Configure Your Remote Workspace for Success
For many of you, this will likely be your first time learning and/or working in a remote setting. There are a few key tools we recommend to set yourself up for success during and after the program!
We STRONGLY RECOMMEND acquiring everything in the
NEED TO HAVE list and building your workspace before you start Mod 0 so you can feel comfortable and prepared.
NEED TO HAVE
1) External Monitor/Display
Most developers will not just rely on their laptop display for their work environment, instead relying on an additional monitor to allow for more “screen real estate.” In fact, we’ve heard a few times from instructors is that students without a second screen seem to be at a disadvantage or work more slowly.
Benefits of having a second external monitor include:
- More easily organize workspace/screen
- Be able to have documentation, project specifications, etc. up simultaneously as you code
- See app changes in real-time as you add/remove/adjust code
Luckily, an external monitor can be acquired fairly inexpensively. For the purposes of Turing and software development you do NOT need a top-of-the-line monitor that emphasizes graphics, pixels, etc.
Here are a few of our recommendations…
Monitors Under $100
Monitors Under $200
There are plenty of great options available on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. All you really need is something that fits in your workspace and can connect to your MacBook!
If you are unable to acquire an external monitor prior to Mod 1, please reach out to Eric Weissman (@ericweissman on Slack) and we can discuss other options.
Connecting to Your Monitor
You will need to ensure that you can connect your MacBook to your external monitor/display. To do so, you will need a USB-C to HDMI cable - these can usually be purchased for less than $15.
2) Dedicated Workspace
It is crucial to have a workspace where you plan to work remotely that satisfies a few basic requirements…
- Access to reliable internet connection
- A place that is quiet and free from distractions
- A place that is big enough for your laptop, monitor, and a notebook
- A place where you can participate in video calls, conversations, etc.
Take time before Mod 0 to build your workspace and experiment with different setups until you find a configuration that works for you!
3) Notebook + Writing Utensils
While you will be working on your laptop while you code, work on projects, etc., we recommend using a plain old notebook to take notes during class and workshops. You will learn about different notetaking strategies for learning technical content, but in the meantime we also recommend getting a set of colored pens/markers/pencils for your notebook. This will make it easier to diagram and write code syntax, which you will learn more about in Mod 0!
Notebook size/style are a personal preference thing, just be sure to give yourself enough space/pages to take good notes, including diagrams and drawings! Many of our students will create a dedicated notebook for each module so be on the lookout for some 4-packs.
In terms of colored markers, we are big fans of these!
NICE TO HAVE
If you are looking for other ideas for ways to improve your workspace, here are a few more recommendations. These are NOT REQUIRED by any means, but some of our students have found success using these other supplies.
Headphones with Microphone
Since you’ll be on a lot of video calls and collaborating remotely, having a good set of headphones and a decent microphone can go a long way. While your laptops have built-in speakers AND a microphone, if your workspace has a lot of ambient noise we strongly encourage you to invest in headphones + microphone. Again, you can go as fancy/expensive as you want, but even the basic headsets or headphones w/ mics work really well!
HYDRATE. HYDRATE. HYDRATE.
The newer MacBooks aren’t too big on having a lot of ports. Most come equipped with 2 USB-C ports. You’ll need one for your charger and one for your external monitor. If you require more ports, grabbing one of these USB-C hubs will allow you to connect more devices to your machine!
Some folks are more picky with their keyboards and prefer a certain look, feel, touch, etc. If you are one of these people, you may benefit from using a different keyboard than the integrated one in your laptop. If so, you’ll likely need the USB-C hub mentioned above to connect to your laptop in addition to your charger and monitor.
Again, a personal preference thing. These can be useful when using a separate keyboard or for creating more real estate for your workspace.
Blue Light Filtering Glasses/Apps
You’ll be staring at your computer screens a lot over the course of your journey. There are a lot of products and apps on the market to help mitigate the effects of looking at blue-light emitting screens for long periods of time.
NICE TO HAVE's…
- Healthy snacks
- Access to fresh air