When you think about writing code or designing websites, you generally think about software. Web developers work tirelessly to create a wide variety of sites and applications. You might even think of the software they use to create those programs, or the software they use to test them and make sure they run well and are free of bugs. But you can’t have software without hardware. So what kind of hardware does the average software programmer or web developer use to do their job?
Well, every web developer works differently. They have their own workflow, which they’ve often honed over the course of years on the job. And that workflow includes different hardware setups that they’re comfortable with. If you’re lucky enough to work for a big tech company with plenty of money and resources, often they’ll provide the hardware you request, so you can set your workstation up for maximum efficiency. But there are two basic things that every developer and programmer needs: speed and resolution. And there’s hardware to help with both.
Solid State Drives
High processing speed is essential for web development and software design. You’re often dealing with massive amounts of code, which can take up a lot of space. If your system lags, it slows down your workflow. And the longer it takes you to finish development, the more money it costs your company. In order to keep your workflow moving quickly, you need hardware that can keep up. That’s why many developers find a Solid State Drive to be essential to their work.
On most computers designed for general use, you’ll find a hard disk drive, or HDD. On an HDD, a mechanical arm writes the data onto a magnetic coating on a spinning disk. A solid-state drive, or SSD, on the other hand, is more like a USB flash drive, using memory chips. However, while a flash drive is used for temporary or extra storage, and has a relatively small capacity (compared to an actual computer), an SSD uses a series of chips to get the capacity of a regular hard drive.
Unlike an HDD, an SSD also has no moving parts. This allows for more memory in a smaller amount of space, as well as greater overall speed, both in reading and in writing data. These benefits make SSD practically essential hardware for any developer, especially in a professional setting.
The other thing that web developers and software programmers need is a high-resolution visual interface. You need to know what your program, website, or application looks like, in as much detail as possible. So an HD monitor is essential. In fact, many developers prefer a setup with at least two different monitors — sometimes more.
The two-monitor setup allows for multitasking. You can do coding, programming, and other tasks on one screen, and view the results in full definition on the other screen. It also makes sharing data between different programs or applications a lot easier. You can simply drag files from one program to the other, even if both are fullscreen.
There are plenty of other types of hardware and equipment that developers can employ. Some like to have a laptop that’s separate from their two-monitor, SSD setup, as a place to handle e-mail and other types of communication with their team while they work. Some like to have a scanner or networked copier for digitizing images and info that they’d otherwise only have on paper.
Really, it all depends on who the developer is, what they’re working on, and what they’re comfortable with. In the end all that matters is that the project be completed quickly and function the way it’s supposed to. Whatever tools it takes to make that happen are well worth it.
Author: Chris Fontes