The company I currently work for has always had a very lax attitude about what time their developers arrive and leave at. Since software development isn't time-specific the way customer-facing positions tend to be, it's never been a problem. We need to get 40 hours in each week to be full-time, and however we accomplish that is usually fine. I'm regularly 30-90 minutes "late", without so much as a comment from my boss about it. He, too, arrives any time within an hour-wide range most days.
I recently applied at another company, and found out they have a very strict 8-5 schedule for their programmers. Apparently it is a ghost town by 5:05pm every day. A friend who works there said it basically is their response to being burned by their developers and company culture in another location, who would abuse their previously-lax policies.
Is it normal for developers to be expected to follow a strict hourly schedule (typically 8-5 or 9-5)? Is is normal for developers to freely determine their own schedule with little consultation about it with their managers?