How to Choose the Right Equipment for Your Remote Software Engineering Team
Software development is an essential pathway for businesses to expand digitally and reach customers in new markets. Through software development, companies can create customized solutions to meet the clients’ needs. Hence, providing your software engineering team with the right equipment to do their job is about more than just making sure they have desk space and a computer. It's about ensuring that their equipment is adequate, functional, and updated.
But, how do you choose the right equipment for your software engineering team? This article explains all you need to know about choosing the right equipment for a software engineering team.
Providing The Right Equipment for Your Software Engineering Team
Properly equipping your software engineering team with the right equipment can be the difference between a successful project and a failed one. The Institute for Employment Studies found states that, poor furniture and equipment can reduce productivity and increase the risk of health-related issues. Thus, when transitioning to a distributed workforce model, procuring the right equipment to ensure productivity and high performance is very essential. If employers and decision-makers don't provide the right equipment, they may be setting their employees up for failure.
Providing your employees with the right equipment will not only boost their productivity but also increase their job satisfaction. Your software engineering team is more likely to feel less motivated and productive when provided with an old PCs or a core i3 laptop for software development projects.
It is important for leaders to constantly evaluate roles to see how they could provide equipment for their employees to excel better. This will ensure that collaboration between teams is intuitive when working remotely and will minimize human error so that employees can focus on their creativity — everywhere and anywhere.
Determine Your Software Development Project Needs
Due to the various tools software devs use for version control, code review, software development, git repository hosting, bug tracking, etc. It is important to consider various factors when choosing IT equipment for software teams as not every laptop will meet their needs.
The right equipment for developers would vary depending on their field. Although different developers may use identical tools and software, the hardware requirements for their laptops will vary.
A game developer's laptop, for example, must be significantly more focused on graphical performance than a web developer's laptop. Before choosing a piece of equipment for your dev team, you have to determine your software development project needs when choosing the equipment.
Here are some factors to consider when procuring IT equipment for developers:
- RAM Size– Allows for simple multitasking
The size of the RAM is one of the most important things to consider for software developers. While RAM might not matter much for web developers, and 8GB of RAM can suffice since there are few compiling or heavy development tools, it is quite the opposite for software developers.
Most application or software developers usually need to run virtual machines, emulators, and IDEs to compile massive projects that require more RAM. A laptop with 8GB of RAM is insufficient. Even Electron apps consume a lot of RAM, so 8 GB of RAM isn't enough in today's world.
The requirements are much higher for game developers. They require powerful systems to develop game environments and design levels. The best laptops to buy have 16GB of RAM or the ability to expand the memory to 32GB later.
- Processor – Error-free operation
The processor is vital for each laptop, regardless of its purpose. Again, the demand varies according to the type of project requirements. A faster CPU is required for large projects and graphically heavy apps. It's very useful when switching between several windows, programs, and screens.
For game creators, the Intel Core i9, M1 pro and M1 Max processors is perfect. This is because game makers have to transition from design to the game and to execute such software, a dedicated graphics solution is required.
On some development tools, it is easier to render a game within the development tool itself. And a quicker CPU helps, especially when compiling code. So if you have a dev team working with web design software, you don't require a high-end processor.
- Keyboard for long, comfortable sessions
Asides from the internal hardware, the effectiveness of a laptop's keyboard should also be considered. Since software devs need to spend countless hours in front of their laptops coding, it's very essential to find a laptop with a comfy keyboard. Possibly one that has a numerical pad. Consider the ones that have a decent journey and a soft touch.
The quality and sturdiness of the keys are important because your software devs will be using them for a long time. It is important to pick a keyboard with a good layout as well.
- Screen – The more space available, the better.
When choosing a laptop display, keep in mind that your software devs will be spending many hours in front of their computers. You should choose a display with vibrant colors and adjustable resolution.
We recommend getting a laptop with at least a 15-inch screen just for sheer convenience, but if portability is a factor for your software developers, then going for 13 or 14 inches is not bad.
The screen resolution is also essential. Full HD screens are recommended for game and software developers. A high resolution also allows for an effective workspace, as it permits one to open many windows side by side instead of having to switch between tabs.
When procuring equipment, decision-makers should consider equipment with external display support. It is crucial for software devs to have at least two external monitors attached to their computers.
- Storage capacity and type
Getting an SSD (Solid State Drive) should be high on the list of priorities. This will provide significant performance gains over a regular hard disk. With an SSD, every process will be faster, including booting the operating system, compiling code, starting apps, and loading projects. A 256GB SSD should be the starting point, but a 512GB or 1TB SSD is better.
Procuring the Right Equipment for Software Dev Teams.
The most procured equipment for software engineering teams over the years has been the MacBook Pro. In 2019, the Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey showed that 26.8% of all programmers and 29.2% of professional programmers use macOS daily.
Macs are said to be safer than regular PCs when it comes to malware, viruses, and other types of malicious attacks. Macworld reports that since Apple’s Mac operating system is built on Unix, which is a type of networking platform, Macbook computers are by default a little more secure than PC ones when it comes to programming work.
macOS also has a native UNIX environment, which is used by a majority of web servers. And it’s a better idea to code on a machine that runs in the same environment. In simpler terms – after deploying, the applications you developed on a Macbook will run on other devices in the same way as on the initial server.
In PCs, some good alternative to Macbook is the Razer Blade 17. It is a great laptop for developing games, and it comes with the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU. It is a laptop for creative professionals, and it's a great choice for spftware devs who need heavy-duty power. Its solid build quality and beautiful 17-inch screen make this a brilliant workstation. And if you have a preferrence for windows 10 or 11, the Dell XPS 15 (2020) comes in handy. As with previous XPS laptops, this 15-inch beauty combines a stunning design, excellent build quality, and some of the most powerful mobile components available in a laptop.
Now that you have the information that you need, how do you figure out which of the MacBook/PCs specs you should invest in for your software engineering team? GroWrk can provide the right equipment for your software developer's team. The most popular choice for software developers currently is the 16” M1 Pro, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD. However, there is a slight shift to the 14” with the same hardware specs.
We understand how complicated it can be to find the right equipment for your software dev team, but we have a team that understands the intricate needs of every team, and can recommend a shortlist of options that are well suited to your team’s needs.
Choosing the right equipment for software engineering teams can be a daunting task. There's a lot to take into consideration. This includes everything from what is going to make your developers most comfortable, compatibility with the software your team is developing, and the long-term return on your investment.
GroWrk helps you find the right equipment for your remote teams by helping you streamline your IT equipment procurement and delivery process. Request a free demo to see how secure and easy the process is.