Quiet Surroundings without Distractions

QCAD and DXF drawing of a pumpI found Technical Drawing, Fifth Edition, by Giesecke, Mitchell, Spencer, and Hill, at a local Goodwill store. It is a wonderful book for those who want to learn about drafting. It is also great for woodworkers since it contains a detailed chapter on Geometric Constructions. It is great for graphic artists as it describes how to construct a large number of geometric shapes. However, the gem that I found that relates to software engineering comes from the beginning of the book in Chapter 2, section 2.3:

2.3 Drafting at Home or School. If a draftsman is to turn out drawings rapidly and accurately, he must work in quiet surroundings without distractions. Technical drawing requires headwork, and the draftsman who is whistling, singing, talking, eating, or smoking, is probably “pushing the pencil” without much mental activity behind it.

Someone knew the secret in 1967, the date the book was published, of how to get headwork done. The same technique for reducing interruptions applies to software engineering. We could say:

If a software engineer is to produce software rapidly and accurately, he must work in quiet surroundings without distractions. Software engineering requires headwork, and the engineer who is whistling, singing, talking, eating, or smoking, is probably “pounding the keyboard” without much mental activity behind it.

I think Joel had this concept of quiet surroundings right when he designed the Bionic Office. Peopleware also came to this same conclusion.

About skarg

I write software for a living. So, I dedicated some web space for some stuff that I have worked on. I mostly write embedded C for PC based controllers, but I have dabbled in a few other areas as well.
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