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1-20-2012 @ 1:32PM
A note to anyone curious about the "Mythical Man Month", but who's not familiar with project ecosystems:Think of it like a raid team working on heroic content. Adding new programmers is like adding in new team members. The first few attempts, you're basically assured they'll be subpar - they simply don't know the material. To take it one step further, hiring someone from outside the company is like bringing in someone who's never done any of the fights, even on normal or in LFR. You'll be lucky if you get any productivity out of them the first few times, and chances are, they'll inadvertently set off some mechanic that blows everybody up.Each system (particularly something so complex as WoW) is so unique that a new person will be completely lost, and will actually detract from other developers' productivity (by asking questions or making mistakes.)Instead of 2+2=5 or 2+2=4 or even 2+2=3, you end up with 2+2=1.
1-20-2012 @ 1:59PM
1-20-2012 @ 3:37PM
On the other hand:- There are often simple, almost foolproof tasks that can be done by new people; to keep with the raiding team analogy, you could ask the new members to farm gold/mats for the flasks the raid team is going to use, while he learns raiding on the guild's alt run, or even by running LFR with a guildie for a coach. There's a limited number of those tasks, though, so the number of new team members that can be integrated at a time without compromising efficiency or quality is often small.- On the long term, the new team members should become productive. Of course the amount of people that can be thrown at a project is really dependent on how good the management is and how modular the whole project can be made, plus the overhead costs usually grow when teams grow, so there is a limit when it ceases to be worthwhile; I don't think Blizzard is even near that limit.Of course, Blizzard knows this; they are often hiring. I don't think it's easy finding good enough local talent in sufficient numbers, though; the number of openings they have is fairly large:http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/careers/directory.html
1-20-2012 @ 7:10PM
Surely the number of mats farmers (which in this analogy, I guess would be interns getting coffee and making copies) isn't the limiting factor in releasing content though.
1-22-2012 @ 5:51PM
Nine people can't make a baby in one month
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