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
> 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
> Let us hear your best team-sitting-configuration
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