There have been plenty of articles lately talking about how bad open offices are. I completely agree with these complaints, but I’m hard pressed to find a place that doesn’t use them. To make the best out of a bad situation, I had to come up with a solution to make me productive again. You see, there are times when you really need to be in the zone to get things done and open office floor plans can interfere with that.
For example, maybe you’re trying to refactor a complex piece of spaghetti code and you have to keep a lot of it in your head at once. At the same time you overhear someone from HR joking with another developer and it keeps breaking your concentration. Here are the two tools I use to ignore distractions like these: