“No overtime” as a hiring marketing expense

From my perspective, companies that expect employees to work overtime are doing something wrong.  But a lot of the time, that does not get through to people.  They think “hours working = features completed”. There’s a lot of scientific evidence against this idea, but it still happens at a lot of places.  So I’ve decided to take a different approach with the argument:  You should have a “no overtime” policy at your company as a marketing expense.

Despite what some may think, developers don’t like crunch time.  That means if word gets out that your company has employees working lots of overtime, it is going to be a less appealing place to work.  All other things being equal, a developer would never choose to work at the place with frequent overtime. Continue reading

You can’t hire away your quality issues

I work with a lot of companies that have more work than they can handle.  Actually, almost every company is in this boat.  But some companies handle this scenario very poorly.  When there is too much work to do, they work harder to get it all done.  As a result, they are often desperate to hire new people to take on the work load.  In the mean time, it seems that quality suffers everywhere as a result.  People are assigned more work than they can handle and that becomes an excuse for why everything’s broken.  Eventually you might get into a situation where it seems like you’re spending more time fixing problems than working on new features.

Hiring more people is not going to fix the problem because the problem is the company culture.  If your team sacrifices quality when they are asked to do more than they can handle, then your culture is telling them that quality isn’t important.  You’ve already lost.  If you hire more people, the only thing it will change is that you have more people in the exact same situation.

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