Congratulations! You were just given a new Programmer!
- outfit your programmer with the standard office equipment?
- order custom equipment specialized for software developers?
- ask your programmer what he needs to get his job done?
If you answered (2) or (3), you’re on the right track. otherwise, you get a nice little tombstone when your developers leave, a la Oregon Trail:
Software developers do three things:
- Concentrate really hard.
- Type a lot.
- Sit on their fourth point of contact for extended periods of time.
How does the standard office equipment fare against these requirements?
Poorly. At best.
The monitor is a 15 inch LCD as one screen, and a laptop screen as the second. With any luck it’s a desktop with two monitors, but sadly they’re both 15 inches.
In some unspeakable instances developers have *one* monitor. Prolific developers and bloggers have already beat this subject to death. To save you time, here’s the right answer: High Quality monitors. At least two of them. Really big ones. Like 24″-30″.
Back to my flattened rear end. Office Chairs are expensive, no doubt. Office chairs that meet our needs? Even more so. I bought a Herman Miller Mirra chair a while back based on recommendations from people I trust, and it’s the best decision I ever made. Believe me when I say that I’m halfway tempted to take it with me to work:
The final piece of the puzzle is a really fast computer. Really fast. Not “Oh, I bought this from Dell” fast, but “We needed to custom order these” fast.
I could spend and entire blog post on that alone (and probably will), but here’s a good rule of thumb: If you can buy it without having to customize it, it’s wrong. Your action word to the Sales rep should be ‘More‘.
Overall, this will cost about $4000 a developer. Another 2-3 grand for the PC. In return, you get a developer who is happier, more productive, and is less likely to jump ship when one of your competitors wises up and starts offering these perks.
Don’t think about it as a cost, think about it as a savings: For any developer you lose, you’re going to lose a lot more than $4000 to replace them.