Here’s why our weeks start on a Wednesday

It’s common knowledge amongst engineers that you never ship important code on a Friday. The last thing you want when you’re relaxing at the weekend is to be dragged back to your laptop on a Sunday morning to fix an unexpected issue that has snuck into production. Even the best CI setup and a full battery of tests can sometimes allow a bug to slip through the cracks.

So when you measure your projects and sprints in weeks, how do you avoid shipping on a Friday?

Well, with a little experimentation, the solution for us turned out to be a pretty simple one: make your sprint weeks start on a Wednesday, and finish on a Tuesday.

We tried this little scheduling hack a while ago when we were trying to avoid those pesky Friday shipments, and it has been beautifully effective.

The benefits even go much further than just stopping project emergencies from invading our weekends. Here are just a few of them…

  • Mondays are always one of the least productive days of anyone’s working week. Have you ever tried having a meeting, or a project kickoff session, at 9am on a Monday morning? That’s rarely fun for anyone involved. Wednesday kickoffs have plenty more energy and focus.
  • Instead of kicking off at the beginning of the week, having Monday and Tuesday free ahead of the sprint always helps clients to take care of that last minute prep that makes things run a little smoother.
  • And finishing your sprints on a Tuesday means there’s plenty of time to have a proper retrospective at the end of the sprint without everyone having one foot out of the door and their eyes on the weekend.

So there you have it: that’s the reason Hanno has such an odd system for booking projects into our calendar!