Every new development tool promises improved productivity. New languages promise better developer productivity; but, sometimes, the key factors for developer productivity aren’t the tools, the computer, or even the additional monitors. Sometimes, the keys to allowing developers to get more done are psychological factors that we’ve known about for decades.
In our world, we’re constantly interrupted. Our phone goes off with that latest alert from ESPN. It’s constantly vibrating from the stream of incoming messages, chirping from the latest text with our friends, and more. We ignore the phone vibrations from emails because Outlook conveniently pops up a toast notification telling us about the latest message. It’s stacked full of messages from the corporate HR department telling us about something we don’t care about, the thread of inane comments, and the SPAM that has become a part of our daily lives. More toast from our instant messaging tools pop up with notifications when our colleagues and friends become available.
Many developers feel the need to keep a social media feed open so they don’t miss out on something important. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or something more business-related like Slack, we’re concerned that we’ll miss out on something important if we’re not connected. These channels generate more distractions.