[LRUG] London Ruby working conditions survey results

Niko Felger niko.felger at gmail.com
Thu Sep 18 08:33:38 PDT 2014

Those are some really interesting results!

Just this week, I came across some recent research into how much privacy a
workspace needs that some of you may also find relevant (both from the HBR

Balancing "We" and "Me"
This piece essentially says: "Open offices are not inherently good or bad."
Instead it's important to have the right mix of different spaces for the
different privacy needs required by varying tasks, moods, and other
circumstances. It has a number of recommendations for both individuals and
companies to create private spaces of different kinds within generally open
offices. They (Steelcase) did a lot of surveys with similar goals to yours.

The Transparency Trap <http://hbr.org/2014/10/the-transparency-trap/ar/1>
This looks at the basic idea that open / transparent work environments
create better accountability, more fluid sharing of information, and more
shared learning. The conclusion seems that while transparency *does *achieve
improvements in all of those areas, it can *also* induce unwanted
inhibitions and leave people feeling exposed. It goes on to show some
practical things companies have done to strike the right balance between
privacy and transparency.

For me, both these articles have given a really refreshingly balanced
perspective of effects I've experienced myself, which the one-sided
perspectives of "Private offices for all!" (Spolsky) and "Sit together all
the time!" (XP/Agile) have never really done justice to IMO. (I'm aware
these are overly simplistic caricatures of those views any reality isn't as


On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 1:40 PM, James McCarthy <james at lety.co> wrote:

> Good afternoon all.
> Apologies in the delay getting the results to you, I had planned to have
> this up Saturday morning but a busy weekend prevented that.
> Thank you to everyone who responded, I think this has given some
> interesting insights into conditions in London.
> Summary:
> Of the 112 developers who responded.
> The private office and cubicle are dead.
> A minority frequently work overtime.
> Only 1/4 have quiet working conditions.
> Most have a desk in large open plan offices.
> Most have a decent size screen.
> The vast majority are happy working on their current project.
> The average number of years experience is 5.6
> Full results available here.
> http://blog.lety.co/london-ruby-developers-working-conditions/
> --
> James McCarthy
> Software Engineer
> LetyCo - Analyse, Build, Deliver
> Ruby/Rails software for London and the SouthEast.
>  Mob:  07577006897
> Email:  james at lety.co
> lety.co
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