Marty Andrews

artful code

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Why aren't you changing your desk layout?

It seems that almost every place I go and consult at, developers are stuck in cubes with corner desks. You've got to be kidding me people! You all seem to know that software is about collaboration. You even laugh at the antics of Dilbert and his cube farm life. Yet you don't seem to be doing anything about it.

When you go home tonight, grab yourself a phillips head screwdriver. Bring it in to work tomorrow and make some adjustments. If you have some draws on your desk, take them off. If you have a return, take that off too. Put the draws somewhere nearby so you can still use them, but not under your desk. Now, take your monitor out of the corner, and move it to the square part of your desk.

Those simple modifications should mean that you now have enough room at your desk for two people to sit side by side and work at the same machine. Try asking a colleague to come over and give you some feedback on a bit of work you've just done. If she makes a suggestion, slide the keyboard over and ask her to show you a quick example of what she means. Amazing isn't it! Who would've thought that for no cost at all, you could get such a quick and noticeable improvement in the way you collaborate with people at work.

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