What makes a home office great for coding? That and more from the week in software engineering

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If you like what you see here, make sure to subscribe!'My setup and my decor make me more productive'This week, DEV.to co-founder and webmaster Ben Halpern shared a peak at his new home office to celebrate the recent "distribution" of his site's staff. His mac book-centered hub is in its humble beginnings, he says, but it's still quiet and comfortable enough to hunker down in to get stuff done.Remote work is growing in the tech industry, meaning home-based software developer workstations – like Halpern is on his way to building – are getting to be more and more of a thing. So, I thought it would be helpful to ask remote devs on linked in to share details about their home setups and what makes them great for coding.Some of the answers I got were no-brainers. Dual computer monitors, for example, were mentioned a lot. J. Garcia Coque, an applications dev with Western Paper Distributors, called them "a must for software development.""A standing desk ... should be considered mandatory," added Serverless Inc. engineer AJ Stuyvenberg.And don't forget the whiteboard, wrote Lockheed Martin's Lisa Casewell. "It's small but [also] a must have."Microsoft engineer Mike West said he makes sure to have proprietary keyboards for Windows, Linux and Mac in his home office to make it easier to stay productive when work has him switching between operating systems.A good number of detailed opinions on chairs came in, too. A Herman Miller Embody is what Airbnb machine learning software engineer Alfredo Luque said he sits in while working at home, emphasizing that ergonomics are "a key" to a great workspace.Less expected among the responses I got was the number of developers who said they prefer their home office to be full of natural light, the apparent enemy of coding in popular dark-themed text editors. "For me, it’s crucial in staying focused and being productive throughout the day," said Apruvd engineer Zack Brown.Then there were the kind of perks that you can typically only get in a home office, like a special air filter for healthier breathing and thus better working. "At home I have a GAPA filtration system and an ERV so my air quality is pretty good. I feel more alert and less drowsy," said Philip Prindeville, security software engineer at Gigamon. "My setup and my decor make me more productive," University of Minnesota front-end developer Mike Boardley wrote above a picture of his home office, which is decked out with more action figures and posters than would be allowed in any corporate office I've ever worked in.Home office companion animals like dogs and cats, not always permitted in company offices, were also pointed out as helpful for alleviating stress during the work day.But, above all, the most important part of a home workspace suitable for coding, according to the devs who chimed in: a door. But it's not just for the reason you might think.It goes without saying that separating a home office from the rest of the house should do wonders for blocking out distractions during work hours, but where it arguably factors in more is when it's time to clock out for the day. Most studies on remote work today show that work-from-home employees are more productive, but they tend to suffer from a lack of work-life balance. Without a workspace that can be closed up at the end of the day, it can sometimes be too easy to get lured back into working during non "office hours," some remote software engineers said."When my day was over I generally made a habit of leaving the room and sometimes closing the door so that I wouldn’t be tempted to return back to work and sacrifice my home and family life," wrote Dennis White, a developer at Bently Nevada.Have a great home office that includes something not mentioned above? Share it in a comment below.Tech updates...More from this week...Android Dev Summit was this week. Google's other yearly developer conference – the smaller, more Android-specific one – brought updates to Android Studio and Jetpack APIs and also introduced Jetpack Compose, a new UI toolkit for building Android apps. You can read more about these updates over at Android developer Nate Ebel's post about them. Another takeaway from Dev Summit 2019: Google is really pushing Kotlin for Android, reportedly making little to no mention of Java throughout the event's sessions.Maybe engineers should just be engineering. New schemes for streamlining software deployment at enterprises has created an increase in the merging of engineers with other roles. But what are the downsides? Wolfgang Platz, CPO at Tricentis, recently published a piece at The New Stack arguing that the software developer-tester (often called a SDET) is "a bad idea." The hybrid role, Platz writes, can hurt innovation when devs are too tied up testing to think big, and since most testing doesn't require engineering or script-writing skills, putting a high-level dev on the job is overkill.What do you think of the SDET and other hybrid developer/engineer roles? Do they help or hurt software deployment workflows? Share your thoughts in a comment below.The rise of the software CEO and #digitaltransformation. service now recently announced its chief executive John Donahoe is departing to take the top job at Nike. The software CEO's move to a non-traditional tech company could be the kind of thing we start to see more as retailers and other hard services companies take on "digital transformations," writes ZDNet editor in chief Larry Dignan. "Nike needs software, developers and design to sell direct to consumers ... In other words, Nike is a software company too."Do you think software CEO poaching for other industries will become a trend? Which industries are the most interesting, and do you think lots of software engineering jobs will follow?What was the most interesting thing to you this week in software engineering? Please join the conversation in the comments below. See you next week!media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/image/C5603AQECsS9Ti6dWWQ/profile-displayphoto-shrink_100_100/0/1554327335199?e=1620259200&v=beta&t=k bn gvv gu wuP5MDpTGhjym1ko qb7tsh gbiyJ6OdbYHvA"alt="Daniel Bean"/>www.linkedin.com/in/danielwbean?trk=author_mini-profile_title"aria-label="View profile for Daniel Bean">Daniel bean managing Editor at Triplebytewww.linkedin.com/login?session_redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Elinkedin%2Ecom%2Fpulse%2Fwhat-makes-home-office-great-coding-more-from-week-software-bean&trk=author-info__follow-button-bottom">Follow21 comments sign in to leave your comment show more comments.
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2021-04-17