Heres how bad a behind-the-queue situation can get for a programmer: I spent several miserable months at the office of a client who had a very slow and overburdened computer. The companys programmers and production users shared the computer resources, but priority was given to the production jobs. Often, the programmers who arrived at 8 a.m.could not even sign on until midmorning because the production batch nightly job streams werent completed until then.
Since this was a temporary consulting job, I had to put up with the situationfor a while. But after several months, my frustration about my inability to get the job done was so intense that I simply quit. I went into the owners office and told him that nobody could do the work he expected to be done without being given the computer time necessary to do it.
I would never have taken a permanent job that required laboring under those conditions. You shouldnt, either. But if you are already working at a company that constricts your chances for success because of wait-time in a queue, its up to you to speak to your manager about the problem.
Tell your manager how much time you are wasting waiting for your programs to compile. This will probably not be news to him. The company owners have thought about this, and have probably decided they would rather not, say, run production jobs at night (because theyd have to pay for security guards and computer operators at night). So they make production and programming share day computer time. But they will try to remedy the situation only if programmers chafing under restrictive conditions let their managers know how much of their time is being wasted . Programmers are expensive; security guards and operators come cheap. Enlightened managers can eliminate the queues for both production users and programmers, but only if they know about the problems queues cause and understand the overwhelming economic and psychological benefits of getting rid of them.