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Joel. You still doing the strict 9-5 thing?

I was searching for something on this site and I ran across this old posting of yours in which you give a brief review of Demarco's "Slack" and talk about trying to come in at 9 and leave at 5:

You still doing this or have you given up?  What about anyone else?  While I may be dutifully sitting at my desk for 8 hours (pacifying the bean-counters), I'm hardly working *efficiently* for those 8 hours.  Usually, I'm doing well to get 5 - 6 hours of "efficient" work done a day.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

To get five to six hours efficient work you need to be there for eight hours. The slack is necessary in most cases

Stephen Jones
Thursday, September 18, 2003

What's so wrong with 8 hours of work per day?

In my opinion, it's a very good program.

Jack Thybolt
Friday, September 19, 2003

The best programmer I've ever worked with worked a strict 8:30-5 schedule.  But he got more done in one day than most people get done in 3-4 days.  (And good stuff, too, not rush hack jobs; he was very professional about his coding and design).

I'm not saying he got more done BECAUSE he worked an 8 hour day (who knows?), but he's at least an existence case to show that you can do all your work in 8 hours.


Friday, September 19, 2003

A 40 hour work week is a standard practice of XP.

Personally, I'm trying to get that even lower.

I am frankly amazed at the number of developers who seem to take it for granted that they have to work 50, 60, or more hours a week in order to be productive. It's silly. The aim isn't to work harder to get things done, it's to change the way you work so you get things done more quickly. Simply throwing more hours into the equation is a inelegant, brute force solution.

Friday, September 19, 2003

For most people, if they consistently work more than 40 hours a week, their brain starts to slow down on them. They make more mistakes and are often less productive than if they'd just cut themselves off at 8 hours a day.

Just as important for me is 8 hours of sleep per night.

Brad Wilson (
Friday, September 19, 2003

I encourage my programmers to work 9ish to 5ish. In some cases, they need to stay longer, but with very few exceptions this is because of their own desire, and we don't force it.

This doesn't apply to partners. :-) We work much longer hours.

Friday, September 19, 2003

I struggled with this when defining my company, and I prefer: We work a maximum of eight hours per day, five days per week, except in truly exceptional circumstances.

Some people want to work the late shift, which is fine.  Just as long as they're not working the day shift, too.

The Pedant, Brent P. Newhall
Friday, September 19, 2003

I much prefer 8-4 ... but then again I've been known to start coding at 5:00 or 6 am :) I'm far more productive in the morning hours till about noon than after lunch. Of course, those hours from 5 or 6 until 9 means the office is completely empty and quiet - can get loads of work done then.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Dilbert Oa5

But how many bosses nod in agreement and then do just the opposite because their world is "unique?"

Friday, September 19, 2003

I've heard Joel say that programmers there "wander in" around 11 and stay until 7 or 8.

Mark T A W .com
Friday, September 19, 2003

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