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3 reasons why standup sucks for software developers

2 min read

Standup is one of my biggest frustrations throughout a decade of doing software engineering.

While it’s intention is to make me more productive, I feel like it’s done the exact opposite. It interrupts my flow and doesn’t even leverage the best parts of my brain.

Here’s 3 reasons I think standup really sucks.

1. Interrupts my maker’s schedule

The maker’s schedule is a term coined by Paul Graham in his blog post Maker’s schedule, Manager’s schedule

He describes the maker’s schedules being split into mornings and afternoons. A meeting can throw off an entire period. Paul even says, “it can affect a whole day.”

I’ve always been a morning person. Somedays I’d start at 6:30 am, and by the time standup comes along at 10 am, I’m halfway done with my day.

I’m usually deep in flow and it takes an hour or two to get back there after standup.

2. Doesn’t use my brain’s back burner

Standup is inherently flawed.

It has me choose what I’m working on the morning of. The problem with that is it misses an enormous opportunity to have my brain work on problems in the background.

Our minds are incredible effective problem solvers.

I’ve had many moments where I chose something to work on near the end of my day. Later, when I wasn’t even consciously thinking about it, a solution pops into my head.

3. Prevents me from getting started

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat around for 20 to 30 minutes because I didn’t want to get too deep into something before standup.

I do that because I don’t want to miss the meeting. If I do I’m seen as a bad or difficult employee.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the face-to-face conversations with my team, that’s important.

I think there are other ways to build team unity without a pointless meeting where it interrupts the key components of being a software engineer.

So what should we do instead?

Follow me on twitter, I’ll share an alternative next week.

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Written by Dan Willoughby

Hey I'm Dan. I'm the solo-founder behind Tellspin which helps dev teams respond to support through Slack. Tellspin takes the guesswork out of who should pay attention to which messages making it easier to focus. You should try out Tellspin and follow me on Twitter