I wish this had been a bit longer, @ckunzelman. Felt like you were setting up for a second part talking about people making games without crunching or killing themselves, or some other kind of “and let’s…!”
Anyway, I think that just means it’s a good article. Here I am, after all.
So, I work in genomics IT and I’m in “~executive management~”, for whatever that’s worth, after many years of being a developer of various stripes. We have to design things and deliver them just like everyone else, and there is definitely a creative element to our design work as well as the obvious technical complexity. At this point in my life/career, if a project is fully fucked up and a deadline is approaching, I will put myself in crunch mode, because it’s fully on me, but I absolutely do not think it is reasonable or fair to ask (or even allow, to be honest) staff to do this. It’s on me because I have, like the posters above wrote, ended up with a planning failure. It’s not like software actually is going to surprise you at the last minute with not being done. You know, 50% through a project, that you’re going to have a problem. And there is ALWAYS someone who knows. Every day. There is someone who will have enough visibility to see “oh, we’re not going to make it”. You find more people, you cut the scope, or you move the date. That’s it. It’s not rocket science.
We have to start helping educate new workers that you can just walk away from someone asking you to do crunch. I know I fell prey to it when I was new, and even now being management there are people coming out of university who don’t believe me when I say they should say no to things like this! We have an inhumane culture around this, in wider society. The truth is, whoever is asking you to crunch is the one who fucked up.