Richard Hart

Head of Something @ Somewhere
Kent, UK

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Investing in Your Own IT – The Ultimate No Brainer

I’ve been cursing my work computer all morning and am once again considering either bringing in my computer from home or just buying one outright (It wouldn’t be a first. I paid for my own monitor here at work. Go figure). Kris Kemper wrote a good post on the subject a few days ago.

I’ve seen this on every project I’ve been on. We are given slow machines, and time is lost. It may be lost because I’m running grep over a lot of files, it may be because when I have my all my development tools open and the machine slows down.

To me, when you’re in the business of developing software, investing in your own companies IT is a complete no brainer. Companies are normally extremely quick to spend on server hardware, but when it comes to development machines, spending is often few and far between. My machine here at work isn’t a “horrible” machine, but the agony it puts me through makes me feel that it’s perhaps not best suited to the task of developing on. But then even simple tasks seem to thwart it with constant disk grinding. I tried deleting an old repository checkout, no more then 200mb on the disk, and stopped it after it had only reached 14% done in 10 minutes. Virus checking my update of DirectoryOpus took nearly 3 minutes. Maybe it’s just a build issue and not so much a hardware one. Vista complains that all off the Office 2007 apps are not valid Win32 applications or the Snipping tool politely tells me it’s not working “right now”. Yes, I can see that. Whatever it is, it’s not the sort of shit that you need when you’re in the middle of something. Whatever, they should have got me a Mac.

I can understand that sometimes you just can’t afford whizzy machines or the latest version of software. Just don’t let me catch you running a .NET stack and complaining about not being able to afford machines fast enough to run it.