Real hours of development work

How many hours of real development work do we do during the week?

So, we claim to work 40 hour week. I will put some average time that we spend on project activities and other personal things wee do so we can estimate how much time we loose.

Each working day has 8 hours of work. During this 8 hours we spend an hour on lunch that I’m not including in here. Then:

  • Iteration planning meeting: 1 hour
  • Morning stand-up: 5 times 10 minutes (average)
  • Dev huddle: 5 times 5 minutes
  • Story signup: depends on number of stories but let’s give it 20 minutes in entire week.

If we say we have meetings or discussions with clients on requirements etc. spending 30 minutes on it during whole week is optimistic average.

I’m not including Retrospectives and Longer meeting with a clients. Bug fixes dropped into development as well. So we have 2 hours and 5 minutes out.

Now, doing stuff not related to project:

  • Snacking/Eating/Coffee/Tea/Cigarette 5 time 30 minutes
  • Toilet visits 5 times 15 minutes (:))
  • Checking emails 5 times 15 minutes
  • Catching up with blogs, news, etc. 5 times 10 minutes

It sums into 5 hours and 50 minutes.

So all together it is 8 hours. That means one full day of development is out. 32 hours working week.

If we have lunches included into working time then we need to take 5 times 30 minutes to 1 hour. This can turn down into another day of work out. This leaves us with 3 days of development. 24 hours of pure work. It is one full day and night of work šŸ™‚

Imagine this, spending one full day on meetings stories signup, gaining knowledge. When that’s done, full 24 hours of work. After that 5 days weekend šŸ˜€ If only human capabilities could make it possible then it is not a bed perspective.

Keep up the good work  developers šŸ™‚


3 thoughts on “Real hours of development work

  1. You forgot to mention time wasted in waiting for compilation, restarting servers, launching, publishing, application response, etc. For a slow IDE like RAD 6 and below, it can mean 1 hour. And one hour of waste translates into 2-3 hours of extra waste due to loss of focus energy, context switching, strained eyes, distracted activities and so forth…

  2. You seem to be making the fundamental assumption that any time spent away from the keyboard writing code is wasteful, be it having lunch or a fag break or a retrospective or talking to the customer.

    I disagree very strongly with that. Software development is a discovery process, rather than a factory-like build-build-build and BAM kinda thing, and if you’re considering catch-ups and time spent with customers wasteful, you’re missing the point that writing code is incredibly cheap, and not really what an IT project in is about.

    Writing the right code, or better yet, not having to write the right code in the first place, is well hard. Nightmarishly, hair-pulling, tear-inducing, blood-coming-out-of-your-ears hard, if you don’t have the right people in the room gathering collective understanding and expressing the value it seeks in code.

    And you can’t do that by telling people they’re going to the toilet too much: micromanaging this sort of thing is one of the best ways to completely screw up the communication in a team.

  3. Hello Carlos
    I couldn’t agree with you more. I should give this article a title “Real Hours of Coding work” and write about that šŸ™‚ I shouldn’t also call it a waste talking to a client, getting feedback and requirements. Writting “the right code” would not be possible without that.
    The point of this post was more humorus then real life. Just tried to sell the abstract IDEA of 24 hours coding session and a day of preparation and a 5 days long weekend šŸ™‚
    Cheers, Greg

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