Talk about division of labor

Source: Internet
Author: User

Yesterday, I saw a news-Yahoo canceled the QA team, the engineer must be responsible for the code quality, and use continuous integration instead of QA. At the same time, also heard netizens said, "Listen to Microsoft to do Database Operations engineer Introduction, they are also the operation and maintenance engineers and test engineers canceled, by the development of all completed." Everyone is an all-stack engineer. " So, I quoted a few years ago wrote an article "Do we need full-time QA?" , and also advocated the whole stack. Of course, as always, got some controversy and ridicule;-).

Some people think that the elimination of QA is basically the company's no money symbol, this view is fundamentally not worth refuting, belongs to the frog. Some people think that the social division of labor is the premise, and criticized me to say how not to say that everything is done, pushing me to another extreme. In addition, you must not think that with the division of labor, QA work is secret will keep.

As Steve Jobs questioned the financial system in his biography, there are times when many people don't ask why, and what they feel is something that is rightfully theirs. Let us lose the chance to think independently. Division of labor is the same.

So, in order to say the logic of complete division of labor. Please be tolerant, let me first talk about "the advantages and disadvantages of division of labor" bar.

Advantages and disadvantages of division of labor

First of all, the Division of Labor (Division of Labour) should have been proposed by Adam Smith in the 1776 wealth theory, when Adam observed the division of labor in the production efficiency of the handicraft industry. He attributed the increase in efficiency to three points:

    • Increase in proficiency level. When a worker simply repeats the same process, its proficiency in the process increases significantly. performance for the increase in yield and quality .
    • If there is no division of labor, from one process to another process will lose time, and division of labor to avoid the loss of the middle.
    • Thanks to the increased knowledge and proficiency of the process, more efficient machinery and tools have been invented to increase production .

The Division of labor is indeed a boost to productivity. I thought about it. The car that Ford started to make is almost impossible to sell, for two reasons, one is too expensive, the other is too complex, and the production capacity is too low. So Ford started to break down the process of making a car, and the benefits of the division of Labor to Ford were:

    1. A lot of work can be done in parallel, and the execution is stronger because things are simple .
    2. A very complex and advanced car manufacturing because of the division of labor, many jobs do not need very NB people to do, only the general laborer after simple training can be done . Moreover, the more dry the more skilled, the more dry the more professional, the end may let the right person suitable thing.
    3. The Division of labor led to a lot of repetitive work can be solved with technology, so Ford company appeared production line technology (do you still remember Chaplin "modern Times" in the industrial production line scene, that from the Ford Company).

As a result, Ford's productivity was greatly improved, culminating in the idea that every American family could afford a car, while making America a wheel country.

However, we need to note that in "wealth", Adam he also mentioned that if the Division of labor is too small, it will also bring problems- the simple repetition of labor will make a person can not think of the machine, and become more and more stupid, and then become mediocre unskilled people . Since the "division of Labor" appeared, the controversy has not stopped.

Karl Max also believes that the division of labor is becoming more and more fine, and will lead to more and more poor technology, at the same time, a large number of repetitive work will lead to the loss of enthusiasm, boredom and resistance, ultimately leading to a decline in productivity .

At the same time, some economists have also shown some shortcomings in the Division of labor:

    • cause people to focus on a small piece of the whole thing, lack of a global perspective, resulting in limited visibility, not fully understand the meaning and objectives of the work, resulting in a variety of rework .
    • for organizations, the Division of Labor can also lead to a large number of communication synergy costs, and the emergence of fragmented production, as well as the organization of the island form, is not conducive to improving productivity .

Of course, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises does not think so, and he believes that these side effects are nothing in the face of the benefits of division. Moreover, he thinks that under the capitalist system, it is possible to balance the various advantages and disadvantages of the division of labor, so as to improve the productivity and improve the quality of personnel.

For example, the various communication problems in the division of labor can be solved by a standard protocol , making light bulbs, making switches, making lampholders completely unaware of each other's existence, they only so can make things together, completely through a standard agreement to complete. This is why there are all kinds of standardized organizations in this world .

There are many economists who have their own opinions and ideas about the division of labor. But basically these are the pros and cons. is a ppt of two slids, you can click to see a larger view (source)

The Division of labor under globalization

The problem of division of Labor has become particularly prominent under the tide of globalization. It is mildly said to be a comparative advantage (comparative Advantage)

comparative advantage ( also called comparative Advantage ) is the concept of economics, explaining why it is advantageous to both sides to produce under the advantage of having relative opportunity cost. When a party (a person, a company, or a country) makes a production, the opportunity cost is lower than the other party, which has a comparative advantage in carrying out this production. Thus, if a country specializes in producing its own relatively superior products, and through international trade in exchange for their products without comparative advantage can gain benefits.

As a matter of fact, the Division of Labor would have wanted-the right people to do the right thing, but in the case of comparative advantage, the business community has turned the division of Labor - not to choose the right person, company or country, but to choose low-cost people, companies or countries .

OECD's recent (June 28, 2015) Proposal for globalization-

"The essence of an efficient policy is not to discourage unemployment but to encourage employment, and if countries are reaping the benefits of globalization rather than opening up trade, then some places will lose jobs and, of course, new jobs in other places, which is unavoidable in the process of globalization, The challenge is how we can smoothly adjust our processes to find the right skills to match the new job opportunities. "

From the above, I think you can see why China has become the world's largest labor force, and why the first American technology companies to enter China, when the test work in China. This is the so-called global division of labor. At the same time, we can see that countries such as ours, which are indeed very deficient in technological capabilities, are indeed able to participate in a complex, technically-based project through the form of division of labour. This is the bright side of the division of labor and the darkness.

So, let's think about it, as China's labor costs are increasing, the international division of labor, because of commercial capital factors, will certainly not choose China, only to choose countries with lower labor costs, such as India, Vietnam and even lower labor costs . Didn't Yahoo and adobe leave China? Look at China because of the renminbi exchange rate or the increase in labor costs, how many made in the Chinese factory in the early years, this is the division of globalization, in business, he is not to find the most suitable person, but to find the lowest cost people.

Therefore, you must not think that I advocate the whole stack, your QA work will be lost, even if there is no full stack, even if you are still insisting on the social division of labor, it may also make your QA work will be lost, unless you can provide a lower price . (Think of this logic, the reason why the Americans outsource some technical work (such as testing) to China is not because the Chinese are smart, thoughtful, suitable for this test, but because the Chinese are cheap, so when China is not cheap, it will naturally find cheaper places.)

Why did the country transition from made in? Is it because the international division of Labor that China got in the early days was a supportive division of labor without technical content? It also resulted in a large number of skilled workers. In order to be able to get more quality work in the global division of labor, we must shift from labor-intensive to knowledge-intensive, inevitably from supporting work to productive work, it is necessary to transform a single skilled mechanic into a compound talent .

The hotbed and natural enemies of division of labor

There are two main hotbeds of division of Labor ,

    • one is cost and efficiency , a capitalist or a business owner or a country in pursuit of faster and more cost-effective mode of production, they will inevitably carry out a large-scale division of labor, along with the division of labor, they will also be some knowledge or technology-intensive work to become labor-intensive work. Then the layers are outsourced.
    • One is the size of an organization, and when the number of people in an organization keeps getting bigger, you can only divide your work and tasks into finer points. This is driven by the number, not the actual need. That's why we can see that many big companies are either overstaffing or blind.

there is one main enemy of division of labor-that is technology !

When new technologies arise, complex processes can be replaced by a machine or a high-tech technology, whether it is automated by technology or simplified by technology, in a way that would have required tens or hundreds of of people to do something, and suddenly only a single person would be able to finish it. The productivity has been greatly released. So, this is what we often hear- technology is the first productivity!

Speaking of which, let's take a look at the Yahoo News--

What happens when the QA team is removed from the software development process? Fewer code errors, faster development cycles. This is the result of an experiment by Yahoo engineers over the past year. Yahoo's warp drive plans to shift the program development from batch release to continuous delivery mode , and the engineer's code is released directly without manual inspection by the QA team. the transformation of the development paradigm has led to a fundamental change in the idea of dealing with problems, forcing engineers to develop automated inspection tools to identify errors originally discovered by manual inspection . Yahoo's technical team is now all engineers, and there is no longer a place for QA teams to shelter. Yahoo's chief architect, Amotz Maimon, said that they had expected serious problems and that the results were unexpected, and that everyone who had been skeptical of it said the new approach was effective.

So, when you are faced with some difficult problems, such as online failure, or a complex software production activities, you want to add more processes more people, or to use technology to solve the problem? On one side is a hotbed, one side is a natural enemy, do you think well?

What kind of division is good?

Division of labor is inevitable, because it is very simple, you can not do all the things alone, so it is necessary to division of labor, Division of labor is not a problem, and the problem has become-what kind of division of labor is ideal, is elegant, is efficient?

Hua Junwu Comics "division of Science?" 》

For the division of labor, generally come to be an organization and management form. At present, the modern company has two kinds of division of labor, namely Control and Commitment The two division of labor.

    • control is controlled management, it is based on the job skills of the division of labor, so the staff will be assigned to a relatively narrow skills to complete a very clear job .
    • and commitment is the responsibility of the staff and the commitment to the goal of Division of labor and to complete the work. Compared to the former, such a division of labor in the completion of work, need not only skills, but also need more responsibility .

So let's just say,

    • For the job-based division, you will see that such a company will be the technical staff according to the programming language, such as: Java, PHP, C + +, or divided into: The Web side, iOS, Android, backend, algorithm, data. or divided into: development, testing, operation and maintenance.
    • For commitment based division of labor, you will see them, software engineers (without the front and back end, no language, no sub-operation, testing), because the company believes that he is not only a specific language skills coder, Instead, a variety of languages and technologies can guarantee software quality and software engineers who can maintain software. The company's software engineers are all kinds of teams can go, and their division of labor is more in accordance with the function of software, software modules, or software PRODUCT line to division.

Skill-based division of labor has been in the past, and the division of labor based on commitment is the future of more efficient division of labour. You can see Mcalister-kizzier, Donna. The literature "Division of Labor."


I said so much, I do not know you understand what I want to express? I don't impose my values, I just want you to ask yourself a few questions:

1) How would you choose to work as a person in the division of labor? Is it a pawn, a screw, or an all-rounder?

2) as a working person, when you choose a job or task, do you choose to do supportive work or do productive work? Do you choose to do labor-intensive repetitive work, or do knowledge-intensive creative work?

3) As the boss, what kind of employees do you want? Do you only work overtime and do repetitive labor, or are you responsible for your business and products?

4) As the boss, do you want to release the productivity of low-end employees through division of labor, or to create more NB productivity through technology or technology?

5) As the boss, the problem of division of labor, you find a better solution? For example, did you find the agreement between the different teams?

Maybe, in different situations you will have different answers. But to me, no matter what the situation, I will only have an answer.

Talk about division of labor

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