In a talk on IDE tips and tricks for Visual Studio, I asserted that good programmers are ten times as productive as ordinary ones. I didn't remember where I'd read that, but I knew it was true. I've just worked with so many folks who need a week to do what some superstars can do in a morning. The ordinary guy needs half a day to find some samples that are similar, half a day to tweak them so they fit into the current situation, a day to test and realize they aren't quite right, a day to adjust them and then fix the things that broke while adjusting them, half a day to get distracted and lured into scope creep by some comments during user testing, then another day to fix up what they did that they shouldn't have, and finally a half a day to clean things up and make documentation. The terrific guy only spends an hour finding samples, stays focused, documents and tests along the way, and makes short work of a specific small task. And I find this holds over months and years as well as over the course of a week.
Now I bumped across a proper cite of that, and not surprisingly it's from the Mythical Man Month. The quote and some related musings is over on Phil Haack's blog. Worth reading and worth thinking about. There are many ways to be productive ... write code that solves the real problem, don't write buggy code, don't write brittle code, and so on.
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