The contract I am working at has provided me with a workstation and dual monitors, yet I just bought two monitors myself with my own money… Why?
It’s all about the pixels baby
If you’re working with less than dual screen 1920×1080 you’re costing yourself productivity. Monitors are so cheap now that I was able to get two 1920×1080 monitors for $270 shipped.
Think about how much time you spend in front of your monitors at work. Is it really not worth $270 of your own money to have much more screen real estate? But then you say, “well I shouldn’t have to spend my own money on things to make me more productive at work.”, and I say “do you purchase and read software development books?”. Now, I’m not saying that an employer should not provide the best tools available. What I am saying is that if they won’t or they don’t understand the value of the extra 800 pixels, then you’re ripping yourself off if you don’t step up and buy the tool yourself.
I’ll admit I waited awhile to actually make the purchase myself. I had considered getting two 24″ 1900×1200 monitors for $250 each, (which I still think is money well spent), but when I saw 2 1920x1080s for $270 shipped, there was no longer any excuse not to act.
Here is my current setup:
You can see here that I have actually turned one monitor on its side. I find this setup to be optimal, since web pages and documents are usually best viewed with vertical real estate, and other medium benefit from the horizontal real estate. If you haven’t tried turning one widescreen on its side, I highly recommend trying it for a week and see if you like it. Not having to scroll down pages is wonderful.