Sudhcha Speaks

April Fool 2019

April 01, 2019

The following mail was sent to my team as part of April fool prank this year.

Dear all,

As we were brainstorming what should be the immediate initiative that we need to work on, we wanted to choose a road not or less travelled. One area we felt that needed immediate attention was developer productivity. So, we set on a journey to improve the same.

Problem statement:
We are constantly moving to better tooling, framework, languages and processes to improve developer productivity. While many of these are evolutionary, we wanted a revolutionary solution that will show drastic improvement.

How we approached this problem?
We assigned several volunteer to shadow developers across projects to figure out the possibilities. What we observed was that the self-organizing teams are figuring out continuous improvement from their side. So, we started to also monitor the time that’s being spent on all activities and find out areas that are on the blind spot for the team.

What we found?
While the developers are engaged effectively at their desk, we notice that there are some times that are being spent in the game room and cafeteria. Those are valuable minutes and even if it is under 5 minutes, we are taking about 4 hours of productivity per month; a 2 pointer story can be completed during that time. If we extend that to all 200 developers, we are talking about 400 story points.

The solution:
April Prank Image

  1. A camera will be installed in the game room and cafeteria.
  2. The images captured will be sent to our developer recognition engine.
  3. The developer recognition engine works with face recognition library coupled with input from our active directory and git repo for commit history.
  4. These inputs will compute a score for the developer in that room along with the time he/she is spending there.
  5. This data is then sent to our productivity improvement model which will determine if the developer needs more work.
  6. Based on the recommendation, the Azure Devops workitem API will be triggered to assign more stories to that developer with a strict deadline.
  7. This will force developer to finish the stories thereby spending less time in cafeteria and game room leading to improved productivity.

Does this sound ridiculous? Yes, we feel that way too. But then again, wanted to wish everybody a “Happy April 1st”. Apologies, if you wasted your productive time to read this. 😊

Sudhin Varghese

Maintained by Sudhin Varghese who lives and works in Chennai with some great minds. You should follow me on Twitter