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How can I demonstrate my productivity to management?

Is this on topic? There is no reference to programming. It can be extended to other fields as well, not just programming?

I ask a question in the past

https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/132878/how-to-present-your-development-work-to-your-it-manager-in-an-effective-way

which was closed as off topic?

Please do not think that I want to get this question closed. But I want is to have some rules and regulations as well as standards.

As or right now, it was asked today and has 417 views.

  • The question is closed now, thanks for bringing it to our attention. – yannis Mar 7 '12 at 2:43
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In its current state, the question about demonstrating productivity to management should probably be closed for off-topic. However, I don't feel that it's appropriate for me to close that question because I participated in it.

if you start with revision 1 or my edits at revision 3 which improved the readability, the question was about demonstrating productivity and measuring one's work output. This problem is very specific to software development. Unlike most other fields, it's much more difficult to count the output of software developers. Look at manufacturing or electrical engineering - you can could widgets produced or components built and tested fairly easily. In addition, there's a distinct relationship between producing these physical things and being productive. This is something that does not exist in software engineering - creating more UML diagrams or writing more lines of code and unit tests does not make one more productive, at least with regards to adding business value.

However, in revision 4 of the question, the topic was changed drastically with the addition of the last paragraph. It no longer became about demonstrating or quantifying productivity to management. Instead, it became a question about teamwork and team dynamics. These are not topics unique to software development, and are therefore off-topic here.


Now, onto your question. I don't think it should have been closed as off-topic for the same reasons I discussed above - measuring and demonstrating the productivity of a software developer is inherently difficult and unique (although I do think this question has been asked before, so it's probably a duplicate). However, it's not a good question in its present form.

First, most people assume IT manager is usually a technical person. Your question isn't explicit about the role of the person that you are interfacing with, along with what your role is. Then, you go on to provide solutions - it's best served if your question asks a question without presenting solutions (the exception being if you've come up with solutions that are unacceptable - present these and explain why they aren't acceptable). Finally, the final sentence opens the door for a survey of responses, instead of presenting people with an explicit situation and problem that must be overcome, and surveys/getting to know you type questions are not appropriate for Stack Exchanges.

I would say that your question is far more salvagable than the original, especially since it has two answers and only one of which even has a vote. The impact of editing and reopening would be far less than the first question I discussed.

  • I offered exact same reason for my question. Your IT manager has no idea, what you are doing or How easy/difficult your task is. I quoted an example of a sales person who can sell himself by getting 10 million dollar deal. Everyone knows he did a great job. But a developer, does anyone has any idea, what he is doing? – Noname Mar 5 '12 at 22:16
  • @Dave I disagree with your assessment - your IT manager should have enough of a technical background to understand these things. However, until Yannis weighs in, I'm not comfortable enough overriding his decision. – Thomas Owens Mar 5 '12 at 22:21
  • The original question was about non-technical manager. In many consultancy positions that I have worked, my manager was non technical. He does not know ABC of programming. – Noname Mar 5 '12 at 22:29
  • @Dave I don't want to dwell on your question here - if you have an issue with it being closed, raise it on Meta and I'll respond to it there (or if you have asked, provide me with a link to that Meta question). – Thomas Owens Mar 5 '12 at 22:33
  • @ThomasOwens Actually it's past midnight here, and since it was a community closure (I was the fifth close voter and a user at the time) feel free to comment. – yannis Mar 5 '12 at 22:42
  • @YannisRizos Thanks - I will when I get a chance to edit it in to this answer, since it needs a major revision. I'll do that when I get home. I want to crack this bug before I leave the office. – Thomas Owens Mar 5 '12 at 22:44
  • It really is about rules, not my question or this question :) I gladly accepted my question as off topic. It is about this question now. – Noname Mar 5 '12 at 22:56
  • @Dave I just edited my answer to reflect everything. – Thomas Owens Mar 5 '12 at 23:49
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    @ThomasOwens, Let me first totally agree with you Unlike most other fields, it's much more difficult to count the output of software developers. This was one main reason I asked the question. Secondly if you go into my original revision, it was in different form. I completely changed the question in order to improve it but failed. I asked this in my original question: My question is, how to sell yourself to your manager. I am assuming, you are a technical person, and your manager is not. You maintain the software and no one has a clue what you are doing. – Noname Mar 6 '12 at 0:04
  • And just want to give you a little more info about how it got closed. I got 2 up votes, I started getting answers immediately. one mod commented, is this really specific to software development. His comments got 5 up vote, i got 5 down vote. The question got buried in less than 5 minutes. – Noname Mar 6 '12 at 0:08
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    to me, both questions are borderline, yours a bit "lower" to make it, another one a bit over especially due to 60-99% specifics added in rev 4. Although second question seem to be slipping lower now, by collecting answers of me-too kind (where answerers simply confirm that 99% is counterproductive and point to just that) – gnat Mar 6 '12 at 10:58
  • @Dave my comment above ("both questions are borderline...") was to you - I forgot to tag it with at Dave sorry – gnat Mar 6 '12 at 12:00
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    @gnat, sometime our own conception of the question makes a question in or our out of scope. To help yourself, look at the accepted answers in these borderline (in my view out of scope questions). The accepted answer can be applied to any profession not just software. That means these are not really software specific question. Most of them are work related and personnel advice dragging into programming. It is unfair that one question is closed in minutes, the other stays open. – Noname Mar 6 '12 at 14:25
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    @Dave here, you have a good point I think. Accepted answer unfortunately lacks clear statement about 99% being damaging for programming productivity, making whole question drift more to off-topic to me – gnat Mar 6 '12 at 14:34
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    @Dave I can judge a question, however I think it's inappropriate for a diamond moderator to close a question that he or she participated in either asking or answering, and I will not do it. I also try to not get involved in the community process alone. I just facilitate the community process based on input - that's all. – Thomas Owens Mar 6 '12 at 14:51
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This is my answer to a similar question posted here. the main takeaway point is questions are also judged by the quality of their answers, its unfair but there isn't really a better solution.

The ability to eloquently phrase a question helps too.

  • I have read your post before. It can be true but then it is not true. A lot of hit questions are closed after they have reached the peak. A another user pointed out 14 of the top 100 questions reported by @Programmers were closed as off-topic and 1 altogether deleted. I do agree with this part, if a question is said in better words, although it is off topic, it stays. – Noname Mar 6 '12 at 22:05
  • @Dave there are reasons for that, it was decided that questions that attract a lot of answers should get closed because they are bad questions. There is also a lot of fallout from change in scope, which is why you see really popular questions closed – Ryathal Mar 7 '12 at 13:22
  • because they are bad questions, did not get that part. If a change is scope occurs, moderators are the one who should implement it right away. If a scope change occurs after the question was asked, that question should be open (or decided by top moderators). My point is these question were off topic were allowed open, because they were probably written in better words. The question is I should know what is on topic and what is off topic. If shakespear write a beautiful question about poetry, that should be off topic although we know it is a good poetry. – Noname Mar 7 '12 at 14:06

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