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Joel on Software

2001/02/12

by Joel Spolsky
Monday, February 12, 2001

When you're managing a team of programmers, one of the first things you have to learn to get right is task allocation. That's just a five-dollar word for giving people things to do. It's known colloquially as "file dumping" in Hebrew (because you dump files in peoples' laps). And how you decide which files to dump in which laps is one of the areas where you can get incredible productivity benefits if you do it right. Do it wrong, and you can create one of those gnarly situations where nobody gets anything accomplished and everybody complains that "nothing ever gets done around here."

My latest article, Human Task Switches Considered Harmful, explains why you should be careful that each programmer is only working on one thing at a time.

Don't buy puppies at pet stores.

New Yorkers for Companion Animals

Petfinder


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

Want to know more?

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I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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