Week 5: The Clean Coder, Ch. 9 & 10

Time management is a topic that spans all fields. I would argue it is one of the main keys to being productive. There were several items that stood out to me in chapter 9. Two of the biggest were about meetings and what the author called “Focus-Manna”. Working as a system administrator I couldn’t guess how much time I wasted in either pointless meetings or in meetings where the reason for the meeting had nothing to do with me. Most of the time I was forces to sit in the meetings by my supervisor and explaining why I did not need to be in the meeting was almost alway fruitless.

Time estimation is also a topic that applies many fields. Before returning to study computer science I went to school for cabinet making and carpentry. In the program there was a course dedicated to estimation. This course included the estimation of time(which is directly linked to cost) and material. One of the first things we were told as inexperienced estimators was to come up with the best estimate we could and then double it. Prior to taking this course I had been working in the field for about 2 years and found this to be pretty accurate. Now in the field of computer science I see the same issues with time estimation. I believe the root of most estimation issues is the tendency to over simplify the tasks. I like the point the author makes about making clear this is an estimate and not a commitment. One thing I learned in while working is to stand you ground on. Many times I would be working on a project and the supervisor would ask “How much longer until completion?”, I would then give an estimate of what I thought it would take me, the supervisor would then say “Well it shouldn’t take that long.” and proceed to explain why there time estimate is so much shorter. If I agreed that I should be able to complete the task within the shorter period of time I would almost never finish on time.

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