I think half of our time is spent on gathering "Metrics" so management has something to make pretty charts with and feel useful. Add to that meetings, so called "Spirit Meetings", etc and you might actually do about 8 hrs of actual work in a week, if that much.
I am not a programmer. But everything Wally said in this strip is true. Even in my line of work, condensing the output from 400 lines to 40 lines require patience & skill. But it is easy for managers to "measure" the output by size (number of lines of code).
Wally knows this very well. So, even when he is not doing any real work he is using this knowledge to create a "weaslenable" doubt in the mind (?) of PHB that he is working very hard. That's why i love Wally. He uses his intelligence & understanding of human behavior to live his life the way he wants.
Sadly, the real programmer and the faker would say roughly the same things, although the real programmer is less likely to say them out loud.
PHB has no 'management tools' to differentiate the two, so will conclude he is the only one that does any real work, he is the only one who can see the real value of the engineers 'hobby' projects (they do at work), he the only one going the PHBs meeting...
The measure is patently obvious, the number of completed modules, but Wally skillfully misdirected the PHB.