Selecting the right person for the job

Taylor stressed the need for the right person for the job. Many factors, such as the use of software tools and methodologies, affect programming productivity. However, one of the biggest differences in software development performance is among indiv iduals. As early as I9f>8. a comparison of experienced professional programmers working on the same programming task found a ratio, in one case, of 1:25 between the shortest and longest time to code the program and. more significantly perhaps, of 1:28 for the time taken to debug it. Amanda and Brigette should therefore be rightly concerned to get the best possible people working for them.

What sort of characteristics should they be looking for? Should they go. for example, for the experienced programmer or the new graduate with the first class mathematics degree? It is extremely dangerous to generalize but looking specifically at behavioural characteristics, the American researcher Cheney found that the most important influence on programmer productivity seemed to he experience. Mathematical aptitude had quite a weak influence in comparison.

Amanda and Brigette will want staff who can communicate well with each other and. more importantly, with users. They well have some difficulties here. The American researchers Couger and Zawacki found that computing people would appear to have much weaker 'social needs' than people in other professions. They quote Gerald Weinberg: 7/asked, most programmers probably say they prefer to work alone where they wouldn 't be disturbed by other people.' This is reflected in the problem that people attracted to writing software, and are good at it. will not make good managers later in their careers.

B. W. Boehm considered the quality of staff the most important influence on productivity when constructing the COCOMO software cost models (Chapter 5).

P. M. Cheney Effects of Individual Characteristics, Organizational Factors and Task Characteristics on Computer Programmer Productivity and Job Satisfaction-in Information and Management. 7 (1984).

J. D. Couger and R. A Zawacki What motivates DP Professionals?' in Datamation. 24 (1978).

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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