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I’m looking for some feedback on how developer PCs are managed within environments that have a strict managed desktop policy (normally large corporations). For example, many corporate environments control the installation of software and the deployment of patches and virus updates through a centralised channel. This usually means also dictating the OS version and architecture (32 bit versus 64 bit) which will likely also mean standardised hardware configurations.

I’m particularly interested in feedback from developers who work in this sort of environment but have a high degree of autonomy over their machines. This might mean choosing your own hardware vendor, OS type and version and perhaps how the machines are built and maintained. I have several specific questions:

  1. How do you satisfy the needs of security, governance etc whilst maintaining your autonomy? For example, how do you address concerns about keeping virus definitions and OS patches up to date?
  2. Do you have a process for gaining exemption from standard desktop builds and if so, what do you need to demonstrate in order to get this?
  3. How have you justified this need to the decision makers? Essentially, what is the benefit to your role as a developer by having this degree of autonomy?

Thanks very much everyone.

Update: There's a great post from Jean-Paul Boodhoo which addresses the developer tool component of the quesiton here: http://blog.jpboodhoo.com/TheFallacyOfTheStandardizedDeveloperMachineimage.aspx

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closed as not constructive by Iain Aug 31 '12 at 15:14

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in our example (the bank we work for) has a military standard security policy where we can't add a plugin to outlook. However, we can fill a form to get a certain software installed with some user access rights and it has to be signed by our line managers and approved by the of information security. we are usually intorigated and asked for justifications on why to select these options and usualy we would compromize our needs with less options to abide by the policies.

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