Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is Customization Worth It?

Some weeks ago, we had a computer monitor go out at work. In order to compensate, we shifted seats around.

I ended up at another desk. I didn't have access to my files (since I'm allergic to putting my stuff on the network - I always leave it on my hard drive), my bookmarks, and WordPerfect, which has several hours worth of customization on the keyboards, appearance, etc. My productivity was, shall we say, less than adequate, because I wasn't at my own desk and didn't have ready access to the tools I rely on daily.

This got me thinking back to the times when I was in a corporate environment. This was an environment where customization was frowned upon, if not downright discouraged, and in many cases it was not even possible since the computers were basically locked down. As I was thinking about this, it made me wonder - is customization worth it? If you tally up all the time it takes to do a decent customization job, tack on the additional time for situations where customization turns out to be a hindrance (like the one I described earlier), does the time saved compensate for it? Or is it even about time.

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