DEV Community

Cover image for Quantum Developers
Peter Hozák
Peter Hozák

Posted on

Quantum Developers

Just like electrons, software developers are impossible to observe without interfering.

In the double-slit experiment, zapping electrons with microwave radiation changes your results (for historical reasons, we call that zapping process "observation," because the photon-electron interaction on the human scale is called "seeing with your own eyes," but this process is slightly more destructive to the internal state of chill of an electron [this has led to a lot of metaphysical misunderstandings of the beautiful city of Copenhagen {but let's not get there <yet>}]).

For a long time, humanity believed that the largest beautiful quantum objects were black holes (or rainbows, depending on who you ask), but the last few centuries of corporate fashion has created a completely new phenomenon that's been appreciated infinitely more: managers trust people for whole 2 weeks at a time without pestering them every 5 minutes: "are we there yet?"!

Before a Scrum Sprint was invented, a lot of project managers tracked the tasks by percentage of completion. Centering a DIV was either 50% done or 80% done, but it wasn't acceptable not to know the exact internal state of every microtask. And as we all know, intellectual workers are a lazy folk who cannot be trusted (yeah yeah, a drive for the efficiency of our glucose consumption is driven by evolution, it's biologically impossible not to be lazy, whatever). What changed?

As with any improvement in life, empirical evidence came to the rescue. When asked about minute details, developers are never finished, the results are never perfect. When left alone with a bag of tasks, those tasks get done, somehow and good enough. Over time, managers of the surviving corporations learned a magic ritual - trust the developers to do as much as possible without checking for progress too often. Sometimes, it takes 2x longer as their original estimate, other times they finish 5x faster. But somehow, when we ask about status of some particular task, the quantum state of that task collapses into a binary state "finished" or "not finished" and the latter state always takes 1 more week to finish - so asking the same question too often will make a task infinite with non-zero probability.

So here we are. Managers in 2022 trust developers. It happens by a miracle, and the spell can be broken any time they try to micromanage. The good managers just intuitively follow the Aprillion's Law of Quantum Developers:

Just like electrons, software developers are impossible to observe without interfering.


👋 I am Peter, a.k.a. Aprillion. My strong opinions are held weakly, discussion is open here in the comments or on Twitter.

Discussion (0)