Private Offices vs Open Plan

I’ve been reading Joel on Software for as long as I can remember; probably almost as long as he’s been writing. I have never agreed with everything the man has written but I always found the posts thought provoking.

One post on why developers should have private offices struck a chord with me although this topic is still being deeply debated over a decade later. I truly believe one of the biggest challenges I face as a software engineer is managing distractions. A big part of that is just being able to “shut the door.” Historically¬†I’ve never worked anywhere where I could literally do that; only figuratively. I would wear big, over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones during heads-down focus periods.

When I went into business for myself, one of the first things I did was lease inexpensive office space. I wanted to be away from any potential distractions. I wanted to create a productive space where I could focus.

I recently stumbled across this post and it does make some interesting points.
Programmers really need open floor plans

Personally, you can have my private office when you pry it from my cold, dead hands – but I agree the issue is not as black-and-white as it might seem. What are your preferences?

-Michael

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