Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Automic Blog, Michael Kopp, AppDynamics Blog, Kaazing Blog, Steven Mandel

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Silverlight

Microsoft Cloud: Article

Context Switching in the IT World Can Be Harmful to Schedules

Take the phone off the hook and shut down your email

One of the biggest issues I see in a lot of IT / Software Development environments is the lack of understanding when it comes to context switching.

There are a lot of managers that don't understand how much work is lost when they expect their team to multitask. More disastrous is the interruption that could have been an email or voice mail. I rarely answer my phone and shut down email when I want to concentrate. Cubes have wrecked the ability to focus. My current cube is totally open and I am surrounded by a support team that have a line waiting to talk to them sometimes.

When I was in the electronic engineering field we had offices. When the door was closed that meant you were in a meeting or deep into your work. Unless it was an emergency, rarely was there a knock. You'd get a polite email asking for you to let them know when you were free.

It can take an hour to ramp up and get into full motion. Getting interrupted can sent you back an hour and a half easily. You're not ramping back up from a clean shutdown, your ramping back up somewhere in the middle of an abrupt interruption. Kind of like a train wreck.

At TechED 2011 Microsoft introduced a new Visual Studio-vNext feature to help with context switching. In essence it allows you to save the current state of your Visual Studio work environment so you can return to it exactly like you left it. Although this will help a little if you need to switch to another part of the solution you are working on, it won't help the overall issue.

If I am working on a major issue that involves the entire architecture of an enterprise wide application, I may have a dozen touch points I am working on at the same time. To be pulled away from them unexpectedly for an hour or two to put out a fire can trash a whole day's work.

When I am in charge of a team of developers I expect the project manager to be running interference for us. Often that job falls on me when there is no project manager. I have often told my team in the past that if they are approached with a fire the only response I want them giving is the one that sends the person to me first. I don't want my team disturbed.

I have learned that in certain environments an estimate needs to be doubled at a minimum because you can expect to be pulled off a given task several times a day.

Managers that don't understand this find themselves way behind on the schedule before they even know what hit them.

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Chris Matthieu is the President & CEO of Computes, inc. He brings 30 years of experience in development and launches of disruptive technologies to create new market opportunities as well as enhance enterprise product portfolios with emerging technologies. His most recent venture was Octoblu, a cross-protocol Internet of Things (IoT) mesh network platform, acquired by Citrix. Prior to co-founding Octoblu, Chris was founder of Nodester, an open-source Node.JS PaaS which was acquired by AppFog and ...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...