Crunch in IT: Useful or Harmful?

Crunch in IT: Useful or Harmful?

Crunch is a term used in software development to describe working extra hours intensively within an extended period (not just one or two days) to meet a deadline. You know it, don’t you? While crunch mode is increasingly criticized, we at Mad Devs know that in IT development, crunching is needed sometimes.

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  • We understand that crunching is connected with stress. That’s why we do our best to organize these difficult periods correctly.
  • We always know what we are working for. The team clearly sees the target. It makes our specialists motivated and willing to work as much as needed. They know that in the end, they will create an extraordinary project.
  • We do our best to make the team feel comfortable (at least as much as possible). So, we take care of the food and drinks availability in the office, the comfortable working atmosphere, or whatever else is needed.
  • We treat developers and managers the same. The entire team works when it is required. We all know that we are a team. It helps us to avoid the feeling of anxiety and negativity. 
  • Our specialists know that they will be rewarded for their efforts (e.g., with money or with days off).
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Working overtime is not crunching

It is essential to understand that overtime isn’t the same as crunching. That’s why people might work overtime:

  • They are not productive enough during the working day.
  • They lack the needed skills to complete their tasks within the assigned time.
  • They are procrastinating instead of focusing on tasks.

Crunching is something different. Crunching means working at a full capacity as much as it is possible. Usually, it is done with a specific purpose: to finish a project (e.g., an ecommerce software solution) or deliver a feature release. 

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Is crunching good or bad?

Now, crunching is increasingly considered bad. Those who work in development know though that it is not always the case. In some cases, crunching is justified. 

So, it is impossible to create something impressive indeed without crunching. It is justified if the team does it to complete a project that will later make them feel proud. We know from experience that the pride of having the product done compensates for the crunching stress.

But if crunching is needed because the deadlines were not planned properly or because somebody failed to comply, it definitely does not bring any positive experience. It affects the employees’ mental and physical condition negatively. Moreover, it also has a negative impact on the employees’ families because crunching time means time spent away from home. In the long term, such crunching deteriorates the motivation of the team and makes them stressed.

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Bottom line

We at Mad Devs endorse crunching in its positive sense only. We never abuse the patience or loyalty of our developers. And if working at the edge of our capacities is needed, we are all in the same boat: the company management and the specialists. 

Oleg Puzanov.

Oleg Puzanov

Chief Strategy Officer
Software Development Services.
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