Context Switching

The precise meaning of the phrase "context switch" varies. In a multitasking context, it refers to the process of storing the system state for one task, so that task can be paused and another task resumed. A context switch can also occur as the result of an interrupt. - Wikipedia

The image is from WakaTime. is a great app.  I track myself with it so I can improve.

Sometimes a developer will take more than a day to complete work. The best way for me to get things done is to put my head down and focus.  If I'm interrupted or given too much to do at once the quality of that work goes down or might take longer to complete.  Bouncing around and not getting things done is a problem of context switching.

Multitasking is a great thing until it isn't. 

In the chart above, the project in blue and the project in green lasted all week.  If that work was bunched together the green project would have been completed on Tuesday instead of Thursday and the blue project would have been delivered on Thursday instead of Friday.  Instead of 2 days each, they both took 4.  The other projects would still take one day to complete them all. 

It is likely that more could have been done in that same amount of time.  It is also likely that the 4 hours and 40 mins of overtime wouldn't have been needed to get the same amount of work done.

An organization needs to give the developer time to focus without interruptions to complete work in a timely manner.  If that is not possible, expectations should be adjusted to prevent burn out.

That's my opinion.


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