Coding, in and of itself, isn’t the easiest journey. You’ve got your ups, your downs, your problems. Doesn’t any profession? Imagine, for a second: Thirty years ago computers were the size of dinosaurs. Huge, primitive things that took up a full room. One big unit that crunched zeros and ones. I’ve got to admit, as do we all, that we, in this generation of information, have made huge leaps in the science and technology fields. In this day and age, where we’re not satisfied with anything (no matter how simple we make it) we always want more. We’re always seeking something more advanced. Something that can perform time-consuming actions so that we don’t have to even think about it.
If you’re a code junky, sometimes things slow you down. You don’t work as fast as you like. The clock ticks your day away. Sometimes your nights, too. It’s then you start looking for reliable tools to facilitate the process. These tools might be for comfort, or ease. Remember, we spend hours in a chair behind our desk. Hours staring at a screen. We’d buy the world if it would make our lives easier. But, who wouldn’t?
Ironically, the parallels between coding and gaming are pretty big. They both require high levels of performance. These tools aren’t rule of thumb, but we here at IMGN have our preferences.
Let’s start with the machine itself.
Naturally, you need something that can perform at high speed, with the ability to handle many intensive processes at once. At the office we all use laptops because of the convenience of mobility, but that depends entirely on you and what you do—whether you prefer to take your work home with you or keep work at work. Preferably, your processor needs to be at least an I5, although we tend to use I7s. Our RAM tends to be between 8 and 16 GB, although I’m sure we’d use 32 GB RAM if we had it. And hard drives? No question. SSDs. The graphics card and display are pretty much dependent on what computer everyone has, but generally if you have computers with specs like that then they should have a display that would be good enough.
Your neck gets sore from staring at a laptop all day, so it is more comfortable to have a monitor that is the correct size and height for the ease of reading.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Some in the office say it’s overkill. Once you get used to it, though, I must admit it’s hard to go back to a normal keyboard. A mechanical keyboard feels more fluid. When writing code, the whole writing bit is momentum. It’s like a dance you want to keep going. Your fingers flow from one key to another, because the keys are very resilient. Mechanical keyboards definitely speed up the process. They have some handy multimedia functions, too, so you don’t have to search for apps or leave the current app you’re in to change a song playing in the background.
Everyone has their own taste in music, and music is awesome for keeping you pumped and motivated. It also helps to filter out external distractions. Headphones are essential if you need music, and your music isn’t to everyone’s taste. Make sure they’re comfortable headphones, too. If you’re gonna wear something all day, why not wear something comfortable?
Think about it. I’m sure we’ve all been there on a Monday morning feeling tired and hungover and just flat out flat. And then boom. Coffee happens. Like magic. You can at least rub two brain cells together to kindle a spark. Sometimes that’s all you need is a spark to get the fire blazing. Needless to say, it’s important to us. It helps us concentrate, and it’s become sort of a ritual for us to go get coffee in the mornings. Call it bonding—call it whatever you want—it works, either way.
A good router:
It goes without saying, but our router has the 5ghz channel, which is a lot better for handling external interference. It doesn’t help having an average router when you’ve got quite a few office workers and everyone relies on wi-fi. Coupled with that, a good line is ideal, too.
A Kanban Board:
An online to-do list, this helps people in the company keep track of who’s performing what task, whether it be testing or individuals getting assigned tasks to perform. I don’t have to tell you how important this is in an IT company, especially if there’s multiple projects on the go, and it’s a Friday afternoon. Especially if it’s a Friday afternoon. Besides, ever worked on something and got so focused you can’t remember what you’re supposed to do afterward? I get that every day. We all do.
These tools aren’t a must have—everyone has their preferences, but these tools do facilitate the coding process. And in this business, anything that can save a little extra time is the bomb.