My new user icon is a statue of a greek god wrestling with a serpent. I rather like it and I would be tremendously impressed with any who can identify where I took that photo. I like the photo because it seems to express how I sometimes feel when I'm programming though I relate more to the serpent than the god.
Speaking of being wrestled, today at work was agonizing. After spending hours on a simple software bug that turned out to be a bug in the browser and not in my code (grr...), I realized that I could be far more productive if I had a mute button for my coworkers. Joel On Software offers incredible management advice for software development and one of the things that he speaks of is "documented productivity gains provided by giving knowledge workers space, quiet, and privacy". Today, I wanted to email that article to all of my coworkers. I was sitting there, staring at the screen, typing away while solving an intricate problem, when a coworker wanders over just to chat. As he left, another one wandered over to chat and a third came over to tell a joke. I saw another show up and I said "hey, take a number!". Instead, they took the hint and I turned back to my monitor after having quite a bit of time wasted. All of us have discussed how frustrating it is to be "pulled out" in the middle of coding, but they forget that when they want to chat.
I've taken to wearing my headphones even when I'm not listening to music just so I can get work done. I can still hear everyone, but they don't come over to chat when I'm deep in the middle of a programming problem (not that I'm not social, I just don't like to chitchat when I'm working hard).