You know who you are (unless you don’t)

Alan Francis writes about programmer productivity in a piece titled you know who you are:

More from Steve McConnell’s After The Gold Rush 2nd Ed –

The range in productivity says that some programmers are much more productive than others, which implies that we’d like to find ways to hire and retain the best programmers. But that’s only half the story. In DeMarco and Lister’s study, 13 of the 166

programmers in the coding war games didn’t finish the project at all—that’s almost 10 percent of the programmers in the sample. In Curtis’s study, 6 of the 60 professional programmers weren’t able to complete the “simple” debugging task, again 10 percent.

Actually, I don’t know if they do know who they are.

I came across a report in 1999 or 2000 that stated that one dimension of incompetence is an inability to accurately assess performance against external markers. People who are incompetent are not able to see they are incompetent.


I’ll have to poke and see if I can find that study (originally saw it via Elisabeth Hendrickson).