Recently, Jozef Antony wrote:

Why senior developers should work less.

Here is the point:

They think more, and that is one of the reasons they are senior devs.

They think about how to do less, so more can be done.

They do not add more code. They remove code to make systems easier to maintain.

They do not want long meetings to ‘brainstorm’. They write a proposal highlighting the pros and cons and circulate it before the meetings.

They do not want to work on weekends, they rely on processes and systems, so there are no big surprises.

I largely agree with this and wanted to add some nuance. I would say that it should be that seniors code less, since thinking more and bringing value to the team is still hard work that should be rewarded.

Unfortunately, I have encountered a VP of Engineering once upon a time who did not understand this and complained about the senior engineer’s lack of code commits. The senior engineer’s time was filled with valuable code review, design research and review, and mentoring others.

When the layoffs came the senior developer was let go.

There is a big difference between performance and value, and the company was (probably still is) too naïve to realize they had removed one of their most valuable assets.

Don’t make this rookie-level mistake if you are in leadership and observe less code coming from senior engineers.