A ‘Do Not Disturb’ Digital Assistant

Flow requires a certain amount of focus, and when that concentration is broken by pesky colleagues, work can suffer, on top of time wasted attempting to re-engage with the task at hand. The Technical Lead in [Estera Dezelak]’s office got fed up with being interrupted, and needed his own personal assistant to ward off the ‘just one question’-ers.

Initially, [Grega Pušnik] — the tech lead — emailed the office his schedule and blocked out times when he wasn’t to be disturbed, with other developers following suit. When that route’s effectiveness started to wane, he turned the product he was working on — a display for booking meeting rooms — into his own personal timetable display with the option to book a time-slot to answer questions. In an office that  is largely open-concept — not exactly conducive to a ‘do not disturb’ workstation — it was a godsend.

A digital assistant that’s got your back can come in many shapes, sizes, and functions, so if you find yourself in need of a little help to get by, a digital friend may be the ticket.

[Thanks for the tip, Estera!]

25 thoughts on “A ‘Do Not Disturb’ Digital Assistant

    1. In theory yes but how often do tech leads actually do zero coding? Especially with so places where tech lead is basically just a seniority title for developers with additional project lead responsibilities thrown in.

      1. Congrats on your promotion. In addition to your existing 50 hours a week workload of development work, you now have 30 hours a week workload of management BS!

      1. Inspiration is free until you start selling your version of the product. I think anything that looks like an ebook reader and can be attached to a wall will be banned thanks to this thing, just like Fluke banned yellow multimeters because they were “copyrighted” (can you copyright a color?).

  1. Another amazing article from James “The Shillsmith” Hobson
    Is it so hard to tell your colleague that you are busy and will get back to them once you have some free time?

    1. It’s not that it’s hard to tell them that, it’s that at that point it’s too late. Your flow is broken. As a colleague is it so hard to respect the schedule someone took the time to send you?

        1. From the upper management point of view: pricey. not “agile” enough, can’t size it with the team size.

          PS. I do work in an open plan office, but thankfully:
          a) we are small team
          b) we are in a separate corner of it.

          In any case – if people do not respect the flow/time of a person – this thing would NOT HELP. (From experience).

      1. Little cardboard sign: “Developer at work. Please do not disturb. Come back at 2:00”. Runs forever without batteries. High tech version: little whiteboard and dry erase marker.

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