GitHub Octoverse Spotlight on the “Good Day Project” When are developers productive and satisfied on the job?
What makes a productive working day for developers? What are the effects of unexpected interruptions on concentration? And are meetings really important? The “Good Day Project” from GitHub should provide information about this.
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The “Good Day Project” dealt with the question of what a good and / or productive working day looks like for developers.
The Good Day Project is a GitHub internal investigation into what things give the developer a good or bad working day. In a Spotlight article, the code hoster has now discussed three main insights. GitHub points out that productivity is a highly subjective, personal experience.
A particularly important but not surprising finding: Interruptions disturb the working day-but according to GitHub more than thought and beyond the end of the day. With minimal or no interruptions, the chance of having a good day was 82 percent. With a particularly large number of interruptions, the “chance of success” dropped to just seven percent.
The meeting is a (albeit predictable) interruption that developers can hardly avoid, whether in classic or agile teams. Here, as so often, the crowd does the poison: according to GitHub, developers who on average only have to attend one meeting a day have a 99 percent chance of delivering high-quality work. This is reduced to 74 percent for two meetings and then blatantly to 14 percent for three meetings.
Meanwhile, the development work goes far beyond pure programming. Nevertheless, especially those developers who published more code and created more pull requests had the feeling to have had a good day. However, again, the developers with the most created pull requests did not have the best days. GitHub suspects that creating pull requests ripped you out of your flow and thus interrupted the workday.
Based on the discussion of the disruptive factors, GitHub has drawn some conclusions for developers and software teams. We list these here again almost verbatim:
1. Take time to think
For the surveyed developers, it made a big difference if they took a few minutes at the end of each working day to reflect their own mood. Writing down the most important activities and feelings throughout the day helped them “complete” the day and gain insights. In other words, the small moment of self-reflection, pausing and thinking, has a great effect.
2. Manage interruptions
The good days of developers are exactly those when they achieve a flow. Few interruptions mean progress, quality work and less stress. “Even small steps to create focus time can add up to a big impact,” GitHub writes. “Try to block focus time in your calendar and make it visible to others, set yourself to ‘absent’, stack or move meetings, or see which meetings you can treat as optional.“
3. View productivity holistically
The number of activities does not necessarily imply a good or productive day. Using appropriate indicators can help everyone consciously and strategically manage their energy and resources, writes GitHub: “With a sophisticated model that involved more collaboration, fewer interruptions and other work realities, we were able to explain and predict progress, quality work, task management and well-being.“