Aug 25, 2004

Productivity is Tools...

Over at Java Pro (defunct), Peter Varhol takes a look at What Makes Developers Productive, and his conclusion is none other than tools.

The article does not really go into what tools will make developers productive (he promises to evaluate some soon), but it is an interesting read, as it focuses on some misconceptions of developer productivity, such as the concept that a productive developer will be 100% productive in any environment, doing any job. In reality, the quality will probably sustain, but if the interest is not there, the productivity will diminish. Furthermore, education may form a foundation, but it does not correlate to productive developers. Peter implies that this is generally a management issue, though.

On the other hand, however, Peter also mentions that tools are simply an extension of one's skills. As such, not all developers will improve their productivity with the same tools. The example that he gives is that a carpenter with a hammer will not produce the same quality as he would, and that a part of this is practice and experience. Without the right tools, I have to find other ways of accomplishing tasks, which usually takes me longer to do than it would if I had the proper tools.

Peter finishes off by stating that there is no way to really pick people for an organization; you really have to pick the people that are sufficiently skilled for the position, but also can grow with your organization.

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