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Old 05-07-2012, 01:53 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 22,307
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
The question isn't why writing SQL queries is different from writing fiction, the question is WHETHER these SQL writers are different from your novelist friend. He needs that structure in order to produce a sufficient quantity of work. Do these SQL authors?

If they do, then by all means their manager should supply it. If they don't, then barring some other reason for supplying it, he shouldn't.

The other difference, of course, is that your friend places these limits on himself. They're not going to lower his morale or alienate him from his work, causing him to seek a different boss. They're limits he knows he needs. He presumably doesn't place unnecessary limits on himself (e.g., he doesn't require himself to work in a cubicle, if he knows that's not what he needs). A manager imposing limits on employees runs the danger of placing unnecessary limits on the employees and thereby lowering their morale or encouraging them to go work for someone else.
However, if you talk to successful writers, the vast majority set themselves up with this sort of discipline. Now the question becomes, are SQL writers a different population (not as individuals, but as a population) that they don't need this discipline? If they are, great, but if, like most human beings, most of them require the discipline in order to do the job, then setting up an undiciplined corporate culture is going to be one In wHich most people fail.

Moreover, if tech folks don't want external discipline, they can go into business for themselves, like my writer friend has. Or like many, many consultants I know in the IT business (I used to be in the IT consulting busisness). But these guys are choosing to work for The Man, and The Man gets to set parameters around how they work.