Where's Your Coding Happy Place?: Page 2

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6) Couch:

When I think of “couch coding” the visual always includes a TV on. The TV provides nice background noise that many developers need to concentrate.

And I believe developers are innately wired to multitask. Having the latest episode of The Simpsons on keeps them plugged into the latest pop culture. Or they may prefer the National Geographic channel to learn about the history of the universe. I just don’t see most developers sitting on a couch in a dark, silent room. If you know of any, perhaps they should be on some sort of watch list.

7) Bed:

This is really different from the couch. Sure you might have the TV on, but that’s likely intended to keep you from falling asleep. (I personally find TV puts me to sleep as I get older.)

Perhaps the serenity of being next to your significant other results in perfect code. If any friskiness starts up, then maybe it’s time to go back out to the couch.

8) Public transportation:

For developers with long commutes on a bus, train or subway writing code on your laptop isn’t so much a choice as it is a necessity. This is especially true if your boss won’t let you work from home and you are under a deadline.

You can either work at the office all night or go home and see your family, sleep (or code – see #7) in your own bed, while taking advantage of the commute time to write code.

9) Airplane:

I have written some of my best code on an airplane. It works because you know there are X number of hours of uninterrupted coding.

It is especially effective when you are force focused because you are trying to get some assignment completed before you arrive at your destination. However, this may be one of the worst ergonomic places to code because the cramped space often results in sore shoulders or a stiff neck.

Your Internal Happy Place?

What about number ten? I’ll be honest, I ran out of places. This is where having a good editor helps. He suggested that the EXTERNAL place doesn’t matter as much as the INTERNAL place. At first I thought, that’s just weird. But then I realized he was absolutely right.

It’s not as much “where you are” as it is “what is your frame of mind” when you write code. It may be you usually do your best work with headphones on at any coffee shop. But some days you may write your best code by the pool because you need to relax and clear your head.

But the fact is, it isn’t just about the right location or type of coding assignment. It’s also about your mood, attitude, and your inner confidence that helps you find coding nirvana. Maybe it's about getting enough sleep, about being around family and friends or perhaps it's about your inner belief in quality for its own sake, regardless of physical place.

Do you have a better number ten location to write code? Where is your coding happy place?

ALSO SEE: My Three Worst Experiences in Software Development

AND: Are Cocky Developers Worth It?

Eric Spiegel is CEO and co-founder of XTS, which provides software for planning, managing and auditing Citrix and other virtualization platforms.


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Tags: software, management, programmers, developers


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