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Why I hate deadlines!

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ToniKorpela

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So I hate deadlines, but why?

  1. Forces developer to work under pressure as fast as they can.
  2. The word basically means death of the project if the project is not finished when the deadline time is passed.
  3. It is used as a way to see if workers actually do their work with sub deadlines.


Basically I think that forcing someone to work under pressure as fast as they can hurts the project and when the time estimate is not enough. When deadlines are missed even some good developers are fired if they seem to be the cause of the missing deadline and managers can easily push the fault to the developers instead of himself. When developer works as fast as they can they might miss key things and cause bugs in the project which will lead to more delays. Some people just can no work under pressure which will make them uncomfortable and they most likely will resign from the work and find easier work like teaching.

Deadline means basically death of the project if the deadline is passed without completing the project but usually the deadline does not kill the project because more time is assigned to the project if there is money to keep paying the employees.

Something I hate is that if employee who is actually good fails to meet the deadline and as meeting the deadline is basically used as proof of working instead of scratching ass. The employee might get fired even though he might have been working as fast as he could, because some manager decided to give short deadline or some unexpected problem arrived.

Deadlines should be gone at least from the world of programming, because estimating the time required for completing software project is hard, because software projects are complex. Software will be finished anyway at some stage if the developers are given enough time and to create this time money is required for paying employees.

If you run out of money you have either employed too many people or you under estimated the size of the project. So if you do not want to let the project die because you ran out of money you need to find it from somewhere else to continue the project or kill the project and become a failure, the employees most likely will be able to find new jobs anyway.

If you do realize that you are running out of cash, you should start dropping features to make size of the project smaller or find existing solutions to the features to implement them faster instead of making your employees work faster.

God did not create the world in 6 days because he set a deadline for himself. He did it because he is god, but he could also have taken 12 weeks.
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I disagree, I think deadlines are a great thing. To counter some of your points,

[b]1.Forces developer to work under pressure as fast as they can.[/b]
This isn't true, when the developer sets out their timelines to his manager they should estimate it so they have enough time to complete their work. If any big roadblocks come up they should let their manager know as soon as they come up so that the deliverables can be adjusted.

[b]2.The word basically means death of the project if the project is not finished when the deadline time is passed.[/b]
This simply isn't true, the developer set out their deliverables for a deadline/milestone and they deliver them. Sure they're going to kill the project if they deliver 0 deliverables but they should hit most of them if they planned them out properly at the beginning. If they did run into roadblocks and let their manager know then as long as the manager let the publisher know early and possibly replace them with something easier to deliver for that deadline/milestone it shouldn't be a problem.

[b]3.It is used as a way to see if workers actually do their work with sub deadlines.[/b]
Isn't that what they pay you to do?

Setting up goals/milestones/deadlines are very important to a project. They help you to map out what the scope of a project is. Without them you'd wind up with a duke nukem forever, a project that just drags on and on forever!

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1. I have not had any programming work where I could have set my own timeline, if I had just had bad luck I do not know it, but for example I got work from this "comic" publisher who wanted website where they could sell their comics as digital versions. He did not want to use any existing stuff and had one of his comic artist to do the web design. I started to work right away with the designer after i had signed the employment contract. He did not say any deadlines to me, but said that i should complete it as fast as possible. So I wrote much stuff and the web design was ready, two weeks in he said to me that I have not done anything and i'm fired even though I had every day told him what i had done. Even now the "comic" publishing site is not finished and this was year ago. The reason why he fired me right after two weeks is because he tried to steal the code I had written and our contract had 2 week test period. I think he expected me to finish complex website where I needed to display images so that they could not be copied with any other way than print screen and you could only read first chapter as freebie to see if you want to buy more chapters.

2. What you say about deliverables might be true as a freelancer when you get to set how fast you work, but as I said already I have not met any managers who have let me plan my own milestones. If I run into roadblock of course I tell the manager, but I am not sure if he even understands what the actual problem is, but replacing a problem with other work is not the solution. The solution is to solve the problem which might take long time depending on the problem.

3. Yes they do pay me to work, but why the hell I should code 24*7 hours and get paid only for 8*5 hours. You know for example in sales you do not have deadline to sell something x amount in a week, because setting such deadline is basically impossible because you can not manage how many customers come in. You get paid for doing work and how much work can bee seen from the daily sales reports. I can always do similar reports for how much and what I have written code and what problems I have found instead of trying to work my ass off to meet some deadline so that I can keep my job. The employer always can watch the source control system if new source is being written and I can say I do commits quite often, basically always when I can compile and valgrind succesfully.

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Sounds like you've been working for some bad companies. How's a manager supposed to plan out your tasks for a milestone when they're not programmers. A good manager will always come to the programmer for task planning and time estimates and work with the programmer to plan out a milestone.

In regards to replacing the problem with other work. Often a publisher will expect that if something is going to slide then they'll want something to replace it, so you pull back an easier task from later in the schedule and extend out the more difficult task so you do have the time to properly solve the problem. Though if you have a good relationship with the publisher then you can just explain the task is going to take longer early on and they'll be ok with it, really depends on who you're working with.

You should never work 24*7 and get paid for 8*5 if you're expected to do that again, you're at the wrong company.

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Yeah well. Might be that my opinion of deadlines has been corrupted by working for wrong companies. Though once I finish my university I am going to start my own business and try to make it as comfortable working place as I can to my possible employees.

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