Sunday, 8 February 2009

That's what I call a comfortable office

You guys know Joel Spolsky right? At the moment he is a CEO at Fog Creek Software, small company in Manhattan. I'm really impressed with their new office, take a look on a slideshow.

Joel was writing a few times that his main goal is to provide the best possible environment for software developers and this way gain the highest productivity:

Building great office space for software developers serves two purposes: increased productivity, and increased recruiting pull. Private offices with doors that close prevent programmers from interruptions allowing them to concentrate on code without being forced to stop and listen to every interesting conversation in the room. And the nice offices wow our job candidates, making it easier for us to attract, hire, and retain the great developers we need to make software profitably. It’s worth it, especially in a world where so many software jobs provide only the most rudimentary and depressing cubicle farms.
I know exactly how important that is as I'm lucky to work for company having the same goal. But still, there are things I feel jealous about after checking the slideshow. Beside the awesome design I especially like 30“ monitors (I had a chance to work a bit on 22“ monitors and I'm 100% convinced that it makes a difference) or long desks (huge monitors require huge desks ;) ). I'm sure that one day I will talk my boss into buying such a nice monitors for us ;)

Here you can find Joel's post about new office, and an article about the office in The New York Times.


Miro said...

Hey Marek,

So you think a single large display beats 2x smaller displays? Personally I prefer multiple monitors so I can easily maximise two windows at once and see them both, rather than having to awkwardly tile two apps next to each other on a single display.

Hey - there's a thought - has anyone come up with a way to tile just a couple of windows? The standard tile windows function always ends up tiling everything including all your little explorer windows, control panel, etc., etc. so it's useless.


PS: how about that for an instant "boss" response? ;-)

Marek Blotny said...

Hey Miro,

Wow, instant "boss" response ... I didn't expect that! :)

Granted that ability to easily maximize apps can't be underrated. In general, I'm not advocating for switching to a single huge monitor. But when it comes to working in a single-application-mode, for instance with a Visual Studio, then I'm not so confident that 2x 17“ monitors can beat single 30“.

Well, 30“ monitor is a bit extreme option, but I was using 22“ high resolution monitor and I felt completely sold. Huge monitors might not be so important for surfing the web but for applications like Visual Studio or Eclipse they make a difference. So I would say that the most flexible option is to have one bigger monitor for VS or Eclipse and other one which is handy when you are in multiple-applications-mode. (that would be a picture number 35 from the slideshow)

I miss a tool which would automatically tile only relevant applications too. I haven't seen anything like that yet.

stevec said...

I use 2x20" at 1600x1200 at work (and at home) but seriously thinking about switching to one 24" or bigger as what I really need is working with more code windows not more applications (typically).

My second screen is taken by my mail app or music player anyway, and not that useful really.

Using Fiddler when analyzing sites really benefit on 2 screens, or when I'm debugging with lots of logging in tail.

A dual setup with 30" + 20" perhaps? :D

Marek Blotny said...

Hi Steve, thanks for your comment!

30" + 20" is the best option but also a bit costly.

So you are thinking about switching from 2x20" to a single 24" ... interesting ... I wonder where is a point in which single monitor beats two smaller displays?