Many software developers are in favour of a kind of laziness, the laziness to think, design and test clearly. Instead they are very active in creating pages and pages of code, endlessly run the application in debug mode doing a treasure hunt for bugs and spend countless hours fixing bugs and regressing many others.
Steven Wright, a standup comedian says, “Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now”. That is very true for the brain, for subconscious part of ourselves, any new thing is an irritant. Brain will find a way of rewarding itself with chemicals when it is able to gratify very quickly, thereby rewarding more and more lazy behaviours.
It is super easy to nudge someone to be lazy than the other way. That is the reason a person may skip gym for a whole week but will find it tough to go to it for a week. This is the point where software development mangers do a double whammy by saying “I want the output fast, I don’t care about quality” thereby disrupting the delicate balance the developer had between quality and speed.
As a result, the developer ends up adding a new flag, changing all the methods from the controller to the repository to take that flag and finish off the work in a record time. The developer may also get rewarded with the developer of the month award. Other developers get the idea, they eye for more awards and recognitions.
The worst thing to teach a teenager is to borrow money and buy to fulfil their immediate needs. The teenager will never be able to grow out of that nasty habit. The same applies to programmers, if you tell them early in their career that they can compromise on quality to achieve speed, they are not only going to ruin themselves but also take their team down along with them.
Quality work is like investing in compound interest, you can only realise over time but in unimaginable levels. In one of our teams, we had a strict adherence to quality routines. The manager had only one yardstick to measure, it was no of stories delivered. The speed of the team went up to 8 times in the 12th week when measured against the first two weeks. We had to ramp the team down to keep up with the flow of the requirements.
For many, laziness pays off now but makes them and others around bankrupt in the longer run