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During team formation, we have a conflict where 2 developers both really want the same coveted window seat with a lush view of a creek & the woods. What sort of game / activity can we place them in that will:

  1. Decide who gets the seat
  2. Provide a random (not skill based) chance of winning
  3. Allow both team members to participate in the selection
  4. Not be a single player game masquerading as a two player game (drawing straws for example - the outcome is based off of the first player's actions when there's only 2 people)
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closed as off topic by jmo21, Matthew Flynn, thorsten müller, Telastyn, Jalayn Jun 20 '13 at 15:44

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Rock, paper, scissors. –  Pieter B Jun 20 '13 at 14:49
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Change seats every week. Assign them randomly. That helps alot (it also severly reduces the clutter you have on your desk. After moving it 2-3 times, people will want to reduce it on their own). –  Joachim Sauer Jun 20 '13 at 14:51
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This might be better on workplace.stackexchange.com/questions you can ask the moderators to migrate. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jun 20 '13 at 15:00
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Consulting dice for a difficult decision may seem arbitrary or unprofessional to them. I would make a decision, and explain why it was made. –  mike30 Jun 20 '13 at 15:32
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Take the seat for yourself and explain you decided based on seniority. This is why good managers take the corner office; there's not enough corner offices to evenly distribute among the team, which may create a sense of discord. Alternatively trust your employees are professionals and will recognize only one person can get it, tell them you flipped a coin and the one who lost will recognize no reason to feel bad. Or ask the two of them to work it out themselves, like professionals. –  Jimmy Hoffa Jun 20 '13 at 16:15

3 Answers 3

None of the above. That's the space for the couch, the whiteboard (not covering the window of course) and the popcorn machine. Programmers need shared space as well as private space.

I'm assuming you have more than 2 devs, & the others aren't asking for this space.

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+1 for shared space. Thinking outside the box to let everyone enjoy the space is a great idea. –  Ampt Jun 20 '13 at 15:30

Clearly, the only fair way to decide is the time honored tradition of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Most places will play a Best out of 5 format, but if you really want to see some competition you may go up to Best out of 7 or even Best out of 9.

The other option is a duel, but I doubt that you only want one living developer in the long run, so that's probably not an option.

Edit - I just wanted to point out that drawing straws is actually fair, as the first person has a 50/50 chance of picking either of the two straws, which is the exact same as the second person would have.

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Each programmer should write a random number generator, keep track of who generates a random number first. When both programmers can generate a random number add them together if the resulting number is odd then the first programmer who completed the generator gets the seat, if even the second.

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