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Developer keeps logging several hours, but tracker only shows mouse, but 0 keyboard clicks?!

Active Member
Sly F Member Since: May 7, 2015
1 of 7

Hi Upwork community - I recently hired a new developer and noticed that the developer has logged almost 13 hours of work, but each time tracker snapshot only shows mouse clicks and little to know key board strokes. How is this possible? I don't want to be accusatory, but I am pressed to see how a developer that is supposed to be writing / updating code can log several hours with little to no keyboard activity only mouse activity.

 

I thought I should pose this question to the community to see if there is something I am missing? 

 

Thanks!

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 7

You're asking an excellent question.

 

I'm a developer, and my work involves a LOT of typing.

 

But not all developers use the same techniques that I do.

 

Ultimately, what is important to you is not how many key strokes versus how many mouse clicks you see in a work diary... what is important is the results you get from this developer.

 

When your project manager compares the work that he turns in versus the work other developers on your team are turning in, how does this mouse-clicking developer compare?

 

Is he more productive?

Does the project manager say that his code is clean and maintainable?

When you test the modules he completes, do they perform as expected?

Is the resulting application responsive and bug free?

 

If he can do these things with more mouse clicks than typing, I wouldn't worry about his work diaries.

 

If the freelancer isn't highly productive or doesn't seem to be providing you with good value compared to the other team members, then end the contract with him, regardless of what his work diary shows.

Active Member
Sly F Member Since: May 7, 2015
3 of 7

Hi Preston -

 

Thank you for the reply. I wish I could say that I would be able to judge the output, but as someone who is not very technical. I would never know if a developer spent 20 hours on a task that should only take a good developer 2 hours. That's why I have my developers use the time tracker. But this is strange - that's why I felt compelled to ask the question on this forum. To see if there are other developers out there who are able to spend several hours coding without loggin in any keystrokes? I am not saying a few - I am talking about 1 to 2 key strokes every 10 minutes at most. How is this possible? I would understand if this happend with a graphics design who may be sketching, but not a software developr who is writing code. Please explain what I could be missing. I am afraid that he would log 50 hours and give me output for what should have only taken a couple of hours. 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 7

@Sly F wrote:

Hi Upwork community - I recently hired a new developer and noticed that the developer has logged almost 13 hours of work, but each time tracker snapshot only shows mouse clicks and little to know key board strokes. How is this possible? I don't want to be accusatory, but I am pressed to see how a developer that is supposed to be writing / updating code can log several hours with little to no keyboard activity only mouse activity.



 Sly, the tracker does not play well with some operating systems, and particularly has been known to not correctly record keyboard activity with latest MAC OSs.

 

That said: How is the quality of the code that you have received? Is the output in line with expectations? In which case: Does it matter?

 

Also look for patterns. Never mind keyboard activity for the minute... Is the mouseclick activity in line with what you would expect? (Rather than something like an even pattern of very similar numbers across the segments, if that makes sense?)

 

Have you ASKED the developer? What is his or her Upwork history like?

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 7

re: "To see if there are other developers out there who are able to spend several hours coding without loggin in any keystrokes?"

 

I have no idea exactly what your developer is doing.

 

But I can say this:

 

Although the tools and techniques I currently use rely heavily on typing... In the past I have used programming tools which used very little typing. Which mostly involved using the mouse. And THAT was when doing almost entirley original development. When one considers that many programmers may be doing a large amount of integration of existing libraries, SDKs, APIs, etc., I can certainly imagine situations where conscientious, helpful, productive programmers use relatively few keys strokes.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 7

Sly, based on your comments, it seems you have a significant project (or set of projects underway), with many hours being billed and multiple freelancers.

 

On a project like this, there should be active evaluation of the value that the freelancers provide. You should only continuing to work with the best, and closing the contracts on the rest.

 

I think you're probably making a mistake by doing this without a competent project manager.

 

I do not work as a project manager. I work as a developer. I report to a project manager for about half of the large projects I get hired to work on. I think those projects go much better and save money.

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
7 of 7

I have the time tracker running in my development environment but I remote into that environment. It does still capture activity but I can envision, based on what someone may use to do something similar, that it's possible the tracker isn't capturing everything in such a configuration. Of course I don't know what is happening with your developer, but this is one possibility. 

 

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