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Hanley

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Tue, 01 Mar 2005

How many programmers can you fit in a telephone booth? - 19:06
A few months ago Michael Davies wrote about the Fog Creek (Joel on Software) office design. The premise for Fog Creek was, they want to attract and keep the best and brightest programmers, thus they went to the effort of creating office space that would entice these people.

Today Mikal commented "It's impossible to work in a cubicle." suggesting that offices really do help a programmer with their work. I should admit one of the reasons I really like working at a University is they give you an office, Michael has an office here also, as a PhD student, however he does not have one at work as a senior software engineer.

Anyway this all ties in in an interesting manner also to something Lars Wirzenius wrote about recently. Having just read an IBM paper from 1978, "IBM's Santa Teresa Laboratory -- Architectural design for program development" (google can display an html version if you wish), Lars commented on how much it sucks that employers do not seem to think about the environment for programmers as much today as they did then.

I admit it does seem to lack sense for software companies, that base their business on producing good software (well one would hope they do that, though many do not appear to make that a primary goal) would forgo this sort of office plan so often. Michael Davies and Michael Still (both of whom I know personally and respect) both seem to agree with the ideas presented in the IBM paper or by Joel, I wonder how many others agree?

Oh and apparently some people have no idea where I got the title of this diary entry from. You obviously never participated in Telephone booth stuffing.

[/comp/design] link


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