(And Why Wikipedia has it all Wrong!)
If you read the first paragraph of Wikipedia regarding “The Wilson Effect” it relates to behaviour of sun spots. While this may be true in the field of Astronomy, there is a far more pressing and interesting “Wilson Effect” that requires further research within Technology.
The “Wilson effect” is a psychological phenomenon prevalent in the psyche of technologists all over the world. It is a field that has had little research and, in my personal opinion, requires funding to carry out the research required to understand the fundamentals of how and why this phenomenon exists.
Impact on Technology
Currently software involves techniques such as Pair Programming, Code Review, Unit Tests, etc. etc. each requiring time, resource and ultimately money! Agile methodologies have attempted to improve wasted development time and project tracking and have had some measurable success. However, the potential of The Wilson Effect could exceed all the benefits these methodologies and practices have contributed combined.
So what is it?
OK, so here it is: “The Wilson Effect”….How many times as a developer, technologist, manager, etc are you stuck on a problem and had to ask for help? You’ve interrupted the other party, subsequently having an immediate negative impact on their productivity. Frustrated, but politely the other party wheels their chair over to lend a hand. You start explaining the solution and “Wallop!” the answer comes to you without the other party saying a single word. Said party then wheels back to their desk with a sarcastic comment along the lines of “Glad to be of assistance”. You’ve now made an enemy for life!
What if we could once and for all be rid of this frustrating, time-wasting scenario?
Now we can....
...with “The Wilson Effect”.
Here it is…clearly demonstrated by our CTO, Gavin Holyday, below…
“The Wilson Effect” completely replaces the need for assistance from a colleague. You simply explain the problem to Wilson, and voila, the solution pops in to your head like a Japanese Bullet Train into a tunnel.
How do we measure the benefits?
Great question – All theories require metrics to be proven...so here we go:
- Average salary of mid-level developer £30k
- Number of distractions per week 10
- Time per distraction 15mins
- Working Weeks in a Year 48
- Working Hours in a Year 1920 hours (48*40)
- Time wasted annually per employee 120 hours ((15mins*10distractions p/w*48weeks)/60minutes)
- % of time wasted per year 6.3% (120/1920)
- £ salary wasted per year £1,875 (6.3% * £30,000)
Therefore £1,875 is wasted, per employee, every year because of the lack of research in to “The Wilson Effect”. Increase this number by number of employees, adjust for variable salaries and your CFO will be in tears faster than Donald Trump makes enemies.
At the time of writing “Wilson” is available to buy on amazon for £13.81 here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wilson-Mr-Castaway-Match-Volleyball/dp/B004J0XLVC.
That’s a saving of £1,861.19 per person, per year. Just saying.
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