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40449RE: [XP] Re: Weaknesses of XP

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  • Bryan Dollery
    Jan 4, 2002

      I ran a project a couple of years ago. Whilst interviewing contractors we
      ensured that we mentioned that this project was on a tight schedule, and
      that it may be necessary, towards the end, to do some overtime. These were
      contractors, and they'd get paid for the hours they work, and as we were
      being so reasonable (admitting it up front) we thought that they'd not have
      a problem with it.

      Just about everyone we hired, and we only hired the best, said that they had
      real problems with this, but we hired them anyway, because they were so
      good. Ultimately, OT wasn't necessary, because we finished the project
      on-time, and on budget, using agile techniques (it wasn't XP, but it was
      good in that situation).

      Everyone stayed focused, and worked hard, partially because they didn't want
      to do overtime.

      I think that the problem here was cultural. I have recently come to
      understand that highly-paid kiwis (New Zealanders) want to have time to
      enjoy their lives, not piss around in work. I have a friend, who is a senior
      doctor at a local emergency department, who tells me that at the end of a
      shift the kiwi doctors just leave, even if they're in the middle of a case
      (he doesn't, he's not a kiwi).

      I come from England, and worked for a long while in London, which is a big
      commercial city like New York, Chicago, or Hong Kong. There you work until
      you drop, then you go and rest so that you can work some more the next day.
      For five years I only took Christmas week off, no other holidays, at all.

      Naturally, I emigrated to New Zealand, and now I've had the last three
      months off (although that isn't out of choice).


      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mike Clark [mailto:mike@...]
      > Sent: 04 January 2002 13:12
      > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [XP] Re: Weaknesses of XP
      > attkeithray wrote:
      > > --- In extremeprogramming@y..., Mike Clark <mike@c...> wrote:
      > > > I've never heard of a company requiring that new hires sign a
      > > contract to work more
      > > > than 40 hours per week. You seem to imply that they exist, and
      > > in fact they are the
      > > > norm in your region.
      > >
      > > This "expectation" is the norm for many companies in Silicon
      > > Valley. .. even one doing XP told me they expect 50-hour weeks.
      > > Employement contracts don't talk about hours, but in the job
      > > interview (in many companies), if you don't agree with the
      > > interviewer's attitude that 50- or 60-hour weeks are "expected",
      > > you don't get hired.
      > >
      > Interesting. Thanks for enlightening me with this report.
      > This interview topic is fundamentally different than having
      > employees sign a contract
      > to work 50-hour weeks. I obviously read too much into the OP's statement:
      > "Management hires people who promise to follow this strategy
      > - a contract is
      > established".
      > Nevertheless, I've yet to interview with a company that had the
      > expectation for
      > overtime on a recurring basis. Then again, when necessary I've
      > worked some level of
      > overtime on every project I've been on. In retrospect, I can't
      > recall a situation
      > where it was expected from anyone other than myself. It was
      > usually a result of my own
      > optimistic estimates or failures to communicate effectively.
      > Mike
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      The difference between me and the other surrealists is that I'm a
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