O'Reilly logo

Making Software by Greg Wilson, Andy Oram

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

One More Thing…

The answer to the question, “A communal workshop or doors that close?” is yes. That is, both configurations, even though they are at opposite ends of the spectrum, bring a significant improvement over the now-typical cubicle farm layout.

The problem with cubicles is that they provide most of the drawbacks of the two extreme configurations we discussed without providing any of their benefits. First, cubicles do not isolate workers like private offices would, so they are often interrupted and distracted by nearby conversations. But cubicles are not truly shared spaces either, and therefore they do not allow for the continuous coordination and awareness that a communal workshop provides. To my knowledge there is absolutely no evidence in the literature that shows that cubicle layouts are better than any of their alternatives for software development work; they should be avoided if at all possible. Choose the ability to concentrate or the ability to coordinate. It’s rather foolish to choose neither.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required