June 30, 2017
With school letting out and students fitting in a summer job between beach days, it’s good time to start planning for what a future coder like yourself will need in order get the most out of your upcoming career.
Now, I have to mention that buying of this gear alone will not make you a great developer. If you want to build great websites, with enough sweat and tears you will build the skills, regardless of what tech you have. This gear will just help you stay focused and smoothly slide into creating great experiences online.
Some items are universal, others are more niche, but framing your mind around picking up the right equipment for success will help you when you invest that burger money into setting yourself up to build something really cool.
I’ve seen great web developers use both Macs and PCs and to recommend either will surely upset some readers, but I have to be honest. In all my experience working on (and teaching students with) Macs & PCs, I am team Mac. The level of support and software for web development out there specifically built for a Unix based system is outstanding.
You do pay a large Apple tax for the system, but in my experience, it’s been worth it.
I’d suggest a 15’ inch MacBook Pro, anything smaller will be a pain to work on. You will have a lot of windows open while you work.
The Mouse & Keyboard
Now, this is where Apple’s world class design falls flat on its face. Not only their keyboards and mice are not designed ergonomically, the placement of the charging cable on mouse makes it impossible to use while charging.
For a good all around great mouse, I suggest the Logitech MX Master. The mouse feels great in your hand and using Logitech software to remap the buttons to Mac specific functions and keys like Mission Control and Command will save you a lot hand pain from doing finger twister as you begin to use hotkeys constantly. The Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard is a great place to start working on posture and hand health as you type for hours. Creating good habits now will keep from paying the price later.
Every developer dreams of coding on a beach sipping on a cocktail completely detached from their desk. The reality is a fried MacBook, a laptop tan on your thighs and living with half your keys not working because they still can’t press down through all the dried pina colada you spilled all over your keyboard when a fellow drunk tourist bumped into your chair.
No one wants to be at the office 24/7, but having a desk is definitely helpful. You will get much more work done. The Dell UltraSharp 24 InfinityEdge Monitor is a great monitor to start with, it won’t break the bank, but it will give you all the additional screen real estate you need.
Also, Your friends will super impressed by your new passion after gawking at your vertical monitor filled with code.
A quick note regarding monitors and web development. Most desktop visitors to your sites will be viewing on a computer 13′ inch – 15′ inch monitor, so don’t get too carried away designing for your large new one.
The Other Stuff.
Once you’ve got the meaty and important hardware out of the way, a few accessories will help you along your way.
- External Hard Drive
- Preferably 256gb + and SSD
- Noise canceling headphones
- External battery pack
- Battery packs may not charge your machine completely, but they will give you a few extra hours of life if you in the middle of super productive cafe coding session
- A backup service
Whew, now you’re set up to build something great.
These tools will help keep you coding far into the future, just remember that without hard work, perseverance, and good attitude these items will just collect dust. You’re the important part of becoming a great coder, these tools (and others like them) will just help you along your way!