The Team Room

I've just been reading this article about team rooms on Martin Fowlers blog. Is it strange that developers spend so much time obsessing over our work environment? Or is it inevitible as we try to optimise every part of the development process.

It seems especially valid, as we have Thought Works in working with us at Totaljobs and they have the central desk, whereas we have more of a UPod but with corner desks. As he says pairing is a bit fiddly but quite possible.

Our wall is covered with inpirational posters and drawings of how things should look. Done in original felt-pen. Though reading this article I think there's a strong need for some plants in our area. A bit of forna is always a calming influence I find.

I'm thinking a fruit bowl as opposed to the donuts and cookies might be a good idea.

Martin's article mentions a minimum of 2 20" monitors. We only have 19" and in some cases 17". We managed to get updated PC's recently with more memory and cores etc. Which is great... but how could they forget monitors. I'm going to have to put forward a business case as to why larger monitors will increase productivity.

If anyone has any idea of what to put in the business case please let me know.


I've been after 2 24" Dell Ultrasharp monitors now for several years, but at over £460 a piece, they're out of my budget and no-one seems to be able to tell me if they'll work with a MacBook Pro 13". Plus my wife reminds me how 1 of them could pay for a holiday let-alone 2. She has a very valid point, maybe if I built something at home that actually made some small amount of revenue I could justify it.

Why do we care so much about our equipment. If I were an electrician I'm sure I'd have the best kit money could buy, but as developers I think we so often accept less than the best.

Bigger monitors reduce the amount of time spent re-arranging windows so I can get a better view of what I'm working on. I'm seriously thinking that going forward 3 monitors is a necesessity. When you've got Visual Studio, SQL Management Studio and a browser open you're out of space.

Drawing Pads

I find to aid the development process we use a lot of scraps of paper, the back of printed backlogs and just about anything else. But it seems nothing compares to a quick doodle on a scrap of paper to get an idea across. Maybe if we had a board available we'd use that, but a scrap book is a viable poor-mans alternative.




The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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