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Re: [newtech-1] How is your coding team sitting down right now?

From: user 4.
Sent on: Thursday, November 29, 2007 2:21 PM
My preference would be the following for the 4-5 coders and the 2-3 feet 
of separation you mention. It's just an opinion - I hope you find the 
right setup for you! This all depends on how much room you have.

A nice conference room like table. One end by the window - but several 
feet away... the more the better. At that end pick a corner, left or 
right where there is a large LCD or Plasma Display  (either driven by a 
PC using something simple like netmeeting, a cable that people just 
exchange, or both). The display is on wheels so you can move it. In the 
other corner at the same end of the table you have a whiteboard on 
wheels - for the same reasons. So, people can still see outside,  but 
you have both interfaces (big display and whiteboard) protected from 
people seeing through the window(s). This design gives you plenty of 
flexibility to change configurations based on needs.

The  2 feet of separation is tight but you do what you have to. 3 people 
sit on one side, 3 on the other.  Put a  filing cabinet like system 
(with wheels) by each chair so people have a place to keep their stuff. 
They can pull it out and the top works as extra desktop space. If the 
developers tend to collect books, have a shelf like system where the 
team can share them - you could have a space for each developer by 
getting single shelving systems and then just grouping them.

I never liked having my back to the workplace. Also a single linear 
formation with minimal facial exposure (ie; you just see peoples ears to 
the left and right of you) lends itself to less communication in my 
mind). Since I am on this topic, you may want to consider what a flex 
workspace might really look like and how it would work. Here is my 
thought. The filing cabinet is each persons - it also has wheels. It's 
their stuff (or yours - but that's from a different perspective). 
Depending on the project, it's where people sit and they just move their 
cabinet there- takes 2 seconds. The DB folks work near each other to 
collaborate, the XYZ folks are placed near each other for the same 
reason. Your location is based on function. The table is always cleared 
at the end of the day so people can start fresh the next day. The table 
could have a conference phone system too of course.

The space at the window could have a shelf, which is more like a counter 
where there are stools under it. This space is for people having coffee 
or lunch. Does not use much space, looks cool, and serves the purpose of 
not getting lunch meat on your keyboard - lol.

In terms of computing. You maybe already have the computing stuff in 
place for your team. If not, I would recommend doing what I did with my 
teams if you can do it and it makes sense. I had my teams all switch to 
laptops as much as possible for their development. They got the best 
performing laptops I could get through the channels I had available. 
Anything needing more compute power typically was a server or a test 
machine.  The idea was they can do their work anywhere with minimal 
inconvenience. They can bring it home and work more if they want to. 
It's easy to do demo's on the fly, bring to customer locations, 
developer conferences, etc. Also, I would recommend a nice flat panel 
LCD monitor for each developer to use as a second monitor (they are so 
cheap now). The productivity gains are huge when you can expand your 
desktop to two screens. If you go with the laptops, wireless is obvious, 
easy and should be done.

Just some thoughts. Regards, Mike

Angel wrote:
> We've had major debates on what would be the best way to sit a team of 
> 4-5 coders,
> I'd like to hear from the community what's worked best for them.
> In the past the best configuration to sit a team I've seen was 
> achieved by sitting people
> facing windows and next to each other, probably like 2-3 feet of 
> separation, when something
> needed to be discussed people just turned 180degrees and we had 
> everyone looking at each
> other.
> Let us hear your best team-sitting-configu­ration
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