Laptop vs Desktop - my perspective

I have a slight preference for desktops, but I use a laptop most of my time. In this blog post, I’m going to explain why.

As a software engineer, most of my work is done on the computer. A major part of my days consists of reading and writing code, hunting some bugs and doing code reviews. There is also a small portion of my time, about an hour per day, that I spend away from the keyboard, like meetings and general discussion with my colleagues.

If I’m sitting behind the computer, I want to be as productive as possible. And to achieve that productivity, I have to get rid of most of the distractions. I’m using the pair of good headphones, to filter out noise from the open space environment. I also replaced my not so much comfortable keyboard with a better one so I can type for a long time without feeling any pain.

And what I’m trying to say with that?

I just wanted to slowly point to one of the biggest distractions for me, compilation time (or to be more accurate, a time interval between when I want an application to run and when it actually runs). You may probably know it too. That feeling when you are in the zone, trying to crack that bug / write that last piece of some great feature and you want to try it. You press the button (or enter a command) and then you wait. For a little longer than you would actually want. And the worst thing you could do is to ”check-out Facebook”, “go over emails”, … or just simply do anything else rather than thinking about the problem.

I struggled with it when I was starting working from home, and so my “fix” was simple. If a compilation time will be short enough, I won’t have any need to switch to something else. Because of that, when I’m doing something more intensive with a need to rebuild and run my code incrementally, I still prefer to do it at home and switch to my desktop computer.

Why would I buy a laptop then?

Well, if I could have only one computer, it’ll be a laptop for sure. I do like portability and I am willing to sacrifice power for it. Most of the time, I’m doing ”general”, not so intensive, work so it’s all right. Also, sometimes when I’m working on some ”more creative code”, I do like to go to some unusual place so I can focus better. And laptop gives me all of that, the ability to work at the office and on the go (public transport, coffee shops, …).