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Manager In A Strange Land: Turnaround Time (28 Nov 2003)
I find that when it takes more than a few minutes to see a change in the game, I lose "flow". I drop out of the zone. I start browsing web-sites, go get a drink, wander over to someone else's office, post another article to my blog, whatever: often the build finishes or the level loads and I don't even notice, creating additional idle time. And I forget what the hell I was doing. Frequently, when I see others "goofing off" at work, and go to investigate, there's a reason: they're waiting for data to build, they're waiting for a sync to finish. Although there are some conscientious people who sit and meditate on what they're working on while they wait for turnarounds -- and those guys are often the best employees on the team -- for most people, there's a point where turnaround times cost much more than just the wasted time spent waiting.
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