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I was wondering if there are any studies (formal or not-so-formal) that show correlation between a developer productivity and the workstation used to develop software. It is often heard as argument that the high spec workstations increase the productivity (or the low spec machines impact productivity to the greater extent).

To me it sound reasonable, however I'd like to verify the statement with some studies if such exists. Can you help me with that?

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In my experience, a second monitor is useful, but the increase in productivity is actually rather small, < 5%. For everything else, it does not really matter. A fast Internet connection helps more than a fast CPU. –  Treb Jun 27 '11 at 10:49
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@Treb: The importance of the CPU depends on what you develop, and what language you use and the size of the codebase (compilation). I think 2 monitors help me more than 5%, but I have no data from which I could be sure. –  Anto Jun 27 '11 at 11:16
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Developer Happiness increases Developer Productivity. Developers are not happy when they have to use slow machines. –  Kristof Claes Jun 27 '11 at 12:28
    
@Kristof: Definitely true! As my wife likes to put it: 'Boys and their toys...' –  Treb Jun 27 '11 at 14:53
    
@Anto: You are right of course, I can very well imagine a situation where CPU power does matter. But in my experience, for 99.99% of all cases, it doesn't. At work I am cursing slow network connections and sometimes slow hard drives, not my CPU (which is four years old...) –  Treb Jun 27 '11 at 14:57
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1 Answer

Actual peer-reviewed studies of this sort of thing are extremely rare. The only one I'm aware of is: The Economic Value of Rapid Response Time by Walter J. Doherty and Ahrvind J. Thadani. Once we iron out exactly what studies and experiments like this show, we should figure out are why they so rare.

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