Discussion on: Are interruptions really worse for programmers than for other knowledge workers?

strredwolf profile image

I doubt it's that simple, and I'll relate a real-life example.

I'm digging into a bug that was filed the past week, trying to figure out what went wrong and fixing it for the next sprint. Out of the blue, one of my support team members comes up and says "Hey Red, the board's showing the monitoring system's down."

I'm the monitoring system expert. I HAVE to stop, switch gears, diagnose the problem, fix it, or get someone on the phone to do the same.

I'm left with two to four hours eaten out of my day every time, and I CAN NOT do anything to prepare for the "recovery of what I was doing" because when I'm interrupted for such an event, it's the equivalent of "OMG everything is on FIRE!!!!" and I don't have time to even write stuff down so I can quickly resume what I was doing.

And in this case, the original problem I was diagnosing I don't have a solution for, because I'm still trying to find the problem when I get interrupted.

If there was a more extreme version of the comic, I would relate to it, because right now, as I'm writing this, I'm finishing up a project that I should of had done two days go... were it not for the fact that the above happened this week, in addition to glasses breaking and having get an eye exam to get those replaced.