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RE: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Quiet working conditions VS Common room

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  • Mike Beedle
    My take is, as always, keep a balance, between isolation and constant communication with the group. Prolonged time in isolation, i.e. with no real contact
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 17, 2004
      My take is, as always, keep a balance, between isolation and constant
      communication with the group.

      Prolonged time in isolation, i.e. with no "real contact" with people,
      generally pulls people apart. On the other hand, too much interaction in
      the BullPen can be distracting.

      We have had as many as 10 people in the room at any one time, with 1 or 2
      people over time, "listening to music" on and off, but when it is time for
      everyone to get involved, we ask people to re-join the group. Also, on
      personal calls to cell phones or longish "interesting but not-work-related"
      conversations, most people leave the BullPen.

      On the other hand, if there is a spontaneous collaboration conceived, we
      typically have it done at the BullPen, with the option to go to a couple of
      little conference rooms close by. These rooms have conference phones that
      are also used to call remote developers or customers.

      - Mike

      -----Original Message-----
      From: gooberdlx@... [mailto:gooberdlx@...]
      Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 7:55 AM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Quiet working conditions VS Common room

      coming from a developer side in an XP environment... I would go nuts
      if I didn't have music while I developed... I focuse ahead at my
      laptop screen, use IM or table knocks if we need to group... if I'm
      pair programming, then its a different case, but it's even that more
      difficult to get the pair to focus and not be distracted...

      "Deb" <deborah@h...> wrote:
      > Some notes on "creating personal space" with music:
      > > On Friday, December 17, 2004, at 3:39:58 AM, Vaibhaw Poddar wrote:
      > >
      > > I would think that people with headphones on are for all practical
      > > purposes inaccessible.
      > A buddy told me yesterday that InstantMessaging is "indispensable"
      > their development team... he's one of the guys wearing the
      > so I guess it makes sense... and keeps the room quiet for everyone
      > else. Pretty much the only reason I use IM at work is to say "r u
      > there?" and "got a sec?". (We have a couple of high partitions that
      > cut line-of-sight).
      > Ron Jeffries wrote:
      > > Not really, a tap on the shoulders generally does the trick :-)
      > I sometimes jump out of my skin if someone taps my shoulder while I
      > concentrating... so I generally "knock" on a surface they are
      > - desk, chair - to get their attention, and they take the headphones
      > off to talk to me, so courtesy is not a problem here.
      > I just bought an mp3 player myself, finally. I use it with earbuds,
      > which let me hear some of what goes on around me, but not all. When
      > I use it? Under normal conditions, our low noise level does not
      > me. I resort to music only when I'm stressed out and need extra help
      > to filter out the workroom sounds. It does help me work better then.
      > One important issue in the workplace is downloading music and
      > it from your harddrive... employees need to remember that illegal
      > copying of music could constitute copyright infringement on the part
      > of your employer (yikes!). Also, a tech support colleague says they
      > see more problems on computers where developers have installed
      > downloaded mp3 software. I think it's important to find out what
      > site's policies are about downloads and installing software... some
      > companies do have "approved" mp3 or CD software, if you ask.
      > Having worked in both traditional and open workspaces, I much prefer
      > the latter, and find music a good alternative to walls.
      > But note: without walls, it can be very important to help people
      > reduce peripheral *visual* distractions - I think that, if you can,
      > each person (or pair) should have one direction they can turn and
      > see anyone else (while seated). This can be done with half-high
      > partitions or filing cabinets, etc. (As soon as you stand up, you
      > everyone again, and you can still hear everything). This is more
      > important to some than others, but it's important to be sensitive to
      > this. As a visual person, this kind of "visual noise" is MUCH more
      > disruptive to me than sound - it can totally wreck my
      concentration. I
      > guess if you're using XP's "caves and common" then this would apply
      > only in the "caves". But we used this to achieve a totally "open"
      > feeling workspace while allowing concentration, worked really well.
      > But it requires a little more available desk real estate to keep it
      > "open" otherwise you are back in cubicle land. (this was a SteelCase
      > solution, in case anyone is wondering).
      > deb
      > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Vaibhaw Poddar
      > <vaibhawp@y...> wrote:
      > > Date: Fri Dec 17, 2004 6:00 am
      > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Quiet working conditions VS Common

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