Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Office Space

Joel Spolsky has been talking about his new office for a few weeks now, and he's put up some pictures up on picasa.

Joel argues about the benefits of great facilities in detail in his epic post A Field Guide to Developers, but here's a good summary of his feelings:

Building great office space for software developers serves two purposes: increased productivity, and increased recruiting pull. Private offices with doors that close prevent programmers from interruptions allowing them to concentrate on code without being forced to stop and listen to every interesting conversation in the room. And the nice offices wow our job candidates, making it easier for us to attract, hire, and retain the great developers we need to make software profitably. It’s worth it, especially in a world where so many software jobs provide only the most rudimentary and depressing cubicle farms.
We've all heard about the legendary Googleplex (Those constant-stream swimming pools sound awesome!), and I've been to some other cool campuses and headquarter buildings myself but it's easy to think of this type of facility as inaccessible for most developers. I'm glad Joel has shown that small companies can have great offices too.


The New York Times has discovered Joel's new Fog Creek office and written an article about it.


  1. now if only Canadian federal gov't buildings were built to keep devs happy :-)

  2. Yeah, nice offices are important, but there's a bigger picture on being a programmer in general.
    How about your boss who has a GED (and no college education while you've invested YEARS and thousands of dollars/hours in your education), telling you you want to do? Or how about walking into the boss's office and catching him watching movies while you're working hard to meet a deadline, and he won't even look up when you ask him a question. Or the non-programmer co-workers who know nothing about programming who are jealous because you have a "sit down job"...yet they are the ones who spend most of their time BSing while you're cranking out code (while they are distracting you from doing your work). Or the managers who have you sit in a crowded location full of distractions, while their buddies get the private cubicles in the quiet locations so they can surf the net and play games. Or the managers who shame you when you try to take time off that you've EARNED.

  3. Joel is the Martha Stewart of bloggers.