The 21st Century Employment Landscape
Several years ago, working from home wasn’t even considered a possibility for the vast majority of the workforce. These days, remote working is the reality for many workers, with more and more employees expecting to be offered alternatives to working in the office. This unexpected and dramatic change has been facilitated by a combination of factors, including developments in technology, globalization, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Software engineering in particular is perfectly adapted to remote working. After all, it is software engineers who have developed the programs that comprise the foundation of the digital realm, and because of whom remote working is even an option. This certainly explains why working from home has become the norm for employees in this dynamic and exciting field, with 86% of software engineers working entirely remotely in 2021.
It is essential that software engineers have access to high-performance and state-of-the-art equipment, services, and resources which will enable them to work effectively regardless of where they are. In the following guide, we’ll be going through some of the most versatile and comprehensive remote working essentials for software engineers.
Arguably, monitors are the most important pieces of hardware equipment in any software engineer’s set-up. You’ll typically need to have several applications open at once, whether it is for programming and developing, corresponding and communicating with your colleagues, or conducting research online. Having multiple monitors is evidently a necessity, but the problem is that monitors tend to be one of the largest pieces of equipment that you have, and they usually consume a significant amount of real estate on your desk.
Not only does this leave you short on space for other essentials such as smart devices, your stationary and your coffee, but a cluttered and disorganised space can leave you feeling frustrated and flustered. Fortunately, there is a solution for this—a portable monitor such as the Mobile Pixels Trio. This monitor primarily works to enhance your virtual workspace, and magnetically attaches to your PC or your laptop in order to double your desktop space.
What’s more, if you decide to opt for the purchasing bundle, then you can attach two monitors simultaneously via the provided clip for unparalleled productivity, hence the name Trio. With two additional screens, you can accommodate even the most complex and demanding of tasks, and even when you’re not working it will make for an exceptional gaming or entertainment experience.
When it comes to programming and developing, a keyboard is probably one of the most underappreciated and overlooked pieces of equipment. As a software engineer, however, the type of mechanical keyboard you opt for will be vitally important to your productivity and typing in general. The reason a mechanical keyboard is preferable is that mechanical switches will ensure that you can type faster and more efficiently while also allowing you to establish a flow to your work more than a standard keyboard could.
There are a number of criteria which distinguish a quality mechanical keyboard from the more mediocre ones, including the switches underneath the keys, the keyboard’s connection and any additional features it includes. Evidently, a mechanical keyboard won’t directly improve your programming and developing skills, but it does make for a significantly more comfortable typing experience, which will indirectly help to make the overall coding experience more enjoyable.
Another essential peripheral is a mouse. As a software engineer, you will probably have to scroll through massive code files that are hundreds of lines long on a regular basis, which is why a mouse that is both comfortable and efficient is absolutely critical. A wireless mouse is probably the best choice, especially one with a good sensor so that you don’t have to apply unnecessary pressure to move it around. A wireless mouse gives you much more mobility and flexibility as to where you have to work, and it’s one less wire to contend with as well.
You also want a mouse that is ideal for day-to-day usage, and it should be constructed with an ergonomic design and a rounded shape in order to accommodate hours of pleasant coding and typing. An oversized keyboard mat is not necessarily important, but you’ll really enjoy it when you have a soft and cushioned surface to put your mouse and keyboard on so that they don’t slide around awkwardly on the harder surface of your desk.
At first glance, software engineering might seem to be a profession which requires solitude, especially if you are working from home. The truth is, however, that programming and developing requires teamwork, collaboration, and communication if you are to successfully complete projects, achieve productivity milestones, and fulfill your targets. Investing in quality headphones is key, especially noise-cancelling headphones.
These headphones will detect external noises and effectively suppress them, so that you can focus on what your colleagues are saying. Even if you’re working alone, they will eliminate any distractions coming in from the outside world so that you can cultivate a focused and dedicated work environment. Other factors you’ll want to consider are whether the headphones are wired or non-wired, on-ear or over-ear, as well as how comfortable they are.
This is a service rather than a piece of equipment, but it is an invaluable resource for any software engineer. GitHub is essentially a web-based hosting service that programmers and developers can use to host software development and version control. It is regularly used by many software engineers because it unites one of the largest communities of software engineers in the world, enabling you to research, discuss, and deliver projects with a thriving, informed, and knowledgeable community.
This service also comes with numerous collaborative and practical features such as wikis, task management, access control, bug tracking, and continuous integration. When you’re working from home, GitHub will be a brilliant way for you to receive feedback and develop new skills.
Comparatively, software engineering is one of those fields where working from home is a particularly accessible and unique perk. When you’re working remotely, however, you don’t have the luxury of going into a perfectly equipped office that is dedicated specifically to your work. On the other hand, you do have the opportunity to create a home office which is perfectly suited to your requirements and expectations.
In this guide, we’ve provided you with a list of remote working essentials geared specifically towards software engineering. With some initial investment, you’ll have a set-up which offers you convenience, practicality, and comfort so that you can enjoy hours of smooth coding.