36 votes
Accepted

Has any programmer ever been paid per line of code?

This may be a reason for the claim, that "Bill Gates" was paid per line of code: Ars Technica wrote OS/2 was plagued by delays and bureaucratic infighting. IBM rules about confidentiality ...
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  • 26.3k
20 votes
Accepted

Does talking to a rubber duck improve programmer performance when debugging?

You're not going to find studies that do something like compare the effectiveness of a rubber duck vs a stuffed parrot specifically for programmers working on debugging tasks, nor can we really ...
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  • 3,819
16 votes
Accepted

Does innovation or productivity per resident increase by 15 percent, every time the size of a city doubles?

This claim stems from theoretical physicist and urban theorist Geoffrey West, portrayed in this NYT article. The paper is called Growth, innovation, scaling, and the pace of life in cities (PNAS 2007, ...
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  • 409
15 votes

Do Open-Plan Offices have productivity advantages?

Abstract It depends. Among other things, it depends on how it's managed and what the occupants' expectations of sound-field are. Most organizations implementing open plan outside the financial ...
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  • 267
13 votes
Accepted

Did Lord Kelvin say "If you can not measure it, you can not improve it"?

He didn't say that exact quote; Lord Kelvin tended towards rambling, so if you see any particularly pithy one-liner quotes, it probably wasn't him. His actual quote? I often say that when you can ...
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  • 2,077
4 votes

Does Habitat for Humanity hire professional "cleanup crews" to fix poor construction work done by volunteers?

So, in order to answer this question, I actually asked my father, who happens to work for Habitat For Humanity in NJ. While this cannot be considered definitive for all Habitat branches, it at least ...
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  • 1,048
4 votes

Do performance incentives work for knowledge workers?

The relationship of financial incentives to performance quality and quantity is cumulated over 39 studies containing 47 relationships in the study 'Are Financial Incentives Related to Performance? A ...
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  • 22.6k
3 votes

What study showed that using headphones to drown out office noise is detrimental?

"Music is considered an ecologically valid auditory stimulus since many different brain centers can be activated through functional dissociation between the ventral and dorsal networks involved in ...
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  • 22.6k
3 votes
Accepted

Does "startup employee effectiveness follow a power law"?

I've found an interview with Laurent Bossavit, were he discusses his book "The Leprechauns of Software Engineering". He makes that claim that the "10x Programmer" is for small sample sets with very ...
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  • 1,554
1 vote

Do workplace performance appraisals and workplace goal-setting exercises hurt morale?

Current understanding for appraisals Appraisals which are not linked to monetary outcomes such as bonuses, promotions, or pay rises seem to have detrimental effects for some types of employees. ...
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  • 22.6k
1 vote

Do programmers who learn to type faster become better programmers?

According to Cognitive Consequences of Programming: Augmentations to Basic Instruction Journal of Educational Computing Research , volume 2, pages 75-93 (1986): Teachers we surveyed recommended ...
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