A deadline is a managerial tool widely used to maximize the performance of employees. Its main purpose is to increase the earning of the company without investing more money in human resources (see also: Unpaid Overtime).

It is a strange, but well-established, observation, that a deadline can never be met. The reason is not the poor performance of software developers, but rather the theory of relativity.

Scientific experiment held in a controlled lab environment proved beyond a doubt that the harder developers work in order to meet a deadline, the harder it is to actually succeed in doing so. In 28% of the projects that were part of this extensive research, requirements became less stable as the developers worked faster. Each time a feature was implemented, the requirements regarding this feature were suddenly changed. 19% of the projects in the experiment were canceled a day before the expected delivery date.

But the most interesting finding of this experiment, which was conducted at a secret lab in the Silicon Valley, affected 53% of the projects. In these projects, the deadline seemed to have mysteriously moved to an earlier date in perfect correlation to the number of hours developers worked each day in order to meet it. In one particular project, the developers worked 24/7 for a whole month, just to find out that the deadline suddenly went through some improbable time-space anomaly and was then set to exactly 8.53973422 days prior to the date in which the project started. Some of the developers of that project are assumed to have gone through the same time-space anomaly along with the deadline, because their tracks were never found (but then again, the ultra-short time that passed until they were replaced with fresh developers suggests that no one really bothered to look for them).

The result of this experiment, including the unfortunate vaporization of some developers, did not cause the industry leaders to take any action. In fact, there are rumors of a follow-up research, which is being funded by some well-known companies, trying to find a way to tame the time-space anomaly and use it to relocate developers just before the distribution of the traditional annual bonus.


One Response to “Deadline”

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Software Development » Blog Archive » More Developers Says:

    […] The software industry is known for its tight-schedule projects. Numerous projects exceed their expected schedule, and some never come to completion (see: Deadline). […]

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