13” Dell XPS 9310 Laptop, 32GB RAM (2021)
For a long time I have been using a traditional tower computer that allowed me to play games and work on side projects when I needed to. My gaming days took a drastic turn and owning a gamer PC just became irrelevant. I opted for small, yet powerful laptop. Associated with a docking station I can code in the comfort of my home or the coffee shop round the corner. The battery life is pretty nice and it can support heavy loads.
Dell Docking Station
What a wonderful invention that is the docking station. One cable to connect them all. When I am home, I just have to plug that one usb-c cable in my laptop to connect everything: monitors, ethernet, power, speakers, you name it. I don't have to choose between home computer or laptop, nor to think about data syncing.
32” AOC Q2377 Monitor
Having a large screen is really comfortable when coding as you can split editor into two columns and still be able to read without horizontal scrolling. I would recommend choosing at least WQHD resolution to avoid blurry edges and fonts.
24” Acer QG241Y Monitor
My second monitor is in portrait mode and very useful for conversing, check social networks or even browse documentations.
PUTORSEN Dual Monitor Arm
Both of my monitors are mounted on articulated arms which allows me to optimize their position and remove their base, that also means more clean space on my desk.
Keychron K6 Pro Keyboard
I have been dabbling with « build your own » keyboard, starting with the KBD67 from KBDFans which is a 65% keyboard. For me that it the perfect size, not too big not too small, you don’t have to reach for your mouse when you need to, every key is at your fingertip. The fact that you can program every key to your liking, have macros, multiple layers compensate for the lack of physical key, really. Since I own a laptop, I wanted to switch to a wireless keyboard, hence the Keychron K6 pro.
Logitech MX Vertical Mouse
This vertical mouse is compact enough and a good way to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. You can connect it up to three devices via Bluetooth and switch between at a click of a button.
SANODESK Height Adjustable Standing Desk
Sitting is the new smoking, at least that is what you can read everywhere now that a lot of people are sitting behind a desk all day. I have to admit that I often slouched in my chair and had to force myself to sit right again. I have had this standing desk for some time now and hopefully my slouching days are over. Whenever I feel that my back is failing me, I just push a button and the desk rises to the desired position on its own. Next step, adding a mobile treadmill.
I often switched of code editor this past decade, I guess I tried to follow the trend: Komodo, Sublime Text, Code Blocks, Atom, etc. VS Code is the longest I have stuck with the same editor and I cannot really explain why. I guess it just come down to the fact that it has every thing that I need with or without extensions, and it keeps getting better over time. Big plus, it is compatible with the WSL.
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)
I often see developers either using a Mac or a PC with a Linux distro. I know I am going to make enemies just by saying this, but I never liked Mac or any other Apple product. Apple users say it is very user friendly, but I never saw it that way, for me it is just to limiting, you either use Apple ecosystem (for all your devices) or you don’t, you can’t mix. Anyway, back when I was a student, I had a dual boot so I could use Linux to work on my projects and Windows for the rest (mostly gaming), it was a bit tiresome to always have to switch. I have to admit it is not always easy to have a nice development work environment on Windows and most tutorials assume you have a terminal, and you can install X or Y package you need for your project. Windows finally made it possible to have it both ways: the WSL. You can now install the Linux distro of your choice from the Microsoft store and use it as real Linux terminal, install packages that you need. The best part is that it is included in VS Code and has its own file system accessible from the Windows file explorer if needed, making my coding days much easier.
As the name suggests this app (downloadable from the Microsoft store) is a set of development toys that can help you on a daily basis: converters (timestamps, json to yaml, …), encoders (URL, Base64 images or text, JWT, …), formatters (JSON, SQL, XML), generators (hash, password, uuid, …), regex tester, text diff, XML validator, markdown preview, image converter, and many more. Microsoft keeps adding more.
Another set of toys that should be included with every Windows fresh install. This app adds a lot of tools accessible via shortcuts anywhere on your system: a launcher like a command palette that lets start application, open folder, use the calculator, convert units, etc. A text extractor that recognizes text from images or videos and copies it to your clipboard automatically. A color picker so you can get any color from anywhere not only in your browser or paint. There are many more fancy tools, and you can read all about it here.
What is life without music? I cannot spend a day without listening to music either at work or at home.