How can I be more productive today?

Every now and then my wife comes home, looking not so satisfied with her workday. She complains that she spent first half of the day in meetings and the second half fixing a problem which was not in her area of expertise. She adds that she could not write any code for the project she is currently working on. She concludes the daily report with “Today, I did not feel productive at all”, just to be faced by my killer(!) question “What does productivity mean for you?”.
As a developer, writing code is what I do best. I feel more productive when I spend more focused time on what I do best. It’s no surprise, I do not feel so productive when I spend my time synchronising our deliverables, or when I got interrupted by a QA friend about a bug in a feature that will be shipped next Monday. However, sometimes there is a significant gap between how it feels for me and what the reality is.
It is essential to understand that, as a software developer the only time I create value is, when a user inter…

Communication and Organisational Structures

Communication and Organisational Structures
Generally speaking, programmers are not the best communicators. They are great at communicating with computers but maybe not so great at communicating with other human beings. This is not because they lack the genes, but simply because skills progress as they are being practiced. And programmers typically practice the skill communication less.
A group of developers working together in the same context for some time, start to develop ways to communicate effectively with each other. This can be a conscious process that they follow such as Daily Standup. Or it can be an unconscious protocol that they learn, such as knowing that Person A will always help non-grudgingly if asked, unless she has her headphones on.
However, when these processes and protocols are not developed yet, things start to slow down. E-mail becomes preference over face to face talk, assumptions become preference over facts, avoid of conflict becomes preference over being direct…