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Where's Your Coding Happy Place?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the vault-in-fort-knox-please-facilitate dept.


jammag writes "Cranking out code — your very best code — requires being in the optimal environment, muses developer Eric Spiegel. He explores the pitfalls and joys of the usual locales, cubicle, home, the beach. He claims he's done his best coding on an airplane. In the end, though, he suggests that the best environment is a matter of the environment inside yourself, your internal mood — and to hell with the cubicle or wherever. You have to be focused on quality, regardless of the idiot clients. It's all inside your mind. Where's your coding happy place?"

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A matter of the environment? (5, Insightful)

James Skarzinskas (518966) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650701)

Lightly sweetened breakfast tea, rainy weather outside, window cracked with a brisk morning breeze.

Oh, yeah, and vim. Emacs can suck it.

Re:A matter of the environment? (5, Funny)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650913)


Black-as-hell coffee, bright moonlit night outside, but I'm stuffed in a windowless basement with no ventilation, using Emacs.

On Windows.


Yes, that's how far I'll go to counter one of you VI-loving lunatics.

Re:A matter of the environment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651111)

Never has a comment turned from a dream to a nightmare faster!

Re:A matter of the environment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651503)

I also disagree. In underwear, with bowl of captain crunch cereal, at 4am in a haze of smoke so thick that you can barely see the LCD through it, just two steps above half-witted. That's the best coding place. :)

Silence (5, Insightful)

tritonman (998572) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651019)

Anywhere there is silence. I hate trying to think while listening to people blabbing on the phone or BSing with each other across their cubes.

Re:A matter of the environment? (1)

elysianblue (1531215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651233)

I'm close to that... coding_performance_level = ((vi + rain + smokes + (coffee | red_bull)) * (time_to_deadline / 100);

In My Opinion, a Truly Horrid List (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650711)

Nearly every location on this list is full of distractions. True, I can multitask while the TV is showing something I've seen or do not care about. Unfortunately, if it's a movie out of my Netflix queue, it greatly hampers my progress.

Some of these places are just plain uncomfortable like public transportation or an airplane.

Your bed?! The place where you sleep? Seriously? Granted there aren't a lot of places to suggest, this list blows. I'd be swimming if I were near a pool.

For me the biggest factor is nice studio quality headphones covering my ears producing low volume music. Maybe it's my favorite non-talk radio station (The Current [publicradio.org] or Radio K [umn.edu]) or maybe it's some classical/jazz/rock album I just picked up. My hands and eyes are busy only with the task at hand. An internet connection will help break the monotony for short periods of time and keep me at full operating power. After that, I like to have hot tea, coffee or water at hand to drink and maybe some raw almonds to munch on. A relaxed position and a bathroom within short distance makes for the optimum coding environment.

Assuming I have no questions about requirements or technology, this is the state I usually like to be in.

Best place != Most pleasant (4, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650843)

Sad to say, but the "best place" to code in depends on what your goal is.

After the best quality code? The best place is a quiet place, free of distractions, where the problem can be easily and clearly understood.

Want the best mood while coding? That's when you consider the balcony of a beach-front apartment, or a nice table with comfy chairs at a restaurant with a view for the afternoon.

Pick your goals, then come up with what you are after.

The trick is to find a place with a good combination of comfort for long-term developer happiness and contentment and actual good results. So a nice office with full snacks, comfortable chairs, nice lounge, music, being treated with courtesy and respect, decent pay, decent benefits, and having the freedom to develop in a non-restrictive manner, while still being held accountable for the result is a good mix, and that's where most businesses tend.

Including my own.

Re:Best place != Most pleasant (4, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651183)

After the best quality code? The best place is a quiet place, free of distractions, where the problem can be easily and clearly understood.

I'm not sure that's a universal truth. I concentrate best, for example, where there is a constant murmur (or even din) of background noise. It doesn't matter if it's quiet or loud, but both silence, and variations in the volume of noise, are bad.

I've produced some of my best code next to a loud brook, birds chirping, etc -- but I've also produced some of my best code in a noisy bar at happy hour and in Grand Central Station at rush hour.

Silence is anathema to good quality code for me -- constant subtle distractions are a great way of grabbing my focus when necessary so that my subconscious can work out a problem.

Re:Best place != Most pleasant (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651455)

I'm the same way. If the room is silent, I inevitably find myself doing something unproductive yet enthralling like crawling Wikipedia at random, or if I'm at home, playing games.

Re:In My Opinion, a Truly Horrid List (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651065)

Your bed?! The place where you sleep? Seriously?

I don't sleep there, you insensate clod, I FUCK YOUR WIFE THERE.

(Just kiddin' wit you, eldavojohn, it's your sister I fuck there.)


Re:In My Opinion, a Truly Horrid List (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651143)

The window has to be open, if it's cold, or the A/C has to be cranked up.
And I can't listen to music on speakers, it has to be in headphones.
And it has to be heavy metal or techno. Anything doesn't keep the focus, high bpm.

Under these ideal circumstances, I code 30,000 lines per day.

Re:In My Opinion, a Truly Horrid List (1)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651245)

Under these ideal circumstances, I code 30,000 lines per day.


Java or pyhton? Cause you know, it's a lot different!

Re:In My Opinion, a Truly Horrid List (2, Interesting)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651155)

True, I can multitask while the TV is showing something I've seen or do not care about.

Actually, I do fairly well watching episodes of TV shows that I've already watched into the ground (e.g., MASH). Because I know exactly what's going to happen, I can tune in and out at any time without missing anything. It's kind of meditative.

I also agree about the headphones. Perhaps these two are related.

Re:In My Opinion, a Truly Horrid List (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651359)

You're my man, except I prefer SKY.FM's Solo Piano or Uptempo Smooth Jazz streams.
One only needs to maintain drink / meal / sleep discipline plus get up from the keyboard every now and then to stretch limbs and flush the head.
And one of the most important things is a good ... chair. In fact, when I find myself with uncomfortable chair, I prefer to remain standing (ergo don't forget your comfy shoes at home :-) ).

Oddly enough... (5, Interesting)

yorgo (595005) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650735)

...it was while waiting (and waiting, and waiting) to be called to sit on Jury Duty. I sat outside on the smoking patio (middle of summer) near an outlet with my laptop and generated some of the best code of my life. Perhaps I should start volunteering for Jury Duty...

not where, when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27650779)

I think I peak at 3AM

Italian family in law (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650793)

Strangely enough, I do some of my best coding with the laptop on the sofa in the middle of the living room of my italian in laws... And they are fairly stereotypical... I'd say it's stimulating ! I used to write letters to girlfriends in noisy bars...

Up in ya, now go away. (2)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650821)

If you think this is a troll, you obviously don't work amongst people. Just shut up for a while and maybe I'll get that done, but with all your blabbing and meetings and documentation I just cannot do what you're paying me to do.

Now go away.

I'm tired of this shit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27650823)

A long time ago, I bought a feeder. I put it on the porch. It was beautiful to see birds standing close to me.

A week later, however, there were a lot of them. They started to build nests on the roof, tables, even in my car.

Then, the inevitable showed up: shit. It was everywhere. On my roof, on the tables, on my clothes... on everywhere! After some time, they started to be aggressive. They were over me, even though I was the person who was feeding them. Some of them were loudly and arrogant. They were invading my house, making sounds all the time, to remind me to fill the feeder if there wasn't food.

After some time I couldn't even sit down on my own chairs. I decided to throw away the feeder, and after three days they weren't neither on the garden nor in my house anymore. I cleaned and I put everything in order, eliminating even the nests. Soon, everything come back to normal: a peaceful and safety place, without any troublemaker asking for 'the right to free food'.

Now, is time to think about it.

We got with our hard work and with the work of our parents and grandparents a system with many benefits: access to a universal health care system, a little imperfect but better than nothing. We have public schools and public transport, economic facilities for the most needed people, etc. and we let to anyone that was born here to be a citizenship of our country.

Then, thousands of illegal immigrants come here, and get all the same benefits that we have. Because they are illegal immigrants, they don't need to pay taxes. Because of that, they are paid more than us, because in order to pay to a legal worker 2000£, the employer needs to spend about 4000£.

To pay the extra expenses, we need to pay more taxes.

Council houses are being taken by them, sometimes by force, and we are the ones that pay the rent, just like happens in Becontree and Bransholme.

If we need to go to the hospital we need to wait more hours before we get attended, because the hospitals are invaded by illegal immigrants, including workers that do not have the degrees we need to get those jobs.

In the schools, our children have to bear the problems when they're studying, even when they're eating, because the dining hall is set up by religious impositions.

Christmas will be eliminated to 'not hurt the foreigners' sensibility', showing no respect for our sensibility... that is the sensibility of the owners' house!!
About a 75% of criminal acts against common people (we) are committed by a 10% of the population (illegal immigrants); meanwhile, prisons are so full of criminals that, with the help of ineffective justice, are released from prison in short time, so they start to commit crimes again.

If we try to stop all this madness, we'll find protests, organized by assholes that scream against human rights violations (because these assholes don't give a shit about our rights) or they say that we have the same rights as them, because our parents and grandparents were the ones that pay all taxes when we were kids. So, it seems that my father doesn't have the right to choose where will his money go, whether to his children or to someone else's children. My father only had one children. My Colombian neighbor has six. Because of the global financial crisis, we'll see if I can have one children.

I want to make clear that this is just my opinion, but maybe it is time for the government to throw away the feeder, and clean the house.

If you agree with me, reproduce this message.

If you disagree with me, continue to clean shit... just like Germany was cleaning long time ago.

Ginger Snaps and S. Pellegrino (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650831)

Where there's Ginger Snaps and S. Pellegrino, there is good code.

Re:Ginger Snaps and S. Pellegrino (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651249)

Almost the same for me. I loved to write code in a cafe with a diet coke and tourist passing by. Otherwise at home during sunset with opened windows to smell fresh air and some english pop.

Strangely.. Primm, NV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27650833)

I used to drive a big rig, and I'd stop here. I was always in the mood to code after I stopped off and picked up a burrito from a Mexican food place in next to the information center, and a cup of coffee from Starbucks.

Walk back to my truck, hop into the sleeper munch and code for the next couple of hours.

On a plane...On the way to do a demo... (1)

pls2917 (97490) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650847)

On a plane on the way to do a not-working-yet demo. Best code? No. Fast code? Very.

Re:On a plane...On the way to do a demo... (1)

deKernel (65640) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651149)

Even better than a non-working demo, try getting what will be their production code working.

Oh I'm So Much Cooler Online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27650851)

I get home, I kiss my mom
And she fixes me a snack
I head down to my basement bedroom
And fire up my Mac

I code best when I'm reading Slashdot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27650853)

Yes, I am at my most efficient while reading Slashdot. Or just generally browsing random web sites
huh? Oh... OK... nevermind, my boss was walking by as I wrote that previous bit

The middle of the night (1)

garnetlion (786722) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650857)

All my best coding takes place in the middle of the night. It's quiet and everybody else is too busy sleeping to distract me.

Unfortunately, the times when I'm really tearing it up are usually the same times that I have to be awake and alert in 3 hours or less.

In my head while driving. (5, Insightful)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650867)

Sadly, by the time I get to a computer I often lose some great coding ideas.

Re:In my head while driving. (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651151)

Never thought of carrying along a dictaphone? Or a notepad for when you're stuck at a light or in stop-and-go traffic?

Re:In my head while driving. (1)

dragonjujotu (1395759) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651243)

Truly. I've rewritten plenty of code in my head just to forget half the changes by the time I'm in front of a computer again, or how I was going to use that thing to do that one piece... Frustrating.

For me, it's music, not place. (5, Insightful)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650869)

I need music with no vocals - mostly classical and techno. I have a special playlist called "coding" for those times when I really need to be focused.

Re:For me, it's music, not place. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651193)

mod up parent. I find that ambient/classical/techno music is the best for coding. I can feel the code "flow" off my fingers when I have that music and no distractions.

The basement works for me... (0, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650881)

While the basement is quite good for me, I always get interrupted by my partner as this is her favorite place too. What we do while there is just not relevant to Slashdot's audience at the moment. But I will say I hardly get anything done on the coding front when she drops by.

The basement?!? (4, Funny)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651039)

While the basement is quite good for me, I always get interrupted by my partner as this is her favorite place too. What we do while there is just not relevant to Slashdot's audience at the moment. But I will say I hardly get anything done on the coding front when she drops by.

What... does your mother make you pick up your dirty socks?

Re:The basement works for me... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651079)

Your basement intrigues me and I would like to subscribe to its newsletter.

It's your state of mind, not body (1)

DomNF15 (1529309) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650915)

I tend to agree with Spiegel about the dev's state of mind being important. At a previous job I had the opportunity to work from home and also to work in an outdoor patio space at the office. While it was a very nice perk to see sunlight and get fresh air amidst coding away on my laptop, I don't think the environment helped me be *significantly* more or less productive on its own. If I was anxious to complete the task at hand (or the task was particularly interesting to me), then no matter what my physical location, I got my job done faster and better. If I was distracted by some family issue or something going on outside of work, then regardless of whether I was in the office, at home, or outside, I couldn't focus and couldn't get things done. And more importantly, I couldn't get things done right. This is not to say environment is completely unimportant. Faced with the decision of working in a noisy office with coworkers that are constantly talking to clients or amongst themselves, or working in a quiet home office or outdoor space, I would choose the latter two...

Lanai. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650919)

Out on my lanai latte firmly in hand, sunny day, not too hot. After sunrise, before sunset in the summer, during the day the rest of the year.

On my floor in the family room... (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650923)

Next to the fireplace, with my son sitting on my back. Doesn't get any better than that. I would have thought it distracting to work from home like this, and instead I think I've written more, and better code, than I have before. Just awesome. One thing I could improve, would be to have some music going... but that's just laziness on my part.

Re:On my floor in the family room... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27650987)

Dang, dad, I am 35. Can't you write your COBOL some other way?

Re:On my floor in the family room... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651095)

Dang, dad, I am 35. Can't you write your COBOL some other way?

ROTFLOL. You wish you did not post that A/C, the mod points are well deserved.

Not a matter of where, but when (4, Interesting)

Swizec (978239) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650929)

It would seem that no matter where I am, the best coding I do is at about two to four in the morning. It's that time of the day when the internet is somewhat at rest because aussies are going home from work and having dinner, americans are just starting to actually work, or are getting to work and europe is mostly at sleep.

Then just put a movie or some tv show on the second screen and code away. Nirvana.

However about writing fiction or any sort of prose, I'm very picky as to the locale. It has to be a busy coffee shop or better yet, a club event. No idea why, just has to.

My happy coding place? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27650931)

The basement of your mom's house, while she's making me some meatloaf :D

I find... (1)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650939)

I do the best coding in my room, my one computer playing music, or a movie, while I code on the other. My fridge nearby for a quick soda or beer. Although, if I had a good laptop and a secure connection, I think a quite coffee shop would be the best coding environment. It would provide an endless stream of caffeine and calming influence, while still providing enough entertainment to give me a moments distraction when I needed it.

I thrive on stress (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650943)

I'm at my most productive at 2am the night before the project is scheduled to go live.

I'm at my second most productive at 9am the following day while I'm patching the running code on the live system to fix what I didn't have time to test the night before.

The weekend (1)

Hoyty1 (1502645) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650967)

It's more about the day than the location. Any day I don't have to get up with an urgent purpose such as getting in the car and driving to the office is best. Having time to get up when I want, make a nice breakfast, watch the news for about 45 minutes then get into it.

As to the location, I like quiet and not to be bothered IE: My study. The position I'm sitting in must be of a high comfort level (feet kicked up on the desk, in a chair that can lean back pretty far), keyboard in lap mouse to the side and monitor dead elevated for easy viewing in my laid back position.

Re:The weekend (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651497)

... (feet kicked up on the desk, in a chair that can lean back pretty far), keyboard in lap ... laid back position.

Please tell me you're not stressing your wrists when you're seated this way?

Also, Congratulations for your two "5, Interesting" scores by your 8th post. I can learn so much from you.

For me it is a coding TIME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27650977)

Anytime from just after sunset until the early AM is the best time for getting something done code wise.

in a mountain of filth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27650989)

I find it best to code without the slightest care for my surroundings. Pile high the wrappers of gum and snickers and fart wildly without the slightest resistance. Open up Geany and fire way, tapping the hell out of the keyboard littered with bodily fluids, crumbs, juice, and only god knows what else.

If any friskiness starts up... (4, Funny)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 4 years ago | (#27650993)

Perhaps the serenity of being next to your significant other results in perfect code. If any friskiness starts up, then maybe itâ(TM)s time to go back out to the couch.

I'm sure it was only intended as a joke, but if any friskiness starts up while you're coding in bed, and you choose to move to the couch, then maybe it's time to rethink your priorities.

Eww .. those are his best?! (2, Insightful)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651003)

Those sound like mostly horrible conditions to work in! :)

Although place is important, time is probably MORE important. And this is where people will differ even more. I know people that will get up at 5am and get most of their "good" work done by 9am. That's not for me. :)

My personal best time is later at night. a) most people are sleeping, so not too many IM distractions. b) it's quiet, the neighbourhood is quiet, wife is most likely asleep, it's quiet. I can think.

In terms of place, most of the time, these night sessions are done in my home office.

Re:Eww .. those are his best?! (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651457)

"Those sound like mostly horrible conditions to work in! :)"
While I don't think all of them are horrible; the fact that he couldn't come up with a full 10 items for his top 10 list really explained the reason that some of those others actually made it.

Baby Dolls (1)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651029)

But my screen keeps getting greasy.

I always have to remember to bring Windex, paper towels and lots of singles and fives.

The Zone (4, Insightful)

clinko (232501) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651033)

I don't have a place, I have music and caffeine. If I hear old Crystal Method or Orbital, I immediately think of late nights in the zone with Mountain Dew and Code.

The only enemy of "The Zone" were morning birds.

If I heard birds chirping, I knew I didn't have much time left before my mind would go.

It's a Zen thing (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651043)

When your mind is very very quiet, just watching your hands work. You could be changing your oil or knitting or chopping vegetables, it really doesn't matter. It's the stillness.

My happy place (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651045)

My happy coding place is in the middle of the afternoon, inside, with all the window blinds drawn and lights off with the humidifier on max and a fan blowing at me.

Or, inside a cave is good too.

Work! (2, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651081)

My favourite coding place? Well, I code for a living, and I have to say work, without a doubt. I'm far too easily distracted -- work is the worst place to get stuff done, except for all the others.

That said, badly-designed workplaces can destroy productivity. If your workplace is anything like mine, where your employer doesn't give a rat's arse about their developers' productivity, everyone will be sat at packed-in "open plan" offices, where every stray, stupid remark, every loud phone call, every meeting and every joke (and resulting braying laughter) meld together to create a totally useless work environment.

Perhaps that question should be rephrased to "what time of day do you get most work done?". Given the City's workaholic culture, most folks leave the office at 7.30pm, so my productivity peaks some time after that.

Yeah, I'm a sad bastard with no life :-)

Beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651089)

Drunken mistakes aside, drinking relaxes me to the point where I can get really creative and get a lot of stuff done. Only if I could drink at work...

Re:Beer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651391)

Stoner mistakes aside, toking relaxes me to the point where I can get really creative and get a lot of stuff done. Only if I could get high at work...

Best Place to Code (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651123)

Best productivity is in India. Not sure if it's the food or what... but I am 4x as productive as in the US.

Inside my head... (1)

Synchis (191050) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651135)

My coding happy place is just that... inside my head. I can code anywhere, anytime. Give me some quiet music and a set of headphones and I can escape all distractions and make the whole world disappear.

My wife hates it when I enter that state because she has to all but hit me to get my attention. A state of concentration that intense is when I do my very best coding. It doesn't matter where I am, as long as I can get into that state.

Fire alarm? What fire alarm? (5, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651147)

For me, when I am really seriously coding, I could just about be anywhere; nothing would disturb me. As a matter of fact, a couple a weeks ago a colleague grabbed me on the shoulder at work, while I was hacking away, and said, "We have to get out of here. There's a fire alarm. Didn't you hear the alarm?"

Um, no, and I wasn't wearing any headgear.

with my boss... (5, Funny)

cbuosi (1492959) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651169)

i love coding with my boss in my shoulder pseudo-auditing my code and constantly reminding me the project schedule...

Obvious (1)

monkeySauce (562927) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651175)

On the throne. Nothing clears my head and lets me write beautiful code like a mass-evacuation.

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651427)

I've been trying to achieve this for days. Any advice?

Happy Gilmore (1)

prelelat (201821) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651195)

My happy place is like that scene off of Happy Gilmore where hes got beer women and stuff...

Really though I find that my best coding comes after sitting down in front of a whiteboard planning things out(sometimes I can do it in my head) so that I know exactly what needs to be done. I find it puts me in a good mood to have a clear idea of what's going on and I can focus on what needs to be done. It also helps with the quality of my code as I'm not jumping from one idea to the next trying not to patch things together. I've had bad days where I thought I could do a section in my head and really wasn't on the ball and ended up rewriting it for my own sanity.

I haven't don't any serious programming for a few months but every time I do programming it's self puts me in a good mood. It makes me wonder if it would be the same if I did it all the time as a job.

A hotel/motel (1)

Sh1fty (1019804) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651209)

I like coding somewhere where I don't have anything I have to do except code. A hotel/motel with wifi is a great place because it has very little distractions (people, chores,...) and it's extremely confortable. Having a king size bed or a couch just for yourself and your laptop can help your concentration. Unfortunately, this costs money, so this isn't a good solution for everyday coding.

One major thing: music (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651239)

The right music can really get my grey cells lighting up like a christmas tree, most notably the weekly two hour radio show from Armin Van Buuren which just had it's 400th episode; A State of Trance [astateoftrance.com]

no physical place (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651255)

My happy place is where users know what they want. Where managers understand the project. Where sales people only sell existing and working stuff. Where developers know how to write clean code.

Not really coding... (5, Interesting)

immakiku (777365) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651257)

I was once designing an algorithm to do something at a lower running time, combining a mixture of data structures and graph theory. I had stayed up almost 22 hours in front of a computer to get it done because I thought I was "almost there".

Then I fell asleep, jerked awake 4 hours later because I had actually solved it in my dream. When I woke up I realized that the solution in my dream was not complete and that there was a flaw with it. With another hour of modification I finished it up.

Cube, late, quiet, music (4, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651265)

Best? Coding in my cubicle, from 4-11PM, trance/techno playing at moderate volume, and absolutely no interruptions. Productivity is amazing.

Unfortunately, for no articulable reason I'm required to work 8AM-5PM, interruptions are constant (walk-in/stand-up meetings happening constantly, PA system calling people, factory running across the hall, doors never stay closed. Productivity is ... well ... go figure.

Limited interruptions (1)

J-1000 (869558) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651277)

I don't code, but I can describe my best work environment. In a cube, plenty of activity in the building (not after hours), headphones, coffee, and limited interruptions. But I also need coworker interactions, provided they pertain to the subject being worked. It helps if my tasks are spelled out early in the day. NOT a huge conference call with some clueless project manager, mind you. Just a conversation among coworkers. Nothing takes me out of my productivity mood like a buzzword-laden project management meeting.

Fact (1)

supajerm (1415313) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651295)

Best coding possible is done in the bathroom. How much more comfortable can you be than on the man-throne. More often than not most of my "EURIKA!" moments happen when I take a quick bathroom break away from the problem. Yeah the cubical at work gets the job done most of the time, but rest assured when thereâ(TM)s a problem I can't work out at the desk the solution is 99% the time resolved by the time I finish a bathroom break. Thus the bathroom is the perfect "Coding happy place", comfortable and relieving side note: full-time programming may not be best suited in the bathroom and would probably be frowned upon in a general business environment.

At work, in my cube. (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651301)

If I am at home I have way too many distractions or potential distractions. The TV, my movies, my games, the kitchen, are all to close by. I only ever get real work done, at work. I have even driven in on the weekend to work on my own side projects sometimes.

In a good team (4, Interesting)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651347)

A tight team of bright progressive individuals has always brought out the best in my work.

Crappy co-workers, moronic "hands in" managers, noise and meetings that don't produce anything are utter poison. Obviously interruptions of any kind are deadly to productivity, but sometimes that's part of the job and is usually profitable.

I guess what I'm saying is my productivity is directly related to who and not where.

little splifta lotta cola (1)

nexie (1008519) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651349)

tiny splifter to make the brain melkt around the syntax and plenty of coca cola to keep the urine flowin, not i didnt say coke in the reply not too much splifta or it all falls apart and a clean desk and room, gotta be tidy in the room, tidy room tidy mind bo sho fizzle n

Kitchen table... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651353)

When I'm working on my websites from home, always the kitchen table with the MacBook. The kitchen table is also useful opening those door stoppers I paid $50 USD for.

Quiet, cool, with a warm drink. (1)

Nakor BlueRider (1504491) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651369)

I work best usually in the late evening through the night. Less distractions. I prefer it to be cool, and like to have a mug of coffee or hot chocolate. If there's talking or noise around me I'll listen to music to drown it out.

My ideal coding place (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651381)

Ideally, I'd be in a sound-proof room, and my computer wouldn't have any internet access or any games installed. I'm easily distracted and lack self-discipline. Maybe I just need to get a prescription for Ritalin.

In all seriousness anywhere with a fresh pint. (3, Insightful)

zbend (827907) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651387)

It sounds like a joke, but I seriously code best with a gentle beer buzz, my boss will never believe me, but its true.

Heavy Metal.... Loudly (1)

gillkm (410018) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651403)

After I get going in the morning, I just fire up Songbird and blast the heaviest metal I have. Metallica, Six Feet Under, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, whatever. For some reason, and it probably has to do with the ADHD, it just puts me in that perfect groove for slamming out my best code. That stuff for a time and then it's on to some John Coltrane or Johnny Winter for a while. Back and forth once or twice a day.

I don't know, but heavy, fast paced thrash metal just puts me in that perfect mindset... Just had to make sure I got good earphones so I didn't annoy the hell out the people in the adjacent cubicles!

I'm the most productive in my home office. (1)

1shooter (185361) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651415)

It's quite, close to the bed for a naps. The bathroom and kitchen are down right handy and I can work in shorts and a t-shirt. The dog loves to breakup the day with a little play and if it's nice outside I can move to the patio for some fresh air. I get way more work done than in the stupid work cubicle. Besides I have much better computers than my employer.

I, too, have had productive flights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27651463)

I've had some good coding runs while on a flight. I've also had good results at a "internet cafe" type setting, even with all the bustling crowds.

One reason is that it's a neutral environment. There is no noise, motion, or otherwise that I amd required to divert my attention to (i.e no phone, no co-worker, no boss, no e-mail/IM/etc) - allowing me to completely mentally block everything out and concentrate.

Yes, they don't sound like good places, and the environmental noise level might seem counter-intuitive. But since you know that there is nothing that will demand your attention - it actually works.

Listening to smooth jazz at my desk (1)

californication (1145791) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651491)

Listening to smooth jazz at my desk helps me forget where I am and gets me in the zone, but that only lasts until I hit a wall trying to find a solution for a problem, or N hours pass and my brain starts to fade. At that point, the only solution is some sort of distraction, whether that be a walk around the building or some browsing of Slashdot.

It's important that I'm more interested in the work that I'm doing than the things around me. If my work is enjoyable, then even hunger can't get me out of my zone. If my work becomes tedious, then I become more susceptible to the distractions around me.

The benefit to being in a location other than work is that there are much fewer intrusive distractions.

For me (1)

squiggly12 (1298191) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651531)

It can be anywhere I have a comfortable place to set laptop, comfortable chair, and the most important of them all, headphones!

Sitting next to a chap called Jose Quervo (1)

SpuriousLogic (1183411) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651563)

and his wealthy uncle, Patron. Salt, limes, and sweet and sour are also welcome to help code.

TV Room (Living Room) (1)

twoshoes (771374) | more than 4 years ago | (#27651565)

I love for the room to be empty and a movie on that I've seen at least 10+ times (Matrix, Transformers, Billy Madison, whatever) so it's noise but it's not distracting. Then of course I need to have my trusty whiteboard next to me. If no TV Room - then it would be any place with a comfortable chair, good keyboard and mouse, dual screens and really comfortable headphones with the music at ELEVEN!
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