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I have been working in my current job for less than a year and at the beginning didn't have the courage to say anything about the things that bothered me. Now I'm a bit fed up and need things to get better.

The first problem is not random but I'll mention it anyway. We are running out of space so every new employee gets a smaller table. We are promised that the space problem will be fixed soon.

Almost every employee has a different keyboard, mouse, headphones (if any). Mine are $10 keyboard, some random cheap mouse and some random crappy headphones with a mic. All these were used and dirty when I got them. The number of monitor is 1-3 and with different sizes. I have 2 nice monitors and can't complain but some are given 1 small monitor. When it's their first job they don't have the guts to ask for 2 even if most others have 2. Nobody seems to care too. Project manager asked if it's ok? He obviously said he can handle the 1 small one. Then the manager said you can go ask for 1 more. I'm watching this and think go and ask where?

The company is trying to hire more people but is not doing much after the person has signed the contract. We are put in one room that is open to the hallway and it's super noisy. Almost like a zoo at times. Even if nobody is talking the crappy keyboards make too much noise.

  • Is this normal?
  • Am I too negative and should I just do my job with what I was given?
  • Should I demand better things?
  • Should the company have some system that everybody gets things in some price range?
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closed as too localized by Tom Squires, Oded, Yannis Rizos, Gratzy, Vitor Nov 18 '11 at 15:54

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Ask your manager/Colleagues –  Tom Squires Nov 18 '11 at 15:37
Obligatory Joel Test comment. –  Yannis Rizos Nov 18 '11 at 15:41
Programmers Bill of Rights –  Craige Nov 18 '11 at 15:47
I definitely don't think this counts as 'too localized'. Programmers across the board agree with expected working conditions, which is what this is regarding. –  Craige Nov 18 '11 at 15:58
I think issues about working conditions are common across the board. I was happy to see this question as a means for discussion on the matter. Maybe it is just a bad question title? –  smp7d Nov 18 '11 at 16:00

3 Answers 3

Some companies think you should be happy with whatever they are willing to give you. These companies tend to be used to having "pluggable" employees (data entry, customer service, ...) and are not used to the development culture. They also tend to work on a shoestring budget or spend their money foolishly.

This is not the standard in the development industry. If you are paying a premium for skilled employees you should be willing to put them in an environment to perform to the best of their abilities. That being said, it is not unheard of.

You should voice your concerns to your manager but you will probably need to deal with this until you get a manager that sees it your way and wants to improve things. There are plenty of companies that would be willing to give you everything you need to succeed as far as equipment goes (after all, that is a pretty simple thing to do all things considered). You will just need to decide what you value and stay or jump ship.

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No! It's not normal. The development is a critical activity and It's required max concentration and highest quality equipment. I think that you must make requests to the employer.

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There is nothing wrong with asking for better tools to do your job. If you feel that better tools will make you and your coworkers, more productive, then go for it. If you present it well, then your employer should want you to comfortable while being more productive. Working conditions are very important. You spend 8-10 hours a day there, you should be comfortable. Especially for developers who spend all that time, or most of it, at a desk. There is something to be said for putting value into working conditions (look at FogCreek's new office). It will help you hire and keep the best employees.

However, you mentioned that all employees are receiving less than stellar equipment. With the economy being what it is, maybe the company is just feeling economic constrains. Without knowing your company, it is difficult to determine if they are being cheap or just can't afford it.

You may need to ask yourself is it worth it? If you do ask for better equipment and they do not get it, ask why? If you understand where they are coming from, you can determine if there reason is adequate. If not, then look elsewhere.

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