Cubicles Suck – Not Just for Hackers

After software, the most important tool to a hacker is probably his office. Big companies think the function of office space is to express rank. But hackers use their offices for more than that: they use their office as a place to think in. And if you’re a technology company, their thoughts are your product. So making hackers work in a noisy, distracting environment is like having a paint factory where the air is full of soot. The cartoon strip Dilbert has a lot to say about cubicles, and with good reason. All the hackers I know despise them. The mere prospect of being interrupted is enough to prevent hackers from working on hard problems. If you want to get real work done in an office with cubicles, you have two options: work at home, or come in early or late or on a weekend, when no one else is there. Don’t companies realize this is a sign that something is broken? An office environment is supposed to be something you work in, not something you work despite. (by Graham, via Steve)

I fought hard to move myself and my team out of our companies ‘sea of cubes’ and into a studio-like open workspace. We’ve been in our space going on 2 years now and it’s been great… it’s open, quiet, creative, and ‘ours’. Next on the list is natural light… we’ll see what we can do about that if we survive the acquisition. 😛