Welcome to Startuphakk! Today, we’re going to talk about what hardware you need to become a software developer. I get this question all the time. Now, I’ve worked as a developer for 25 years and I’ve helped hire hundreds of different developers, so I have a lot of experience in what a developer needs in order to begin doing software development. So, let’s go through a little bit today and talk about some of the things that you’re going to want to have to become a successful software developer.
Now, one of the first things that I’m going to go through is the actual system itself. Pretty much any modern system actually will work pretty well for becoming a software developer. Most modern computers that have been built within the last three to four years are mostly fast enough to run Visual Studio. We teach .NET here at Startup Hack in our coding boot camp, and so really to build and run Visual Studio, which is the main tool that you’re going to use as a software developer, most modern computers are fast enough. Let’s go into some of the hardware you might need then.
So, first off, you’re gonna need a dual monitor or else a really wide or extra large monitor. Now, this is really important because very frequently as a developer, you need to stand up things side by side with each other, and so a really large monitor or dual monitors is really pretty critical in order to become a good software developer. This is because you’re doing a lot of Googling on one hand on one screen and then coding on another, or you’re reading a set of requirements or looking at a set of specs and then coding it on the other screen. You also will be able to read one thing, code over here, and look at a web browser over there. So, as you’re working against these different individual monitors in these different pieces, gone are the days where you can just work on one small monitor. It just simply is not efficient. Your context switching, and by the time you’re switching between windows, different inputs are forgotten, and you’re copy and pasting from one thing to another. So, you really have to have either dual monitors or else an extra large monitor. A lot of the new widescreen monitors are great, where you can actually get multiple windows up at one time to be able to view and work in both windows at the same time. So, that’s absolutely the first and most critical piece.
Now, the next part that I’m going to talk about is a good keyboard. You can develop carpal tunnel syndrome, and so having a good keyboard is really important. Some people really like mechanical keyboards that click, click, click, and they really like that. I personally prefer an ergonomic keyboard to keep my wrists healthy since I’ve been typing for a long time and I’m starting to become an old man. There are a lot of different things, but ultimately a keyboard you like. Like, you don’t want to be typing on a cruddy laptop keyboard. You want to make sure that you have a good keyboard that you’re comfortable with because you’re going to be touching that keyboard a lot and that’s going to be your main interface between you and the computer. So, get a good keyboard.
A good mouse is also equally handy. Some people like the ball mouse. Some people like a really touch-sensitive mouse. What you definitely don’t want to be doing is using a touchpad on your laptop. That’s a terrible idea. It’s a great way to really harm your wrists, and you’ll be super inefficient. So, get a good mouse, whatever it is. Some people like the trackpad. There are lots of different mice out there. Try a couple of different ones and make sure that you really like the one that you’re using. Next, a good chair or ball. Now, I personally like to sit on a ball, but I’ll deviate back and forth between a chair or a ball. If you’re going to have a chair, make sure you have a really good chair and that you set it to be sitting in a good ergonomic position. Nothing’s going to hurt your back faster than sitting for hours a day coding on a computer in a bad chair or in a bad position. So make sure you get a really good ergonomic setup and make sure you take care of yourself this way.
Now, a lot of people, along with this, also really like standing desks. Standing desks have become hugely popular, especially over the last five years as prices have come down. This is a desk that allows you to be able to raise up so you can stand and code where your desk is up high or to build a drop down low to be able to sit into a chair. Various people get various different opinions about them, but a standing desk has become very popular.
Lastly, as far as the computer itself, the most important thing if you’re going to upgrade something with your computer is to make sure it has tons of RAM. So RAM is random access memory, or the memory, the volatile memory that your computer has. You want to make sure you have lots of RAM. Why? Because like I talked about with the monitors, you’re going to have multiple things open, you’re going to be switching between things, and Visual Studio is a huge hog of RAM. The more RAM you have, the more it’ll be able to load up into memory. But in general, if you’re going to look for the one main thing, video card doesn’t matter for programming. The CPU can matter a little bit if it’s really old, but any modern CPU made in the last two or three years likely is going to be totally fine. But tons of RAM, the more RAM you can get, the better. I would say eight gigs is absolutely the bare minimum, 16 is really preferred, and 32 is fantastic if you can get it. Eight gigs is a minimum, 16 gigs is an ideal, and 32 gigs is fantastic. Pretty much any other modern system from there will run.
Whether it’s doing some specialized business process. We specialize in taking these specialists in their field and teaching them how to develop and teaching them to become a full stack developer and in the process. What you’re going to get with that is you will get somebody who can become a full stack developer while still being a specialist in their field and this is ultimately going to be, we feel, one of the best hybrids and really be the best benefit for a corporate world who can work with getting these specialized people to work as a developer and then that’s gonna ultimately help them to be really good in their field and I think this is one of the specialties that we’re going to really be working so make sure you check out startuphakk.
This is a great opportunity that we’re just starting out to kick off our coding boot camp so that you can take someone who’s a specialist in your field, teach them to be a developer and then begin to build and learn all of these most important skills that you get. So make sure to check out https://www.startuphakk.com/.