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159160Re: [XP] Multitasking

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  • Adam Sroka
    Aug 8, 2014
      The article was really interesting. My mom self-describes as a great multitasker, but growing up in the house with her I would say that she is incredibly intelligent and versatile in her interests and abilities but easily distracted. She will take on several projects at once and make progress on all of them, but she's not really paying full attention to any of them for more than a few minutes at a time. 

      I am the exact opposite. I can hyperfocus on one thing and do it really, really well. If you ask me an unrelated question while I am doing it I will probably stop, listen, react, and then refocus. I have discovered that normal people find this annoying, but my choices are to ignore you, ignore what I'm doing, or stop, listen, react, and refocus. 

      Part of the reason I really love pairing is that I can bring another human being into that focused state with me and share a bit about what my brain is doing when I am there. I can also depend on a good pair to help me keep that laser focus pointed in the direction that maximizes customer value. 

      It's also part of the reason I love sitting together with the whole team. I will hear everything that is going on in the room but stay focused on what my pair and I are doing. If someone says something that is worth breaking focus to deal with I will, otherwise I won't remember them saying it an hour later. 

      On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, jeffreytoddgrigg@... [extremeprogramming] <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      The article on multitasking masters will probably make some people think that they are one. (It even says so in the article.)  But I don't think I've ever seen one.

      I don't think I agree with their assumption that multitasking mastery is genetic and not learned.  Yes, they demonstrate that practicing, for a short time, does not improve your performance.  But I don't think that's sufficient evidence that it's a genetically determined skill.  What if there are unintuitive approaches that lead to having the "multitasking master" skill?  What if really intense "training" over the course of months is what it takes to make the "breakthrough?"

      And still, I wonder if being a "multitasking master" would be a useful skill for computer programming.  While we do "juggle lots of things" to get to the right answer, I think that multi-tasking would make cooperation and communication with others difficult.  And I doubt that the "light" tasks they're using in the tests are representative of the "heavy" thinking tasks we do while programming.


      ---Ron Jeffries wrote :

      -- John Roth wrote:
      Here's an article to add to the file on why interruptions are bad, including references to the labs doing the work that backs it up:

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