Coffeehouse Thread

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Something a little different...

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  • User profile image
    gmiley

    In an attempt to leak a little of your personal habbits out to the rest of C9 readers I thought I would start this thread. Nothing major and maybe a little off-topic/out of place, but here goes.

    When you are hacking out a program/script/whathaveyou what habbits do you have that might annoy your co-workers or maybe things you like to do to keep focused and stop your mind from drifting to other items.

    Personally, some might say I have ADD - I think it's just a ploy to make everyone normal through medical science, but I digress, back on to the point of my post.

    Myself, I like to listen to hard music of any kind. Punk, Metal, Rock. This can have mixed results in different company. Most of the people here either will tollerate the music or actually ask to borrow a couple cds. I rarely get asked to use headphones but sometimes people look at me strange.

    Some actual habbits I have are to click the clicky button on my pens and pull and release my keycard (I have one of those retracto-cord clips). I also refuse to give up my old IBM keyboard. You can take out a rhino with this thing. Besides it gives me something else that clicks really loud. =)

    As mentioned earlier I sometimes wander, this in and of itself tends to throw people off as I jump subjects... A LOT. They seem to relate to me I guess, not sure how to explain it.

    Anyway, that's me. Someone else take it from there.

  • User profile image
    harumscarum

    I chew on coffee straws like they are going out of style. I have a habit of leaving them on coworkers desk. I always have to use headphones but I could not imagine working w/out them. I also have a habit of sneezing unusually loud.

     I personally get annoyed with persons who talk constantly for longer then 5-10 minutes. Our cubes are surrounded by COBOL dinos and since they only work about 2 hours a day they chatter non-stop.

    We (pc/web programmers) have our own little chat program that one of us made so sanity is kept since we can vent inside it.

    To keep focused I usually have a notebook that I jot down everything I need to do for the day in small tasks. As I get things done I check them off. I had a problem when I first started working because I always had so much work to do and always felt overwhelmed. Keeping a small list all the time has helped tremendously.

  • User profile image
    irascian

    I think music is an "age" thing. When I was in my early 20's I found that having music on while I worked somehow made it not feel like work. Often an album would finish and I wouldn't remember ANY of it but working was definitely more fun with it having been there.

    Now I'm in my late 40's I'm the opposite. I tend to listen to a lot of dance music and the constant beat distracts me. I find that the only time I want music while I'm working is to cut out the noise of people having loud conversations that are spoiling my concentration. Out comes the classical music. Guess I'm getting old!

    I'm usually so absorbed in whatever I'm doing I have no idea what my annoying habbits are.

  • User profile image
    gmiley

    irascian wrote:
    I'm usually so absorbed in whatever I'm doing I have no idea what my annoying habbits are.


    Annoying habbit = Ignoring people. Too far into 'the zone' to pay any attention. =)

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Annoying habits? I tap or drum. I've got a good excuse (being a drummer for 15 years), but I do it nonetheless. Anytime my mind's engaged I tap / drum.

  • User profile image
    object88

    Interesting thread idea.  I'd like to get a glimpse into other's workspaces.

    I used to find that music would help be concentrate.  The harder the problem, the more aggresive the music.  My worst problems were matched by pure noise, such as Aube or Merzbow.  And yes, always with headphones.  I rarely have had coworkers who agreed with my musical tastes.

    These days, I just fidget in my chair a lot.  I shake my foot, or tap my fingers, or bounce my knee.  Some part of me is almost always in nervous motion.  To the best of my knowledge, this has never annoyed my coworkers, since they don't have to look at me on a regular basis.  Although my chair does seem to have the occasional odd squeek.

    But speaking of sneezing, I can't seem to sneeze only once.  It's usually 3 times, or 6 times, or even 9 times.  Odd.

    But in my office in general, cellphones are quite disliked.  It's easy to hear normal conversation across the office space, and cellphone rings travel very well.

  • User profile image
    Knute

    Annoying habits?? Well I am sure that it probably annoys some of the 8 people who share this broom closet when I swear at the computer when I have my headphones on. I am convinced they can't hear me but I get the occasional glance. I have told them to watch out for that, they must think I have tourettes.

    Also the phone rings when I have my headphones on and I don't hear it because the headphones are pretty soundproof. My screen does wiggle though so that usually alerts me to calls.

    I am distracted very easily so the headphones keep me sane when the cabin mates are discussing last night’s game or the new iteration of their tool, etc.

    I am not a drummer but a pianist so I also tap to the beat and when there is no music there is something moving. I guess I have a high power battery somewhere inside...

    Can I talk about some of their annoying habits?LOL

    ~ Knute

    ps - interesting thread! Perhaps they should have a forum called "Programming Life" that all these sorts of topics could go into. It might be very interesting for those who are thinking of diving into the Matrix....

  • User profile image
    Neal

    Annoying habits ? I zone out people as well, even walk away when they are trying to talk to me.
    I say no alot, rarely give them the time of day for them to voice thier opinions to me, cause they're gonna "do it" anyways.

    I answer to emails quicker than voice mail. I don't smile or laugh when a "joke" is being said in the department.

    Damn...i sound like a real * to work with...cool.



  • User profile image
    DarthPedro

    irascian wrote:
    Now I'm in my late 40's I'm the opposite. I tend to listen to a lot of dance music and the constant beat distracts me. I find that the only time I want music while I'm working is to cut out the noise of people having loud conversations that are spoiling my concentration. Out comes the classical music. Guess I'm getting old!


    Yeah, you are getting old. Smiley

    I think music definitely helps my concentration.  And, loud and hard seems to work best. Even in my mid-30s (oh wait I'm old too...).

  • User profile image
    Knute

    If you think you are old now just wait another 30 YEARS!!!

    35 young here... I think it's all relative, if you think you are old, you are. I like to think of myself as Peter Pan - Who wants to grow up? LOL

    ~ Knute

    ps - You know you are getting older when you 13 year old rolls their eyes and tells you to stop trying to talk Kewl...

  • User profile image
    gmiley

    I'm 25, youngest one in the entire organization. I, however, feel rather old and worn down most of the time.

    Maybe it's cause I look around and everyone my age is still out having fun, not me, I work. I make money, but I work, at work, at home, in the shower.

    Not saying you guys dont, in fact most programmers are technically working most of the time they are awake, even sometimes while asleep. I know everyone I have talked to says about the same thing: "I never stop thinking about the projects I am working on".

  • User profile image
    SKG

    "pull and release my keycard"

    I do this consantly, especially while I'm tapping my foot non-stop...

  • User profile image
    billy

    I also do the "pull and release" thing, the drum thing, and the headphones, cranked loud enough that folks can here them in the neighboring cubes. Probably my worst thing though is cursing at my computer. I find it a great release, and though I've expected others to complain, most say, "don't stop...ever". I also tend to be thinking about the project during every waking moment. I think that's what makes us programmers. Here is an article I like on the subject http://www.devx.com/DevX/Article/11659

  • User profile image
    ktegels

    gmiley wrote:
    When you are hacking out a program/script/whathaveyou what habbits do you have that might annoy your co-workers or maybe things you like to do to keep focused and stop your mind from drifting to other items.


    I have the music thing too. But as I'm really Old School (not like Grandmaster Flash Old School, I'm talking like Perez Prado / Miles Davis I-Was-Fred-Flintstone's-School-Mate-Old School) I hum along with the music. That seems to drive my neighbors nuts. Worse, I'll be listening to something like Duke Ellington or Louie Armstrong, I'll half-humble-half-sing along. The sh*t really hit the fan one day when I wasn't paying attention to anything but the code and started singing along to the Spanish chorus in "I only have eyes for you." Loudly. as though I just raided a cache of really good Mescal. My manager wandered out of his office, into mine and asked what (beep) I was doing that poor (beep)'n cat and (beep) why?

    All other programs, like Outlook and IM must be closed and terminated, or I'll easily get pinged to death.

    I've gotten so attached to the "natural keyboards" that going back to a clickity that I can barely use a real keyboard anymore.

  • User profile image
    ktegels

    Knute wrote:
    ps - You know you are getting older when you 13 year old rolls their eyes and tells you to stop trying to talk Kewl...


    Just wait until they reach 17...

  • User profile image
    ktegels

    irascian wrote:
    I think music is an "age" thing. When I was in my early 20's I found that having music on while I worked somehow made it not feel like work. Often an album would finish and I wouldn't remember ANY of it but working was definitely more fun with it having been there.

    Now I'm in my late 40's I'm the opposite. I tend to listen to a lot of dance music and the constant beat distracts me. I find that the only time I want music while I'm working is to cut out the noise of people having loud conversations that are spoiling my concentration. Out comes the classical music. Guess I'm getting old!

    I'm usually so absorbed in whatever I'm doing I have no idea what my annoying habbits are.


    That's SO me too. Just remember, you're not really old as long as you have Vivaldi and Wagner cranked up to 11!

  • User profile image
    JAnderson

    I get into that "zone" and just shut everyone and everything around me off.  Sometimes I put music on.  I find that I like writing "alone" meaning I prefer to do it when the office is empty, I get here a good hour or so before everyone else, or even at home.

    Coding at home becomes luck of the draw.  My wife is very supportive in what I do but frowns when I disappear to the office we upstairs.  I have told her it's the life she married into.

    Back to the question.  I tend to also ignore people.  And I agree WE are always thinking about the project we are working on. I have zoned out while watching TV only to have my wife say "did you see that?" and the answer is "see what?".

    I even recall times when I dreamed the solution to a program and woke up yelling "I got it".

    I tend to talk outloud or better yet to myself when I am coding.  Co-Workers think that is funny.

    Great thread btw

  • User profile image
    FrankCarr

    Headphones and music here too. I listen to a wide range of music with blues and classic country tracks going back to the 1930's, such as Robert Johnson and Ernest Tubb, along with modern stuff like Evanescence, Jet, and The White Stripes and everything in between although most of it is off the beaten path and usually roots rock, blues or hard rock based. I've got about 600 MP3 tracks I keep in circulation. The funniest looks I've gotten have been when someone caught me listening to tracks like Can Your * Do The Dog by The Cramps or My Baby Don't Wear No Panties by Mean Gene Kelton.

    The headphones are the same ones I use in my home studio so they block out sound pretty good so I don't hear the phone ring or people coming up to bug me or whatever.

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