes time. And that’s why interruption is your enemy. It’s like rem sleep - you don’t just go to rem sleep, you go to sleep first and you make your way to rem. Any interruptions force you to start over. rem is where the real sleep magic happens. The alone time zone is where the real development magic happens!" - 37Signals 'Getting Real'

"We all know that knowledge workers work best by getting into 'flow', also known as being 'in the zone', where they are fully concentrated on their work and fully tuned out of their environment. They lose track of time and produce great stuff through absolute concentration...trouble is that it’s so easy to get knocked out of the zone. Noise, phone calls, going out for lunch, having to drive 5 minutes to Starbucks for coffee, and interruptions by coworkers - especially interruptions by coworkers - all knock you out of the zone. If you take a 1 minute interruption by a coworker asking you a question, and this knocks out your concentration enough that it takes you half an hour to get productive again, your overall productivity is in serious trouble." - Joel Spolsky 'Where do These People Get Their (Unoriginal) Ideas?'

"Don’t worry about design, if you listen to your code a good design will appear...Listen to the technical people. If they are complaining about the difficulty of making changes, then take such complaints seriously and give them time to fix things." - Martin Fowler 'Is Design Dead?'

"We usually think of debt in terms of money but it comes in other forms too. You can easily build up code and design debt. Hack together some bad code that’s functional but still a bit hairy and you’re building up debt. Throw together a design that’s good enough but not really good and you’ve done it again. It’s ok to do this from time to time. In fact, it’s often a needed technique [...]. But you still need to recognize it as debt and pay it off at some point by cleaning up the hairy code or redesigning that so-so page. The same way you should regularly put aside some of your income for taxes, regularly put aside some time to pay off your code and design debt. If you don’t, you’ll just be paying interest (fixing hacks) instead of paying down the principal (and moving forward)." - 37Signals 'Getting Real'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archibald_Putt
"Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand."

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