Jeff Atwood just posted an excellent Programmer’s Bill of Rights, which suggests things such as providing at least two monitors for every programmer, providing a fast PC, etc. One thing in particular that he mentioned is that all programmers should have quiet working conditions, and I couldn’t agree more, because I sit near some of loudest people at work. Of course, we’re all in cubes, too, so it isn’t like I can shut the door. I hear more about someone’s daughter than I do about work, too. I ended up taking Jeff’s advice and dropping some money on some nice headphones that drown out some of the noise, but I think I would end up blowing my ear drums out before I’d drown out all of the noise. I recently moved cubes over to this new, loud area, but it wasn’t much better before - I used to sit next to the break room, so you can imagine what it was like there, too.