Transcript: On the value of not being busy

Transcript from the anchor wave On the value of not being busy

Hi All! I want to share a couple of thoughts on the value of not being busy. I was talking with a couple of software developers I work with and we got onto the topic of busyness.

One of the developers was talking about feeling a need to always be coding, constantly pushing code through to test, pretty much regardless of whether there was any capacity in the team to actually test this work.

Another developer in the same team had just finished a task, and was waiting for clarification on some queries before he could properly work the next priority items. He was asking for advice on what he should do whilst waiting for this feedback.

And again, he was feeling a pressure to keep coding no matter what. He felt he should start writing code for these items despite there being many open questions around what was actually needed.

Now, his work might be right, or might not be. The problem both of these developers was facing is that they had no capacity to react. They were so invested in their next piece of code they were creating. In their desire to be constantly coding, they had no capacity to deal with any feedback – from test, from the product owner.

What if instead of rushing to the next piece of code, to the next and the next, they stopped. Took 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or even longer and didn’t write code. Instead used that time to learn, to improve their own knowledge and understanding. They would be in a far better position to deal with any feedback, armed with both new knowledge around the problem, as well as capacity and motivation to actually react.

Now, I’m not saying this is easy to do. I know myself it isn’t., but time and time again, through my own practice of this and through observing others do the same, I’ve seen this approach, this attitude to development have massive pay offs.

How do you feel about this? Are you always in a busy state? Do you see value in not being busy? Do you find it uncomfortable? Reply and let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts too.