Ask for great hardware

This is a guest post from Perry Tiu. Enjoy.

Dear New Developer,

Ask for great hardware.

Ask for that latest MacBook. Ask for that extra built-in 2TB of flash storage. Ask for that 32-inch monitor. Ask for that additional vertical monitor. Ask for that standing desk. Ask for that Aeron chair. Ask for that expensive USB-C hub. Ask for that ergonomic keyboard.

Now you may be thinking that you don’t want to be perceived as a burden to the company, or that you’re coming off as greedy and needy. I get it. If you had to purchase all of this yourself, it would surely be an unpleasant hole in your pocket. We all get it.

Fortunately in the bigger picture, this amount is actually minimal for companies compared to all the other costs related to hiring a new developer (salary, staff hours spent on interviewing individuals, etc). Most well-run companies regularly take into account these costs as they grow and there are many reasons why they are willing to invest in their staff’s developer experience.

One of the more obvious reasons is improving efficiency and productivity: having a laptop with an additional monitor setup is generally better than without. Interestingly, there are also indirect, not exactly tech-related, benefits. For example, being able to satisfy a developer’s needs improves work satisfaction, which contributes to employee retention. As long as you justify using the amazing hardware at your disposal, the return of investment in the long run far outweighs the cost of the hardware.

So ask away, treat yourself and embrace what modern technology has to offer. Your company should be there to help you grow in your role so don’t be shy. But more importantly: share your experience. Let people know what works for you, what doesn’t. Countless times have I learned new quality-of-life improvements just from hearing or seeing someone else live it. Not only will your peers and friends appreciate the discussion, it is also a collective push to improve each other’s developer experience.

Oh and it is harder to ask for upgrades down the road than when you just joined.

Sincerely written on an outdated machine,

Perry

Perry is a Software Engineer and host of a podcast ruined by a software engineer.

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