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A quiet place to code...

by el-moe (Scribe)
on Oct 15, 2000 at 10:14 UTC ( [id://36792]=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Is there such a thing as a quiet place to code?

I have been less than happy lately. I don't seem to get any time at work where no one is talking or making some sort of noise. I understand there are many jobs in a company that do not require deep thought but mine is not one of them.

Of course I do have some things to be glad about...

I am lucky enough to have a position as a Perl programmer. That is a tremendous plus in my book.

My boss is chock full of ideas for cool programs. Again... it helps to have another brain helping to brainstorm...

We are in the process of implementing a complete automation system for an electronics manufacturing plant and it is going very well from the point of the management. My reputation in my industry is in good standing...

So all in all I am getting stuff done... but I feel there could be so much more progress if it was quiet.

So here it is... my meditative question...

Do I need a quiet place to code and are there people like me that seem to be getting things finished but are truly dissatisfied with their work environment?

Thanks for listening.

<bold>Update:</bold>

I think I have a double standard... I want it quiet when I'm "in the zone". Brainstorming sessions are another thing entirely. And the other people in my area hear a lot of mumbo-jumbo coming from this corner of the office during those times.

I forgot to add in the first post that I am in a temporary area where they had cubes to lend. I have been in this cube for over a year now. When the IT department is built I'll be moving... that was supposed to be last April... but I'm not holding my breath.

Again... I appreciate all the feedback.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
RE: A quiet place to code...
by Russ (Deacon) on Oct 15, 2000 at 19:32 UTC
    I heard rumor of some management-speak article explaining how to attract and keep IT professionals. It purportedly listed "The Top ? Things Programmers Love" and "Walls and Doors" was on the list.

    I am quite fortunate; my small company takes good care of the programmers. Everyone has an office, and we have a commitment to maintain that standard. It just makes sense.

    Programmers need to concentrate. Now, in my case, that means a relatively quiet place where I can control the volume and severity of competing attention-grabbers. I find that though I can often focus fiercely on a task, shutting out all other stimuli (a trait that has gotten me in trouble with Mom, SO's, etc. ;-), noise and activity makes it more difficult to get into that state.

    My current assignment has me in a cubicle (for the first time in my programming career). It is less-than-ideal :-) In an office environment, where everyone wants to be perceived as pleasant and friendly, it is normal to be greeted, in my cube, by each passer-by through the day. This is probably just my introversion showing through <nobr>(Myers-Briggs - INTP),</nobr> but I consider most of those greetings a distraction. There is a lady on our floor who likes to have very LOUD speaker-phone conversations. The printer has a distinctive "jet-spooling-up" sound. The project manager is two cubes away (so, a little over 6 feet), so any conversation about me or my projects will get my attention.

    Cubicles seem to encourage a perpetual "open-door" policy; if you want someone's attention, just go get it. With no mechanism available to signify "I'm busy and concentrating, please come back after lunch," interruptions are guaranteed.

    I enjoy working where I am. Let's be clear about that. :-)

    <WINDMILL-TILTING>
    How much does it cost a company to house its programmers in sheetrock? Let's compare some numbers. A 9' x 8' cubicle occupies 72 square feet. Our offices are 9'11" x 11'6". Call that 115 square feet. Real estate in NW Oklahoma City (the only pricing data I have) has commercial office space renting for around $12 per square foot per year. (115 - 72) * 12 == $516 per year. That assumes that you build the offices bigger than the cubes. You wouldn't necessarily have to do that.

    How much does it cost to build out an office vs. cubicles? At da Vinci (my employer), we would pay about $500 (estimated) to build out three offices in a new space in our building. Furniture? We spent ~$1000 per office on Hon brand furniture. Modular office furniture is ghastly expensive. Browsing through an office furniture catalog, it looks like those 9' x 8' cubicles would cost around $3000 each. Cubicle walls, desks and cabinets are quite expensive.

    So, how many years does it take, saving $516 per year, just to make up the extra cost in modular furniture?

    How much does a company pay in salary for a programmer? Does it make sense to scrimp $500 or $1000 per year on that person who costs $30000? $45000? $60000? $50K salary equals roughly $25 per hour. Could a noisy, interruption-prone workplace cost that person 20 hours in lost productivity over the course of an entire year?

    Housing programmers in cubes is stupid.
    </WINDMILL-TILTING> ;-)

    Russ
    Brainbench 'Most Valuable Professional' for Perl

      While I agree with everything you say, there's an issue you may have overlooked.

      While modular office space is expensive, once you own it, you can rearrange it. Once you put up sheetrock, you're stuck with it. Also, converting a cube farm into sheetrock offices makes the entire office space seem a maze of corridors and doors. This is usually not a desired effect when you want to show someone your office building.

      Like it or not, thanks to the Scandinavians and a few other "designers", wide open office space is "what people like". I like a small, dark, warm office. But, after walking into IBM buildings in Raleigh, I can appreicate the negative psychological impact that the corridor maze *does* have.

      It's a two edged sword, in many respects. Programmers get the environment that most of the them want, but it does make for a "us vs. them" type office environment. I don't think it's the cause, but I do think it encourages departmental isolation, staking out of territory, etc.

      You also run into the issue that you want people to *feel* that they can communicate readily with their co-workers. Among people in the same discipline, this isn't much of a problem (programmers to programmers, hardware guys to hardware guys, etc). But when you walk into the corridor maze looking for the hardware guys, it's a lot less friendly feeling than the open cube farm. And then there are the people with their doors always shut (that would be me).

      I've worked in both enviroments. While I prefer the private office by far and large, from a management standpoint, and a building facilities standpoint, I can see the value of cubes. I don't how many times at Hayes we went through re-cubing. But I know it was a helluva lot cheaper than building new walls. Not to mention, you *can* take it with you when you go...

      One final note I just remembered. Depending on who owns the building, they may or may not want the build out. Depends on your lease, the location, etc. Most people leasing buildings will permit buildouts, but sometimes this is not the case.

      --Chris

      e-mail jcwren
        While modular office space is expensive, once you own it, you can rearrange it.

        jcwren, have you ever worked someplace where the cubes were actually rearranged while you were working there? Do you know of anyone who has? I'll be really surprised if that's the case.

        The idea that cubes are more cost-effective because they can be rearranged doesn't hold up, overall. The problem isn't the cube walls themselves, it's all of the wiring that has to get snaked through them. Redoing the wiring drives up the cost of rearranging cubes to the point where you have to absorb the cost over multiple rearrangements for cubes to win in the long run. And rearranging cubes interrupts work, so no one does it often enough or frequently enough to recoup the extra initial cost.

        Most research shows that (most) programmers produce the most code when they can spend 3-4 hours at a stretch on a problem, uninterrupted. You know, that midnight-hacking zone we've all experienced, when the ideas are right there in your head and the code is flowing freely... After an interruption, it takes (on average) about 10-15 minutes to get your head back to where it was pre-interrupt. (Yes, that's an average, so not everyone conforms to the model; more than a few monks here seem to bounce back and forth effortlessly between answering every question in sight and writing some amazing code.)

        So the "best" environment for writing a lot of code is one that minimizes interruptions. For most people, that's walls and a door that can be shut. Many can put on the headphones to work uninterrupted in a cube, but you don't lose that ability if you're in a room instead.

        You're right, though, that facilities people (including landlords) love cubes, but in my experience, it's simply because they're more convenient for them to work with. That convenience creates some small, artificial savings that lose out when you take a look at the overall cost, especially in terms of programmer productivity. A company gets more bang for the buck out of making its people as productive as possible, not sqeezing a few more dollars out of facility costs.
      Thanks for the thought you put into this post Russ.

      I showed it to some of the "powers that be" and I got a little bit of a wierd response. It was something like...

      But the thread is slanted to the programmers point of view... that's one sided...

      I was a little surprised to hear that the programmers opinions were not important to them.

      Can you believe it?

      Thanks again.

        But the thread is slanted to the programmers point of view... that's one sided...

        Wow, that's unfortunate. I formulated that viewpoint while acting in a managerial role, deciding how to handle office space in a rapidly growing small company. We assumed that since most companies seem to use cubicles, there must be a good reason, right? ;-)

        Wrong.

        There are some valid viewpoints in favor of cubes. See jcwren elsewhere in this thread for some examples. However, I honestly believe the main motivation for cubes in most companies is "pecking-order." It is easy to establish a hierarchy of importance with cubes. Some go near windows, some are "interior", some are "high-traffic'" You can make cubes tiny, small, medium, large, corner, etc. The managers have to have some visible "perk" to set them apart from the workers, right? Otherwise, why would anyone respect them? (That the manager should be good enough, and demonstrably competent must really frighten most managerial staff...)

        We decided, at da Vinci, to aim toward a more egalitarian arrangement. Everyone has an office, even the interns. The owner's office is the same size as mine. Mine is the same size as the most junior programmer in the company. New computers don't always go the most senior person (and rarely go to a "manager").

        Every collection of human beings (especially coders with lots of laziness, hubris and impatience) will have a pecking order. However, it is simply irresponsible to sacrifice the most instrumental tool for efficiency and productivity (a quiet, distraction-free workplace) on the altar of "managerial perks."

        Good luck with your "powers." Who knows? They certainly didn't have a substantive response to it. Maybe they'll honestly investigate the idea and consider "thinking outside the box." <tongue-in-cheek>People like us usually have a hard time finding "the box," but with patience and honest discourse, even managers can be logical once-in-a-while.</tongue-in-cheek>

        ;-)

        Russ
        Brainbench 'Most Valuable Professional' for Perl

RE: A quiet place to code...
by merlyn (Sage) on Oct 15, 2000 at 15:06 UTC
    Learning Perl was originally written for the most part in a brewpub just down the street from my house. I've tried writing in a very quiet place, and I usually fail. A little bit of people motion and noise seems to be needed while I write. In fact, as I write this, I'm sitting in front of my home DVD-watching setup with some cable TV station playing in background at low volume for noise.

    When I'm in a perfectly quiet environment, my mind tends to wander too much to work. The little bit of noise is needed to give me something to struggle against, I guess, and I can concentrate better.

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

      I like a little hustle and bustle also... just not the talking and BSing that goes on one or two cubes away. If everything is quiet except for one conversation it is very distracting.

      I agree though that absolute silence can be a little too loud for me.

      Thanks

(redmist) RE: A quiet place to code...
by redmist (Deacon) on Oct 15, 2000 at 10:34 UTC
    I am at college right now, and I find that it is exceedingly difficult to get *any* coding done. During the summer, I could seclude myself in my room with 1.5Mbit DSL, no light, some snacks, and a bunch of books, and code and discover and explore at an alarming rate.

    Now, I am in a noisy dorm with people always wandering in and staring at me sitting at my computer, on 28800 dial-up (that only works under Windows), and an assload of work to do. Working conditions are of vital importance to the quality and quantity of code that I can push out. I miss the good old days.

    redmist
    redmist.dyndns.org
    email::redmist
      When I was in college I found that I could not get things done during the day, not because of the noise level, but because of the social level. I was constantly distracted by friends coming by my room... and the library was no better. Luckily I am a night person and so when things started to quiet down around 1am I was able to get work done. This, of course, hinged on the fact that I had a single - which was not always the case. But my best grades were earned the semesters where I lived alone and could work the ridiculous hours that I did.*

      Now that I work in a cubicle farm I find that I am again hampered by people coming in to my cube to ask questions, check on my progress, and socialize. These are the plagues of the work place... and I doubt that offices would help me much on that. Although having an office would reduce the neck cramp I get from glancing around every time someone walks by. Lately I've ben trying to ignore the people behind me until I am spoken too... but that doesn't help: My head snaps around even faster when I'm surprised to hear a voice. On the other hand I get more sleep these days. :-)

      *Absense of people was by no means equivalent to absense of noise. I often worked with the radio on or some movie playing on the tube. I especially like having HBO at the time because they played they same movies over and over again during a given week. This reduced what could have been a distraction to an interesting sort of white-noise. It had the interesting side effect of distracting friends who had come by to distract me, often buying me an hour of daytime work while my friend sat entranced by a movie I had seen 3 or 4 times in the last 3 or 4 days. But I digress.

        "Lately I've ben trying to ignore the people behind me until I am spoken too..."

        Oh man, that's the worst! When you get that strange feeling that someone is staring at your back, and then you say, "Is anyone in here?" (because you are too lazy to turn around), and someone says, "Oh, yes" and you respond in your snottiest voice possible, "You're still here?" and they *still* don't get the hint. BTW, I don't do this to everyone, just the senseless one's who can't pick up a hint the first time around.

        redmist
        redmist.dyndns.org
        email::redmist
RE: (Earmuffs?) A quiet place to code...
by jptxs (Curate) on Oct 15, 2000 at 20:15 UTC

    In my first tech job as a tech support guy, I sat near this C/++ programmer who wore earmuffs. They looked like the kind of things one might wear to a shooting gallery or the old 70s style headphones. They were explicitly to block noise. When someone wanted his attention, he had a little button near the entrance to his cube that would light a little light on top of his monitor. When I asked him and the earmuffs one day, he said they helped him think better...maybe they could help you too?

    And, before anyone comments on the potential for isolationism with this, this guy had a perfectly pleasent demeanor and was always helpful when you lit his light : ) Had he been at all grumpy, I'm sure the earmuffs would have been considered rude and nasty. But, because he was so nice with them off and because everyone sorta knew he had a tough job no one thought twice about it.

    -- I'm a solipsist, and so is everyone else. (think about it)

RE: A quiet place to code...
by toadi (Chaplain) on Oct 15, 2000 at 13:23 UTC
    I must say I like to party when I program:-)
    Ok not always, but I like music to play. And sometimes we do funny ...

    But there are also moments I need my focus; on those moments I tunnel my concentration to my screen qnd I forget my surrounding. I don't mind background noise because I almost can't hear it on those moments. What i truly hate is the fact people come asking trivial questions I need to do and this interrupts me and then I'm out of that concentration and it's not easy getting it back :-)


    --
    My opinions may have changed,
    but not the fact that I am right

Home sweet home....
by Zarathustra (Beadle) on Oct 15, 2000 at 21:06 UTC

    I recently was lucky enough to migrate outta cubicle-ville and into the dark, quiet recesses of my own home.

    Since then, my productivity ( which was already not half-bad ) sky rocketed.

    Nobody bothers me ( except for occasional phone calls ), I'm in total control of my environment, I can take a moment to just "gell" when I need it or surround myself in books for pure research when I need to without feeling like someone's going to see me and think I'm slacking off, I can blast whatever music suites my current mood, and I never waste any time traveling to or from work - because, hey ... I'm already there!

    Though of course I must mention that now that work has, for all intents and purposes, completely encroached into my living quarters, I now put in *way* more hours in a day than the mere 10-12 that I was doing in the office. Basically my hours are now 24/7. I'm constantly monitoring our systems ( I'm part developer, part unix sys-admin ), constantly checking email, constantly tweaking/adding code, and I constantly just find myself back in front of the computer doing purely work related stuff.

    The whole "hobby/fun" portion of my use of the computer in what used to be my off time, is now funneled directly toward and into the code, systems, software and services which I maintain for my employer. It's both cool - 'cuz I get a shitload done - and somewhat weird, because I feel like -- "Whoah, I'm getting *way* too involved with my work". ( my girlfriend, who I'm living with, has the same sentiment... )

    A double-edged sword I guess, but so far I'm really digging it -- perhaps only just because I'm a complete geek....

    So, if you're really looking for peace and quiet in the workplace - see if you can't work something out in getting them to have you telecommute.

    Next best thing is finding a place that'll give you your own office.

    Failing that, setup and customize whatever space they've provided for you into something that is more suited to your particular tastes for promoting concentration.

    Peace and quite are definately out there - but you just may have to exert effort to either find, or create it.

(jeffa) RE: A quiet place to code...
by jeffa (Bishop) on Oct 15, 2000 at 18:36 UTC
    Music.

    I have a collection of music that I hang on to for such purposes. I prefer instrumental music, so that there are no human voices to distract. Since I am a drummer as well, I try to find instrumental music without a prominent backbeat - otherwise I'll start tapping on the desk and performing other feats of air-drumming.

    In your case, those 'new-age' compositions of naturual sounds might be a winner. Anything that will block out the distracting sound waves without being blocking itself should do the trick.

    Good luck with your quest for quietness - a clear mind is the most important tool a programmer can have.

    Jeff

      For me sometimes the rhythm helps drive the code. Enigma's 3rd album and Blue Man Group's "Audio" are both excellent coding background music for me.
      I think music is a great idea! I actually got some headphones and have been listening to some great stuff I've been stumbling upon here and there on the Web. I like it ok but sometimes I find myself turning it up so loud to drown out the other people that I'm now fighting with the songs for thinking room.

      Ahhhh... the quest for peace continues...

      Thanks.

(Ovid - how I got a quiet place to code)
by Ovid (Cardinal) on Oct 15, 2000 at 23:54 UTC

    Kill, kill, kill...

    is what I wanted to do to my neighbor when I worked in a cube farm. I called him the "cherry bomb" because he'd often explode in anger, making a loud noise, but with little real effect (except to deny him promotions and raises). Needless to say, sitting next to him was unpleasant.

    When one of our users/customers had to deal with the clunky and confusing interfaces and actually was <sarcasm>stupid enough</sarcasm> to forget to set a minor switch on the third page of a 7 page setup screen, the system would do unpleasant things. Naturally, the Cherry Bomb would be called and he'd tell the users that they shouldn't be so stupid and need to learn how to read the documentation and now he has to clean up after them, etc....

    Then the worst would hit: he'd stand up, lean over the cube wall and start ranting to me how he was sick of working for a Micky Mouse (TM) company and how all users are losers, and how blah, blah, blah. My productivity was ruined. Even after he stopped ranting, I would have to go on a break to calm down.

    Until I figured out the solution...

    Brilliance Strikes!

    I don't claim to be the most brilliant programmer around, but sometimes a wonderful idea strikes me. Our network allowed us to send messages to other computers in the form of a pop-up window. I wrote a VBA app -- it's the tool I had available -- that would automatically send a "Call me, I'm being assaulted" message to a select group of co-workers. Then, I created a new icon (with a picture of a cherry bomb, naturally), which I embedded in all of my VBA-capable programs.

    When the Cherry Bomb would go off, I'd reach for my mouse and click the icon, which invisibly sent the message. A few moments later, my phone would ring and a "user" would have an "emergency." This went on for several months until I left the company. The Cherry Bomb, so red with anger, never caught on :)

    Cheers,
    Ovid

    Join the Perlmonks Setiathome Group or just go the the link and check out our stats.

RE: A quiet place to code...
by Petruchio (Vicar) on Oct 15, 2000 at 23:18 UTC
    Understand, I have no experience with such things... but Sennheiser makes "active noise compensation" headphones. I believe that they sample noise from your environment, invert the waveform, and send the inverted signal to the speakers, thus canceling out most sounds. You can find a review here.

    For my own part, I truly sympathize. A certain amount of background noise I can ignore easily, but sometimes conversations or certain other sounds distract me. I especially remember one time when a deadline was approaching, the non-technical folks began celebrating while the hackers were crunching. I just about bit a fairly nice fellow's head off.

    These days, if I can't get silence, I generally listen to Bach; it's nice to have my disks onhand. I can code to his harpsichord concerti very well, occasionally pausing just to listen. Some Mozart's okay, but a lot of his stuff is a bit too emotional.

RE: A quiet place to code...
by cwest (Friar) on Oct 16, 2000 at 00:58 UTC

    Day

    I work at a 'design firm' that likes open spaces and a team environment. So all the Software Engineers are packed in their own ( large ) corner with a large, open workspace.

    The Problem

    This means that many people can come to you at any time and invade your workspace and/or environment ( a.k.a Senses, eyes, ears, nose... ).

    The Solution

    The SE Team made a small presentation for the rest of the staff. We gave that presentation and it explained the following basic principals.
    • We get into 'The Zone', to be knocked out of 'The Zone' requires time to get back into 'The Zone'
    • We need to have large amounts of time to just code.
    • Email us before just stopping by.
    • Try to be quite near our spaces.
    The punch like is that the company makes money when we are productive.

    This went over well because the values at the company stress 'Sharing your mind' and 'Honesty' and 'Productivity'. :-)

    Night

    All the Programmers/Sys Admins are in one room. Each basic team has thier own room, with a door.

    The Problem

    People don't respect the closed door.

    The Solution

    We put a white board up that explained how to reach us and what we were doing for them. And to 'please' respect this time.

    It works because people want to know you're doing something for them and they'll be happy with the smallest update.

    --
    Casey
       I am a superhero.
    
RE: A quiet place to code...
by ivory (Pilgrim) on Oct 18, 2000 at 02:53 UTC
    I hear ya. A friend of mine (a web developer) is working for a company that is having trouble finding good developers. He has asked me to come in and help take some of his workload (I'd get to do lots of perl) and I have tentatively agreed. But, last week I went to their office for the first time and after seeing their development space, I am having some serious second thoughts. Let me explain:

    All the developers sit in a nice big room with a comfy leather couch, lots of white boards, good lighting, etc. But, in the middle of the room sits a foozball (sp?) table, and all sorts of people come in to watch/participate in the games. In addition, two of the developers are guitarists, and they have both brought in their instruments, amps, etc. and I have been told that they like to play a few times daily (and again, all sorts of people come in to hear them play).

    The thing that strikes me as weird, is that all this was presented to me by my friend as a bonus for working in such a "cool" company with a "great atmosphere".

    I guess my question to you all is, does this sound like a place where you could (or would want to work?)? Or does it as sound nightmarishly unproductive to you as it does to me?

    Ivory

      I wouldn't take a job in that room.

      They seem to want to make it a comfortable place to "hang out" but that doesn't fit well with complex algorithms. A thought could take a long while to get to the point. If I am to be interupted, I would at least want to narrow the field to other programmers... but having any old Joe showing up while he doesn't have any sales calls to make should be unnacceptable.

      The game room idea is a good one but it should be it's own room. Maybe they don't want their programmers to be able to generate vast amounts of cool, well behaved, easily maintainable code. That's what I always set out to do... fill a library with good tools for the next guy to use.

      Thanks.

RE: A quiet place to code...
by jepri (Parson) on Oct 16, 2000 at 04:29 UTC
    People behind me actually help me work. I'm a contractor assigned to the clients site, and they put me in a store room. Whenever someone comes in to the room to move equipment around, I have to hide my (Perl Monks) browser window and start tapping away frantically on my program. So my productivity goes up the more people are around.

    ____________________
    Jeremy

RE: A quiet place to code...
by extremely (Priest) on Oct 16, 2000 at 01:53 UTC

    short and sweet, MP3s + earphones. I code better with tecno and instrumentals tho. Lyrics eat at my attention. Lord I wouldn't be half as far thru my current project without the soundtrack from Run Lola, Run. (Lola Rennt)

    --
    $you = new YOU;
    honk() if $you->love(perl)

RE: A quiet place to code...
by the_slycer (Chaplain) on Oct 16, 2000 at 09:03 UTC
    Get some of those big honking earphones (the ones that cover your entire ear) and wear them, even with no music playing, you will find it cuts down on the general noise level, and even the typical visits If they see you listening to music, they are more likely to not bother you :)
RE: A quiet place to code...
by turnstep (Parson) on Oct 16, 2000 at 20:31 UTC

    Yes, you definitely need a place that you can *focus* on your code. This does not have to be a neccesarily "quite" place, as most seem to do well on some sort of white noise (be it a brewpub or a pair of headphones and an MP3 collection). I highly recommend the book Rapid Development which spends a chapter talking about the need for developers in particular to have their own uninterrupted time, as we tend to "focus in" for long period of times, and do not deal well with constant interruptions. (I'd quote from the book, but it's currently loaned out).

    Working in a cubicle is the worst, especially when co-workers have conversations with other co-workers in a nearby cube. Plus, the phone, the traffic, the constant questions, etc. Even headphones don't really help, as human voices (especially louder ones) are very hard to filter out short of the reverse phase trick mentioned above. If anyone else has the aforementioned book, I think there were some actual scientific studies quoted in it that would be of particular interest to this thread.

RE: A quiet place to code...
by Blue (Hermit) on Oct 16, 2000 at 17:43 UTC
    We've gotten so bad with cubeville-interruptions that we have to cross the sea to get any relief.

    I work for a global corporation, and we constantly have people going back and forth between our biggest IT departments to "work on projects". At first I thought this was a political thing to get some "face" time elsewhere. Then one of the developers from our head office told me that "no one called" while he was here. Things started clicking together.

    We have a very open environment, both cublicle and phone. And it definitely has it's benefits. The CEO wants that so much that the voicemail is disabled during normal business hours 8(. But it's very hard to get uninterrupted time. Worse for me because I'm a Sys Admin, so I get the barrage of questions daily which is my job to answer. Working on training my assistant (what luxury!) to be a "phone firewall" for me.

    What we've ended up doing is when we need to work on a project, abandoning our nice safe cubicle and setting up shop in a different one, hopefully in a different building. This way we're harder to track down and interrupt, and only happens for real problems, not someone just wanting to ask about the trivial.

    =Blue
    ...you might be eaten by a grue...

RE: A quiet place to code...
by royalanjr (Chaplain) on Oct 16, 2000 at 19:53 UTC

    I generally do not need perfect quiet, but...
    there is this one guy in a near cubicle that LOVES his speakerphone. With his booming voice. With the volume UPPPP.

    Funny, but one day the speakerphone stopped working.
    I pulled the chip that runs it out of the phone!! *evil grin*

    Roy Alan

RE: A quiet place to code...
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 18, 2000 at 06:03 UTC
    I hired a personal coach some time ago to help me with what I thought at the time was self 'sabbotage' Here's how it was put to me. "Mr. Kelly you are miserable whenever your attention is on yourself, like it is now! The fact is that you are profiting from your complaints which are really nothing more than a sneaky form of bragging, i.e. convincing yourself how important you are. The simple fact is Mr. Kelly that TRUE intention is always demonstrated by attainment. Your willingness to be distracted indicates how much you are in love with yourself and not with the object of your creation." He summed it up thusly: The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. :-) Sanford Kelly

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