Greg Wilson's video on “What We Actually Know About Software Development” is pretty fascinating. Greg ends up with some soli data-based rules of thumb that seem to apply whenever you measure variations in performance over a sample of programmers:
- Count on the best people outperforming the worst by about 10:1.
- Count on the best performer being about 2.5 times better than the median performer.
- Count on the half that are better than median performers outdoing the other half by more than 2:1
The top quartile, those who did the exercise most rapidly and effectively, work in space that is substantially different from that of the bottom quartile. The top performers' space is quieter, more private, better protected from interruption, and there is more of it.