When it comes to working in the software industry, I believe I can best summarize what the majority of developers and teams do by quoting Pink Floyd’s song “Breathe”:

Run, rabbit run Dig that hole, forget the sun And when at last the work is done Don’t sit downIt’s time to dig another one

I think that the verse goes quite well with the default behavior of developers when faced with an overwhelming amount of work on a project. It’s easy to “hit the ground running” and work as hard and quickly as possible, brute-forcing their way through it. However, this approach often means forgetting the bigger picture and leaving holes in the codebase. It can also lead to a constant feeling of “the sky is falling” while working on multiple tasks at once.

Sustainable pace is crucial for maintaining quality. Working nonstop will inevitably lead to burnout, which can result in defects and poor performance. By maintaining a sustainable pace, you can better manage your relationship with customers and communicate with them effectively, rather than resorting to rushed, last-minute conversations over instant messaging. Waiting for each new deployment to see if issues have been fixed can be frustrating for both you and your customers.

Add slack to your iterations. Estimate work before committing to it, and keep your work in progress limited instead of trying to tackle too many things at once. Only do what you have committed to for the iteration, and if you complete all your work, use the slack time to improve the environment or even improve relations with your customer by going over the existing and planned features with them. Do not take on the next iteration’s work early. Instead, schedule stories to work on during slack time that can make future work simpler.

For long you live and high you fly But only if you ride the tide And balanced on the biggest wave You race towards an early grave

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