The productivity gain that everyone ignores
Your team can become much more productive today! And the cost is very small relative to the cost of your developers!
You think that managers would be very interested in this sales pitch, yet almost none of them will buy it.
What am I talking about? Buying your development team new hardware. This especially applies if you’re developing in a language in .NET or Java where you have to compile your project.
I was excited to read this post today because this team gets it. One of their big improvements was to get solid-state drives for their code.
I’m trying to figure out how this doesn’t make sense. If you’re paying your developers $70-90k a year, why wouldn’t you spend a couple hundred dollars for a solid-state drive to help them get things done faster? If your team needs a profiler or ReSharper or some other software package, that request is almost always approved.
Compilation time on big .NET projects (even medium-sized .NET projects) is brutal. It totally slows down your momentum. There really isn’t much else you can do during this time (most developers check email, check Twitter, surf the web, etc.). Wouldn’t you like that to be productive time?
I’ve been playing with Ruby a lot at home, and surprisingly the most helpful thing I’m getting out of Ruby is a more productive TDD workflow. I write a test, it runs immediately, and then I move on. But in my .Net C# stuff, I write a test, click run, and wait a second or two. Those seconds add up very quickly.
I’ve been recording session of my own coding in short increments using JingProject.com (Techsmith). Watching myself as a spectator has shown both the practices and tools that slow me down. Record these videos and learn from them. Where appropriate show them to others like purchasing decision makers.
I agree completely. I make heavy use of virtual machines at work, but but old laptop only had 4gb of RAM. Switching VMs meant I had to suspend one and restore another, a massive break in my workflow. Huge drain on productivity.
Made my case to management and got a new quad core, 12gb RAM, hybrid ssd laptop for only $2k. Small price relative to huge gain in productivity and daily attitude.
Any company that quibbles over a few hardware dollars for tech staff isn’t seeing big picture.
@Seth, where did you get that laptop for that price? Details please.