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Statistics wasn't required at my college, but I chose to take it -- partly because I could rely on my father to help me as needed (he taught it at another college).
I still recall the time during my co-op job when I was asked to rewite a report that was supposed to present the standard deviation -- all it was doing to dividing the average (arithmetic mean) by the size of the population . I have no idea who wrote it originally, but I fixed it good*.
* I chose this wording due to the grammar discussion.
Anyone have any good ideas on compromises between private offices and open office layouts? Private offices are apparently too expensive, and open layouts suck. So I'm looking for some ideas in between that work, or ways to desuckify open office layouts. Note that there will be no agile, XP, pair programming, or any other hippie crap going on.
You cannot argue with agile people so just take the extreme approach and shoot him. :Smile:
I agree with this one. In my old company we used to be fully open planned (all departments could see and hear each other).
We moved offices and split into different departments, this meant we could talk more openly and helped create functional, solid teams. It also stopped other departments getting annoyed with our technical debates over x and y.
It also helped us talk in private when necessary about issues. An example being that we had a bunch of redundancies after the office move and it wasn't appropriate to talk about them in a public area. You'll be surprised how talking about it actually helps in morale, as it gives a mentality of "we are all in it together".
I was working at an established SMB with about 40 employees.
The best solutions I've seen are those with a few developers on a team sharing a common area. Encourages teamwork and the turn around, "hey Bob, I'm hung up on this." sort of interaction.
Keep in mind that there needs to be some private area too; meeting rooms or the like, so when someone needs to have a discussion, they can go in there without interrupting the other members of the team.
However, if possible, these groups should not just be thrown out in the middle of an open area.
Where I'm currently working we went from a setup of all the developers in one end of the building in a mostly shared area to a cube farm sort of setup, where the cubes are aligned linearly and right outside the kitchen.
< rant > So, in addition to moving to s****y call-center-worker sized cubes which encourage separation, we get all the noise of people getting their coffee, lunch, having their social time in the kitchen. Of course, a wall/divider to block some of the noise has been talked about since June. Needless to say, management isn't that effective. Maybe for the first anniversary of the move. < / rant >
What sucks about an open office? We have one and it's great, much more sociable than being hidden behind cube walls. An open plan office with some breakout rooms and a little discipline in how loudly you talk in the main office is a nice place to work.
Seems that we are encountering the difference between extroverts and introverts.
I loathe open offices. Don't like cubicle farms much either, but they are infinitely better. My best office was a private office with a north facing window with a view of the local mountains (they set the thermostat very low, but a space heater fixed that.)
Because in an open plan office with lots of people talking and phones going and people walking around, it takes much longer to get into "the zone", it's much easier to be distracted out of it, and it takes longer to get back into it again.
If you are doing a job which doesn't require much thought open plan is fine, but for a programmer I would say being able to cut yourself off when necessary is essential.
I am a programmer :p. As long as people use their 'indoor voice' and there aren't lots of phones (which I agree are a killer), I have no problem getting into the zone. If you're easily distracted by noise then headphones and some relaxing music can be very helpful.
The problem is that some people won't use their indoor voices. We have the option of working from home so often on days when I'm going to be doing heads down coding, that's the option I choose. Otherwise, I do opt for the headphones.
No one has mentioned bookcases, which don't fit well in an open plan. I know, books are passe these days, but I still keep a few for reference. So, at least some sort of cubicle wall is needed.
Regarding being in the zone, I am able to ignore almost anything (just ask my wife) to concentrate on work. Noise doesn't bother me as long as it isn't intelligent noise (which means most people talking are no distraction). My kids need headphones, which seem to work. I am distracted though by anyone staring at me while I try to work.
And last but not least, no one has mentioned passing gas, for which a private office is needed, preferably in a corner with a separate air flow system and a window.