DEV Community


Discussion on: How do you feel about activity monitoring tools and other workplace surveillance practices? 🔒

c_v_ya profile image

I've never worked with activity tracking software. And never will be. It's literally my third question to a HR in an interview process if they have some sort of tracking.

Because my opinion on this - if a company wants to monitor activity / traffic / web cam, then they don't trust their employees to do the work. And why would I, as an employee, want to work for a company who can't trust me or puts my skills to question?

Because most of the time programming is thinking. We, developers, don't write code, then erase parts of it, then write some more. It's not trackable. We tend to think before we "put something on paper". Yes, we do refactor, but that's another story.

And mental work requires breaks. I might want to just sit and stare outside my window for 20 minutes. And then come up with two lines of code that does magic and solves a problem. That's okay, because good ideas come when we don't think about them, as we all know.

One thing I'm okay with is tracking time on tasks in Jira / Asana /etc. Because I understand that the business side, managers, needs to know how much time a task took and plan accordingly. Especially if it's an outsourcing company and a client want's to know what they're paying for.

I wish it would be like "here is a task for you, take your time, tell me when you're done". But very small amount of companies can afford that. And not every employee can resist a satisfaction of exploiting this. We're all people. It takes strength to be a professional and do the job you're supposed to do instead of slacking on youtube or w/e.

So I don't think there is a silver bullet that works for every business and every employee. But I strongly disagree with activity tracking policies.