5 Things A Developer Needs On Their Desk

Here’s a list of five things I believe every developer should have on their desk.

1. 4 different “screens”.

A screen could be any device, a laptop, a desktop, an iPad, an Android tablet, an iPhone, iPod Touch, Android device, etc. This serves two purposes, the first is obvious – you need different devices to test on and you need at least one computer to develop, the second is something that is easier to overlook; you just feel more like coding when you’re surrounded by tech stuff.

2. A Non-Greasy Snack

If you’re like me and have an oral fixation (I know that sounds dirty but it’s a thing, a lot of people have it) then you should try to keep some gum or a non-greasy snack on your desk. I know lots of people who keep some kind of chips/crisps/crackers on their desk to nibble on while developing and they end up having to wash their hands before typing again. It kills productivity.

3. CableDrops

Don’t know what these are? See here. They stop cables from falling off your desk. I don’t know about you but I have at least 7 cables that are not always connected. (The powerboard under my desk has USB ports on it as well as regular sockets.) 3 USBs (Apple, NOOK, regular micro,) a headphone charger, a DS charger and 2 laptop chargers. I got a pack of these (the brightly colored ones) and they’ve been total lifesavers.

4. A USB Hub

Trying to get behind my iMac to plug in cables is a gigantic pain, so I’m using a USB hub. It’s just a cheap one that came free when I bought a cover for an iPad, however it’s actually really good – it also lights up a different color depending on what is plugged in. (Blue for chargers, red for storage devices, green for headphones, etc.)

5. Inspiration

I think it’s important to have something on or near your desk to inspire you. Lots of people choose a photo of loved ones, others might choose articles or pictures they find inspiring. I have a few letters and postcards Corona devs have sent to me that I keep up around my desk as well as a quote from a friend on the whiteboard next to me.

There are plenty of things that developers feel they need on their desks but these are the top 5 as far as I’m concerned.

…. Especially the CableDrops. I swear, (as overpriced as they are,) those things are ridiculously useful.

Happy Holidays!

Peach Pellen :)





18 Responses to 5 Things A Developer Needs On Their Desk
  1. J. A. Whye Reply

    CableDrops?!? I just tuck the end of the cable under the huge stacks of papers that always seem to collect on my desk. However, if I can ever get rid of the paper (and keep it gone) those do look really handy! :)


  2. Zahgurym Reply

    1. I got my 32″ LCD, and my 23″ lcd hooked to the PC(makes it soo much easier to follow along with tutorials with a multi-monitor setup.), plus the Android Tablet, iPhone, and Macbook…think im good. =p

    2. It may be messy, but I always have a bowl of BBQ chips, just keep a can on wet wipes on the desk too. Oh, and ofcourse the carton of smokes and an ash tray. lol

    3. I ‘invented’ a home made version of that when I built my desk, got a bunch of those coax cable wall mounts and screwed them along an edge. really handy, but the cats like to play with the wires.

    4. Everything that isn’t permanently plugged in gets plugged into the back side of my keyboard when needed. (Saitek Cyborg keyboard)

    5. I tack up all my game sketches around the desk, serves as inspiration and helps me stay as close to my original ideas as possible.

    Three more things I would suggest are:
    6. A cup/jar/mug to store pens, pencils, erasers, paperclips, random things in.
    7. sketch pad/legal pad, anything to write quick notes on before you forget them.(I usually forget my ‘amazing new ideas’ within 2 minutes if I don’t jot it down.
    8. if you do your own game art, a pen tablet is a must. Doesn’t need to be a Wacom, the $20 5.5″x4″ one on amazon(made by digipro) works great.

    Great post. =D

  3. Peach Pellen Reply

    @J.A. – I used to put my cables under stuff too, the problem is when they did drop behind the desk getting them up again was a nightmare.

    1) Nice! 32″ is crazy big.

    2) I don’t have chips but I do have the smokes and an ashtray. (We all have “bad” habits.)

    3) I used to have two cats and a puppy, they destroyed many cables. I am not as inventive as you ^-^;

    4) That would work fine too, I used a wireless Mac keyboard without USB ports though so the hub comes in handy.

    5) I used to do that, then I ran out of space ;)

    Additional suggestions are great – I play on getting some new blank books next year and a few pencils/pens again so it isn’t all digital.

    For art, I own a tablet but suck at it, so instead I just cry to Biffy Beebe until she helps me. Poor Biffy!

  4. Chris Reply

    Haha nice little article. :D
    I used to have a dual-Monitor setup aswell.
    Pencils are all over the table.
    And a coffee muc saying “fat & happy” ;)
    A whiteboard can be veeery useful to sketch the ideas, pseudocode and mathstuff!

    • Peach Pellen Reply

      You should see the whiteboard behind Walter in the office, it’s covered. (It’s huge, too.)

      Love the sound of that mug! :D

  5. nick Reply


    Hmm #5

    5. I tack up all my game sketches around the desk, serves as inspiration and helps me stay as close to my original ideas as possible.

    That is something I SHOULD do, but have not.

    for writing stuff on the go:

    something I use “Boogie RIP e-Writer” write anywhere without a computer and saves your sketches :) it’s like notebook, but digital :).

    for a tablet to mac/pc I use the bamboo fun and touch, which is a fairly large tablet (ipad ish size I guess?). I use that to do my artwork.

    no smoking, used to smoke quite 10 years ago. Best thing I ever did :)


  6. Tony Reply

    You are so right about number 1!

    1. Family completed my set of 2-27″ LED monitors for Christmas. Made working today a pleasure. iPad stolen from family for testing and the android tablet for cross platform testing.

  7. Punya Huxter Reply

    - 4 screens, Check. Macbook pro, dell 24″, iPhone, nook, and 3DS. Does the DS count as 2 screens? Im going with yes.

    – Non greasy snacks, check. Greasy fingers sure do make for a gross keyboard. The trick is to just pour the chips directly into your face. :O

  8. Punya Huxter Reply

    also bulldog clips make for cheap cable drops.


  9. Peach Pellen Reply

    I never thought of bulldog clips; could find :)

    RE screens, I’d count DS as one – but yeah, it counts. I have one on my desk too.

    Snacks, yeah, I admit I’ve done that…. I’ve also gotten salt in my eye that way. I think anyone who spends enough time on a computer does it eventually ;)

  10. Erez Reply

    You forgot the most important one of all: a mean-looking angry bird

  11. Pedro Remedios Reply

    That hub you mentioned can be handy to me. Which one is it?

    • Peach Pellen Reply

      Hey Pedro, I use a cheap “Soniq” one – 4 USB ports, never failed me yet despite being one of the cheapest out there. Really handy!

  12. daniel sefton Reply

    beer, don’t forget beer.

    I said when I first started writing code (1986) that no good code is ever written before midnight, and never without beer. Even still, when I am wrestling with Objective C or any other language, if I go get a beer it always seems to resolve itself.

    P.S., All microsoft code was written during normal business hours and without beer…

  13. Martin Dilling Reply

    Smokes and an ashtray, very important xD
    really kills productivity to go outside to smoke :P

    • Peach Pellen Reply

      I used to do that, where I live now I live with non-smokers though so I wont… I agree RE productivity, it’s why I now use a laptop rather than a desktop most of the time, I can take it with me outside XD

  14. Sean Reply

    Cable drops.

    Hand’t seen them before… added to next shooping expedition!

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