An Extreme Space Plan

The first “official” XP project was C3. They were so popular with their customer that they were invited to design their own office space. The team chose the space you see here. They loved it.

C3 worked for a while in a cube farm, with rather wide aisles and no sides on the cubes. There were just the outer “walls”, and the desks sticking out into the wide aisle. For security reasons they offered us space inside the payroll area and let us design the space.

Our first layout was similar to the pictures shown here, except that we had no desks at all. We had phones on the computer tables, with three or four lines on each phone. We had narrow aisles with those flipper lockers in them, stacked three for four high. Everyone got a locker.

That was too Spartan. We hated sharing the phones, and we found the locker space tight and frustrating.

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So we rearranged for what you see here. On the right in most of the pictures, you can see the desks. There were half as many desks as there were programmers. Each desk had two phones, so we each had our own phone. One programmer used the right-side drawers of a desk, another used the left. We each had two regular drawers, one file drawer, and one flipper cabinet.

You can see the big tables with the computers. Those are just regular conference room tables (rectangular) pushed together. We had the LAN connections and power coming down those posts, so there were no wires on the floor

People thought we were crazy, but we liked the space a lot. I believe it really helped in the team-building, and it was certainly an effective pair-programming space. Good for coaching, too, because I could see and hear everything.

Two of the three authors of Extreme Programming Installed can be seen in these pictures. I was taking them, and couldn’t run out there quickly enough to be in them.

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Written by: Ron Jeffries

Categorization: Classics

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