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Prateek Aher
Prateek Aher

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Top 5 Desk Essentials for Web Developers

Having a perfect desk not only motivates you but is also a productivity power-up. Cold and lifeless desks can leave you feeling unmotivated and wanting to be somewhere else.

This article lists a few essentials needed by developers. You should be buying these items first or should have your largest budget allocated to them. You're welcome to deviate and adapt according to your taste.

1. The Machine (Obviously)

When it comes to web development, you don't need an expensive or high-specification PC, unless you're into video editing, graphics design, or animation-related work.

A medium-quality laptop with a decent amount of RAM and processor speed should be good enough. Switching from HDD to SSD for hard-disk is a plus. The speed boost that it provides could come in handy for any programmer. 

Laptops give you the flexibility of moving your work seamlessly, especially if you need to travel for your work. They are delicate pieces of tech, so using a laptop sleeve or a backpack will be beneficial.

However, if you are going to be doing performance-intensive work like the stuff I mentioned at the top, it would be a good idea to invest in a Desktop. Desktops are very cheap as compared to laptops and you can get excellent hardware at a lesser price.
I started web development not long ago so my laptop is of a mid-level quality. It's an ASUS Vivobook 14.

2. Mouse

Although it is not really that important, having a good mouse will increase productivity. Sometimes, while working on applications like Unity or Illustrator where precision is needed, it easier to use a mouse. It also provides large room for movement than a track-pad ever will.

Developers typically dislike using the mouse as it is often slower when working predominantly on a keyboard. But those who work on UI / UX cannot completely disregard its importance.

You shouldn't spend much on a mouse. It doesn't make much difference if it's wired or wireless, you won't be taking it far from your PC. I personally use a wireless Logitech MX235 but you can aim lower.

3. Smartphone

You are now thinking, how is it that a mobile phone comes under development setup. It doesn't, but it comes under additional gear. It comes in handy when you want to reply on Slack/Discord/Skype while being away from PC, quickly fix small things, or when someone asked to push the fixed code. Imagine if your mobile is slow then you'll be wasting your time.

A smartphone, smartwatch, or tablet is also required to test your work on different resolutions. The price well depends on what you choose to buy. I don't think that a recommendation is really needed for these, since the brand doesn't matter that much.

4. Headphones

They are often an overlooked hardware component. Many of us spend hours on conference calls, screen-sharing sessions, or any of the activities that necessitate the use of headsets. Headphones are a boon for anyone who has to work in a noisy environment.

A nice pair of noise-canceling headphones can be a good step towards perfecting your desk setup. They use soundproofing techniques to reduce ambient sounds around you - like office chatter, noisy fans, or that colleague of yours who just won't SHUT UP. In short, they help you stay focused. One other benefit is that they isolate the sounds from outside so that you don't have to listen to high volume. Not to mention they deter others from interrupting you!

You may be tempted to simply order a cheap headset with a long cable, but bear in mind that the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. There is really no need to put a hole in your wallet. We are talking about headsets, even good ones are relatively inexpensive.

5. Pen, Paper, and Post-it Notes

The idea behind a developer journal is that making relevant notes as you go about your tasks can help the future-you. Having a journal helps you keep track of your learning and improve your recall. Keep a notebook handy so that you can jot down project ideas, take notes from an impromptu meeting, or even just sketch out your code before moving to the text editor.

We never ascended into a future of paperless offices. Do you know why? Because sometimes it's just easier to grab a post-it and jot a note or grab a pencil to illustrate a concept. So you should always keep those 3-Ps close to your heart.

Express yourself by enhancing your desk with items that make you feel good. It can be a favorite stuffed animal, a geeky figurine, or a picture of your family. Some might love to decorate their laptops or workstations with fun stickers. Whatever you do, make sure you make your space truly feel personal.

Do you think a developer's desk lacks something more? Let me know in the comments.
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Top comments (4)

cappe987 profile image

This list is not specific to web developers, and not even to developers. It's generic enough to hold true for the majority of office jobs. The only webdev specific argument is using your phone to test websites.

prateek_aher profile image
Prateek Aher

I never said 'specific'. These things might be essential for other office jobs as well. I listed only those essential to developers.

devlorenzo profile image

You forgot to add a drink (coffee, tea, wine...)🙃

prateek_aher profile image
Prateek Aher

I forgot a lot of things, most of which are contingent on a person's whim.
Besides someone told me that getting up from my desk for coffee is good for that back of mine.