Where can I find case studies on productivity gains from dual monitors for developers?
February 2, 2006 1:50 PM   Subscribe

I am a Java programmer working for a reasonably large (read: not-so-quick-to-get-with-the-times) organization, and I'm trying to put together a case for having a dual-monitor setup for all our developers.

I know for a fact it will be a huge productivity boost (as I've used dual monitors in the past), but I have to prove this to my manager via case studies, scientific studies, etc. that already exist on the matter.

Unfortunately, all searches on google for the topic just bring up vendor sites trying to sell their overly expensive dual monitor setups and obviously some very biased opinions on productivity gains.

I've only found one rather weak argument for "anywhere between 5-50%" on a Microsoft site but it is by no means sufficient.

Any relevant links would be greatly appreciated!

posted by PWA_BadBoy to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
A huge discussion (at slashdot) about a study carried out by NEC-Mitsubishi, ATI, and U. of Utah.
posted by SpookyFish at 1:59 PM on February 2, 2006

Joel Spolsky discusses how important it is for programmers to have the best tools possible. He gives only short mention to dual monitors specifically, but the article may buttress your overall argument.
posted by ldenneau at 2:07 PM on February 2, 2006

Your organisation probably pays 100K plus after management overhead, office space, health benefits and so on for each programmer.

The cost of more monitors for developers in minimal. The company gets an asset they can resell. The cost is arguably the depreciation on the monitors, and even getting good 24" flat panels as b1tr0t described is only about 750. Even if their depreciation is set at 20% per year you are talking about $150 per year per developer. If this makes your developers even 1% more effective it is a tenfold return on investment using the studies provided by slashdot and your web page reference. If you were to buy high res CRTs for $2-300 it would be even less.

Stiffing people on development tools is a classic piece of a false saving.
posted by sien at 3:38 PM on February 2, 2006

One thing I did was take screenshots of our dev enviornment (jbuilder) and figure out how much space there was by default for the text entry window after the class browsers, message window, etc were gone. It was suprisingly small, like a portable DVD player. That may have helped a little.
posted by true at 5:52 PM on February 2, 2006

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