Joel: On the individual level -- have you ever noticed that you can assign one job to one person, and they'll do a great job, but if you assign two jobs to that person, they won't really get anything done? They'll either do one job well and neglect the other, or they'll do both jobs so slowly you feel like slugs have more zip. That's because programming tasks take so long to task switch. I feel like when I have two programming projects on my plate at once, the task switch time is something like 6 hours. In an 8-hour day, that means multitasking reduces my productivity to 2 hours per day.This really depends on the developer. One of our most prolific developers has similar task switching overhead. When working on a single project he has the fastest development velocity I've seen. We have another developer who happily and efficiency works on three projects at the same time. He has different strengths, but they are both highly valuable team members.
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