Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

So the question is this: wherever you sit down and do your magic, is it neat and organized or chaotic and in disarray ?

Do you find that your level of organization follows linearly with your current position in the project? (ie. The project is on track and life is good, few bugs and major milestones are being met, desk is clean enough to do brain surgery or the project is way off track, bugs are flying everywhere and my desk is a dumpster)

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Walter, Yannis Apr 6 '12 at 22:52

Questions on Programmers Stack Exchange are expected to relate to software development within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

9 Answers 9

up vote 8 down vote accepted

For me:

Disorganized when busy - lots of notes and sketches laid about

Orderly when low on productive work - I clean up between projects or as transitioning between stages in projects

How the project is going has to be judged by the number of caffeinated beverages at the desk + in the trash (the more beverages the worse the project)

share|improve this answer

I'm a very organized person, so my desk is organized. Just what I need to do the task at hand is what's on it. If I let it lapse any, I usually get distracted while coding and have to get rid of the clutter.

I like my desk and code to be in the same condition, neat, organized and efficient.

share|improve this answer

Like Bill, "I'm disorganized when busy", But I hear somewhere that it's an effective way to arrange thing, it's called (translated from french) The Volcano filing system

Papers are sorted on chronological order, the newer on the top and the older buried under the lot. This fit the way the brain organize the information and that why I could find almost anything in my mess in the second. When someone complain, I say that's a filling system too complicated for them to understand.

Meanwhile, this become infective when I cross a cretin point, So I got to clean it up as soon as I got a slack.

share|improve this answer
+1 for "thats a filing system too complicated for them to understand" –  Chris Sep 15 '10 at 12:09
I have a tendency to use a mix of the Volcano (or FILO) and the Write-only (FINO) filing systems. Mostly the "First in never out" one though. –  Joe D Sep 26 '10 at 8:53
@Joe I personally got a separate stack with a more conventional filling system for the task I need to do. I use the Volcano only to "organize" the papers on the project I'm working on (notes, print out, specs, errors, graphs, doodles, etc. ). –  DavRob60 Sep 26 '10 at 16:23
+1 for anything that gets past a "cretin" point. :-) –  William Payne Aug 7 '12 at 22:16

Mine is relatively pristine. On my desk I have a Logitech G13 "gaming" keyboard that I have programmed for coding related activities, an Apple slim keyboard, a Microsoft notebook mouse (the very small and lightweight one), two monitors, and two speakers.

Other than that, for "personal" items, I have a desk lamp pointed at the wall behind my monitors to reduce contrast, a beverage coaster, and a med school replica human skull as a memento mori.

If I have any papers on my desk, it's interim clutter until I can run them through the scanner, which is located about 25' from my desk, by my printer, computer, and reference book case. (Reducing both visual and audible noise)

Note, this is my home office. Any other workplace is even more pristine, as I have a laptop and mouse.

share|improve this answer

Haven't found much correlation. I just oscillate randomly: Disaster -> Clean -> Disaster -> Clean -> Disaster -> Clean -> [repeat]

share|improve this answer

Well, I'm a student, so I work from home and my physical programming environment is also where I do just about anything (watch TV, write, eat, whatever...). Also I sleep right next to it.

In short, I could never keep it tidy even if I had the energy to try.

share|improve this answer

I still don't have a proper coding job, so I code on my parent's couch.

share|improve this answer

During the day it is a total mess. Notes, empty coffee mug, half finished sodas everywhere. Usually a thumb drive, calculator and halfeaten lunch are close by.

I try to pick up a little (at least the food stuff) before I go home and night.

Friday afternoon, my space is spotless. Notes put away, food thrown out, all clean and tidy for when I come in on Monday.

share|improve this answer

On a bad day it can get really messy, but if my workspace gets cluttered I can't seem to focus as well so I have to clear it off and get rid of the clutter. Kiiiinda seems like I have OCD when I actually put that in writing.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.