What tools, equipment, and resources does a web developer need to work from home?
The internet has made it possible for people to work from anywhere in the world. And while that’s great news for those of us who enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working remotely, it does come with its challenges. If you’re a web developer who wants to work from home, there are certain things you’ll need to set yourself up for success. Here are 11 of them!
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1. A dedicated workspace.
One of the benefits of working from home is that you can create your own perfect office environment. But that doesn’t mean you can work from your bed or the couch! If you want to be productive, you need to have a dedicated space where you can sit down and focus on your work.
Having a dedicated workspace makes it possible to avoid distractions and maintain productivity. It also helps prevent burnout because you won’t be tempted to spend too many hours at your computer.
2. A high-speed internet connection.
This one is a no-brainer. As a web developer, you need to have a fast and reliable internet connection so you can do your job effectively.
As a web developer you’ll likely need a service with a little more bandwidth than normal because you’ll be moving around large files and repositories and if you’re using a slower, budget internet service that can really slow you down.
3. A high-performance laptop or desktop computer.
Doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a computer pretty essential for a web developer! This is the most important tool for any web developer. Make sure you have a computer capable of running the latest version of software used by web designers and developers.
But here’s the catch:
It can’t be just any computer. Web developers need to have a computer with plenty of horsepower to do their work. That means a really good processor, really good RAM, and enough hard drive space to store all of your files.
And those are the things that make computers expensive.
Whether you prefer physical storage like hard drives or cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox, make sure you have enough space to save all your files and project documents.
It’s also a good idea to use a service like Backblaze or Crashplan to back up your data.
4. Multiple monitors.
This isn’t strictly necessary, but it can definitely make your life easier. Having multiple monitors gives you more screen real estate to work with, which can be helpful when you’re dealing with a lot of different files and tabs at once.
Today’s developers use multiple monitors to view code, design layouts, and test websites. The more screen real estate you have, the better.
If you’re working at home, you can set up two or three 24 inch monitors side-by-side to maximize your productivity.
I’ve got a 32 inch and a 27 inch side by side. I use one monitor where I have my code editor open and the other where I view what I’m working on in a browser.
5. The right software.
Since we’re already talking about expensive computer setups, it’s important to know what kinds of applications you will need.
You will need the standard things, most of which can be installed via Homebrew (if you’re on a Mac or Linux machine), Git, node.js, MAMP, nvm, etc.
But since you’re working from home you’ll also need timetracking and project management software, virtual meeting software and video conferencing tools, and other apps that help you get your job done.
Still curious? Click here to learn about what software you need to work from home like a pro.
6. Office supplies.
This means stuff like a notebook to collect your ideas. I always have a Moleskine notebook that I keep on my desk with me to capture quick thoughts, ideas, and plans. It’s incredibly useful and sometimes it’s just nice to have something that is not digital.
This also includes things like pens and pencils and keeping them in a nice holder so you’ll have them handy so you won’t waste time searching for them.
You will also likely need need a printer, scanner, and stapler.
7. A comfortable chair.
Since you’ll be spending hours sitting in front of your computer, it’s important to have a chair that’s comfortable and ergonomic.
Make sure the chair fits your body type. Some people prefer sitting cross-legged while others prefer sitting upright.
When shopping for a chair, try to find one that feels right for you. Also, make sure the chair is ergonomic. An ergonomic chair is designed to help reduce stress on your muscles and joints.
Ergonomics is a science that studies human interaction with technology. Ergonomics focuses on designing devices that fit our bodies and allow us to perform tasks efficiently and comfortably.
Your body will thank you for investing in a good office chair.
8. Plenty of storage space.
If you’re working from home, you’ll need plenty of room to store files and equipment. And you’ll need enough space to set up shop comfortably.
Consider adding additional shelves to hold your printers, scanners, and other office supplies. Add another shelf above these items for storing paper documents and books.
File cabinets and storage bins are vital for organizing your home office and all of your files. You may want to invest in some drawers as well.
Want to learn more? Click here to learn more about the best storage ideas for your home office.
9. A whiteboard or bulletin board.
Sometimes it helps to have a physical place where you can write down ideas or tasks; that way, they’re not constantly floating around in your head taking up valuable mental real estate!
I’ve got a whiteboard right next to my desk and it’s one of my favorite tools in my office.
I use it when I’m working concepts, sitemaps, content plans, etc.
I also use it to help with my daughter’s calculus homework.
10. Noise-cancelling headphones (or earbuds).
One of the challenges of working from home is dealing with distractions like noise from family members, pets, or neighbors. Noise-cancelling headphones (or earplugs) can help block out some of that background noise so you can stay focused on your work.
Noise-canceling headphones help reduce background noise when working at home. They’re especially helpful when you’re trying to concentrate on writing code or editing photos.
They’re also great for blocking out distracting sounds if you live in a noisy area, such as those coming from kids playing outside or roommates or family talking loudly traffic on a nearby road.
11. Coffee maker.
What self-respecting web developer worth their salt is without a coffee maker?!? I visit my coffee maker quite a bit from the morning until I’ve had my fill.
Good coffee and a good coffee maker are what fuels me throughout the day to get done the things I need to get done.
In addition, having a coffee maker saves you that trip to the barista and allows you to brew fresh coffee whenever you need it. This saves money and makes your day go much smoother and gives you the caffeinated energy to solve those challenging development tasks.
Web development work is mentally taxing, even when it’s fun and enjoyable and you will sometimes need that little extra kick to push through and get that project finished.
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