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Looking for dynamic office solutions

Currently we have 4 programmers in 2 offices.  Everyone has their own desktop machines.

We're doing a lot of paired programming, and the pairs are switching up often.  We are currently in a situation when 2 are paired, and the other two are not.  But it gets noisy when there's 3 programmers in one office, and 1 in the other.

We've moved offices before, but the switching of pairs is making that unproductive.

We're tossing around ideas like wireless laptops, virtual machines, and other such solutions.

What have you done to remedy similar issues?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Do you have any common space, like a conference room or a lounge area?

Get another dev PC, put it in there. The pairs use the common PC while pairing, the others stay in their offices.

Chris Tavares
Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Get more offices?

christopher baus (
Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Is it the computing equipment that prevents easily swtiching offices, the piles of paperwork, or both?

If its the computing equipment, you should look for a computing solution that allows users to wander.  This could be as simple as putting the accounts on a server or if processing power isn't a huge concern you could just have terminals at each desk and hook your laptop up to whichever one you were at.

That's how I set up our system.  Two (or one monitor) at several docking locations that one can plug their laptop into and work from there comfortably.  Additionally home folders (we run OS X here so the language is mildly different) reside on a server and anyone can pop onto another's machine and work as if it is their own.

Alternatively, if it is paperwork that is preventing you from switching desks you should really think about using shared storage outside of the offices.  Have a large bank of filing cabinets with one per person for stuff that they don't need on a daily basis.  Let them keep a small drawer full of files they need daily.  If they need to migrate to the other office they can either drag/roll the small cabinet with them, or take the drawer of stuff.

You sound like you are in a dynamic process, but with traditional boundaries on stuff.  Work with that dynamism and you should be okay.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Here's a possible solution (if I understood your challenge, accurately).  This is my favorite make and model.


There are other, more affordable models, from this and other manufacturers.  I've seen some as low as $10.00 at Fry's, Micro-Center, etc.

Whatever you choose, it's best to choose all the same make/model.  Unless you're the adventurous type.

Hope this helps..!

P.S.:  If one pair of you are working together, and the other two are each working alone, then doesn't that mean they're still a pair?  Albeit, not a TALKING, pair...  Just a working pair.  Hopefully.


Sunday, May 2, 2004

One more thing:  If you also have stuff to move back and forth (books, files, etc.), then get two half-height bookshelves, and add casters.  That's about the most affordable, and still mobile, answer I can come up with...

Sunday, May 2, 2004

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