the Communications Web site, http://cacm.acm.org,
features more than a dozen bloggers in the BLoG@cacm
community. in each issue of Communications, we’ll publish
selected posts or excerpts.
follow us on twitter at http://twitter.com/blogcacm
and crunch time;
Ruben Ortega discusses developers and crunch time; Mark Guzdial
considers the impact of open source practices on computing
education; and Daniel Reed writes about the technological shift
from computational paucity to computational plethora.
Ruben ortega’s “Why Do software Developers tolerate ‘crunch time’?” http://cacm.acm.org/blogs/ blog-cacm/70922 Given the increased risk of burnout for an extended “crunch time,” why do de- velopers put up with it? For software developers, crunch time is a period prior to a major prod- uct milestone when team members are
asked to put in extra effort to get a prod-
uct finished by a specific delivery date.
Practically, this can be a horrific period
of 80-plus hour weeks that goes on for
months as the team scrambles to deal
with bugs, last-minute feature requests
and modifications, and milestones.
For game companies and large Inter-
net retailers in particular, the mantra
of “Christmas never slips” means that
crunch time occurs during the summer
so products can be released by the fall
and be available between Thanksgiving
and Christmas. Recently, the wives of
Rockstar Games posted an open letter
to the company’s management about
the impact of the crunch time on their
lives. The company was demanding 6–7
days a week, with 12–16 hour days. The
impact included mental, physical, and
emotional strain on the employees and