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Author Topic: Idea: Productivity Suite and Monitor.  (Read 1917 times)
Stephen66515
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« on: October 19, 2010, 07:31:23 PM »

OK, I'll admit, this may not be a tiny program, however, while recently trying to make it, I realised its beyond my knowledge of programming.

Firstly, read this example:

You own an online company, developing websites and software, and you hire multiple self-employed, work-from-home coders.  You have never met these people, but you are sure that they are up to the job.  You are paying them for how long is takes them to finish a project (So long as they dont go over a specified deadline).

How can you be sure they do ANY work for the first 3/4 of the deadline, and cram it all in at the last minute, so it boosts thier payment, even though they could have got the job done a lot faster, got paid less, but maybe got offered 3 more projects in the same timeframe?



This is the dilemma.

My idea, is to have a productivity manager, that monitors files, and uploads word-count and such to a graph, that the project supervisor can see, from any computer with an internet connection and a web browser.


The monitor should also have a filter in it to count how many lines have been added, how many files have been modified, how long it took for each section, maybe add in a WPM counter (Words per minute) and also a filter that will detect if random characters have been added to the document just to fill up the space whilst the coder takes a break.  The system will also upload any modified files, directly to the manager, owner, supervisor, or anybody else who has access to the monitoring admin.

Obviously, because of what this is, and whose computers this will be added onto, this should NOT be open source, purely because if we are installing this on a programmers computer, whats to say they dont alter it to thier own advantage?

There should be a peice of software that has FTP access so it can upload files and modify graphs on a website (FTP login info selected by the user) and should also upload (without user consent) a log of exactly what has been uploaded.  This log should be uploaded to a seperate folder on the FTP that only root admin have access to.

The website itself should be password protected via user registration with an admin back-end to choose how to let registration happen (no authorisation, e-mail activation, admin activation only) etc...

There could be a lot more features for this software, but for the moment, im going to leave it as this, and see what you guys think of it.

-Stephen

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JavaJones
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 02:47:50 AM »

I reckon if you required the coders to use a Version Control System (source manager), you could monitor their check-in and check-out activity. There are basic "activity level" graphs for most such systems, and I'm sure there are more advanced activity analysis modules/plugins for e.g. SVN, Mercurial, Git, etc. Use of a VCS is advisable for any coding project anyway, and most professional coding teams/groups should already be using one. They might not like you requiring them to use yours, but again you can just make it part of the terms of your contract.

- Oshyan
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awopbamboo
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 03:59:03 AM »

Hi Stephen

I'm not sure how workable this is anyway, calculating how many words a person types a minute, is not a good gauge as to how hard someone is working.  To me, getting the right result at the end is better.

When I do development work for people, I ensure a fixed cost for the work I do, with a target date. Then, it doesn't matter when I work or how often. So long as I 'deliver the goods' at the agreed time, to a agreed standard then I get paid.  If I run late, that's my fault. If I finish early, that's my advantage.

Logging how many times I twiddle the mouse or type code does not tell you how hard I am looking, I could be researching on line for two hours to write 10 mins worth of code.

Does that make sense?
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 10:11:45 AM »

I reckon if you required the coders to use a Version Control System (source manager), you could monitor their check-in and check-out activity. There are basic "activity level" graphs for most such systems, and I'm sure there are more advanced activity analysis modules/plugins for e.g. SVN, Mercurial, Git, etc. Use of a VCS is advisable for any coding project anyway, and most professional coding teams/groups should already be using one. They might not like you requiring them to use yours, but again you can just make it part of the terms of your contract.

- Oshyan

I didnt know about those peices of software, and I will certainly look into them, thanks for the links.

Hi Stephen

I'm not sure how workable this is anyway, calculating how many words a person types a minute, is not a good gauge as to how hard someone is working.  To me, getting the right result at the end is better.

When I do development work for people, I ensure a fixed cost for the work I do, with a target date. Then, it doesn't matter when I work or how often. So long as I 'deliver the goods' at the agreed time, to a agreed standard then I get paid.  If I run late, that's my fault. If I finish early, that's my advantage.

Logging how many times I twiddle the mouse or type code does not tell you how hard I am looking, I could be researching on line for two hours to write 10 mins worth of code.

Does that make sense?


Looking at it that way, I realise that this probs aint the best way forward, I will be looking into other methods for sure.


Cheers for the info guys  Thmbsup
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f0dder
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 03:08:43 PM »

Either go for a fixed fee (this makes most sense), or look at vcs check-in activity as suggested by JavaJones - trying to do any kind of "activity monitoring" is intrusive and won't work anyway.
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