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Context Switching Burns Programmers

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Leo Soto


Context Switching Burns Programmers

Posted by Leo Soto on .
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Context Switching Burns Programmers

Posted by Leo Soto on .

Here is yet another essay about programmers getting promoted into management. I agree with many things exposed, and disagree with others, but here is something I couldn't agree more:

The programmer, though, wants to be involved deeply and profoundly in just a few projects — he wants to own them, top to bottom. Maybe it’s a whole program, or a single feature, or some underlying library. Whatever. He wants to live in it, neck-deep. He has to worry about all — literally all — of the obscure technical details that make computers go. Jumping between projects — context switching — is a great way to burn a programmer out, because the cost of unloading one project from his head only to load up another one is enormously high. The idea of switching between two projects in a day, much less ten, is not only exhausting, but depressing.