Working from home during the pandemic made lots of people pay attention to their home office situation for the first time. Maybe you invested in an ergonomic chair and second monitor, for example, or got sucked into desk setup accounts, like @isetups or @minimalsetups.
On Instagram and YouTube, tech enthusiasts often share stylized photos and detailed video tours of their curated desk setups. There are Twitch streamers with over-the-top gaming “battlestations,” extremely minimalist setups that programmers swear by, and LED lighting that basically turns desks into art installations.
While it’s certainly a social media flex to have an organized and attractive desk, creating a workspace that’s tailored to your needs as a developer can also set you up for peak productivity, creativity, and comfort while you spend all day at your desk.
As Skillacademy Staff Engineer Doug de Jesus put it: Computers and keyboards are programmers’ tools of the trade.“A carpenter would have the best saw. A painter would have the best brushes,” he said. “Why wouldn’t we give ourselves the best tools too?”
Whether you’re taking your programming setup to the next level or just want to zhuzh up your Zoom background for work or school, here are some desks to inspire your own Insta-worthy setup.
Placing computer monitor lamps or “light bars” above your screens like this will brighten up your desk so you don’t have to increase your screen brightness. Good to know if you prefer to work late at night and don’t want to strain your eyes.
Modular peg board
Peg boards aren’t just for garages — they can also be used to create custom desk organization. UI designer Ferik Tantomi attached a tablet to his peg board so it sits at eye-level and can serve as his primary device, and he used another hook to display a mechanical keyboard in his collection.
Decked-out standing desk
This is the setup that front-end engineer Aral Tasher typically uses for gaming purposes, but sometimes he’ll switch things up for work by positioning a 32-inch monitor vertically alongside the ultra-wide monitor. Some ergonomic tips that might help other devs: Aral recommends a sturdy standing desk that you can lean on without it wobbling, and a keyboard rest to accommodate mechanical keyboards that tend to be built higher.
Corner office goals
The natural light and view that software engineer Linda Vivah gets in her New York City corner (home) office is what cubicle-dwellers dream of. There’s a legit benefit to having access to natural light in your office: Research out of Cornell found that when workers have daylight in their office environments, it reduces eye strain, headaches, and drowsiness. And if you’re wondering what Linda is working on in the photo, it’s Sonic Pi, an open-source live coding synth that teaches you how to code by composing music.
DIY PC gaming tower
The most jaw-dropping part of web developer and UI/UX designer Sasha Tran’s desk setup is the gaming PC tower that she built from scratch (which, BTW, is a DIY project hobbyists will want to check out). But her hexagonal lighting tiles and LED strips that are color-coordinated with her computer wallpaper aren’t too shabby, either.
Small space solution
Özge Karaoğlu is an associate solutions architect at Amazon Web Services who’s made the most of her WFH space. Peep her gallery wall, which features a dissected and framed Nintendo Gameboy and iPhone — perfect touches for someone who loves tech nostalgia. And if you’re curious to see inside a FAANG office in Amsterdam, Özge recently posted a video tour.
Want to show off your own desk setup? Share your space on Instagram and be sure to tag Skillacademy!