Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Where the magic happens

Working Desk
    A few days ago a buddy of mine posted a picture of his desk at work on his birthday.  Although it was neat to see the birthday stuff, I was more fascinated by the actual work area and the surrounding environment in the photo.  Developers are normally pretty good people to know and content with their jobs, but we are also jealous creatures when it comes to things like computers and monitors.  I don't know of a developer that has not created his or her own custom environment to suit their programming system.  We are like those car guys that continue to fix up their rides and spend all their time in the garage.  Lots of custom equipment, tools in the proper place and extra equipment arranged for easy access.  (I assume, I am not a car guy, but seen them on TV)  There is always something more that can be added, replaced or modified that can improve your work area.  Since Rebecca and I both share a home office, one of the first things we did was to install a work area in one of the spare rooms.  Our desks are back to back and full of cubbies like any office cubical.  We figured that if we were going to spend a good part of our day in there, it should be done right.  At least this was my argument for convincing Rebecca that we needed to install cubical desks.
    Anyway, I thought a picture of of the area would help to show where we create the Apps and other stuff.  Like most developers, I like multiple monitors to allow me to look at the code, the device emulators, reference documents, and other stuff like 3D design, music play lists, drawing applications and notebooks.  No shown is the rather full bookshelf full of various programming books, Monty Python scripts, toys and the obligatory large white board.   Toys?  Yes, programmers seem to have some kind of kitschy toys, models, or other silly things that we pick up over the years.  Lately, most of mine have come from our kids, but I do have a few favorites that have been around for at least 10 years.  It is all part of the customization of your environment.  Hey, we are nerds at heart and it shows in our native environment.
    I am not sure why a lot of developers are really just big kids in an adult world.  I suspect it is the familiarity of having a mental fallback place where the stresses of a deadline are not important.  We work some crazy hours and really get wrapped up in our minds and code.  Breaking out of this shell occasionally to play around helps to keep your sanity.  Maybe it is also that a lot of programmers start pretty early in life when toys are still relevant.  Maybe it is just that we like gadgets.  I really don't know.  I have worked in offices where rubber band or nerd gun battles are a known hazard.  Maybe a remote control robot will cause you to hop out of the way to get more coffee.   You might have to defend your honor in a spirited game of foosball, darts, or an online multiplayer game.  It is all in good fun and takes your mind off the pressures for the moment.
   Note the Spurs mug placed prominently in the center.  It is the playoffs after all!  Go Spurs!

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