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What's on your desk?

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

One of my favorite recurring features on The Verge is "What's on your desk?" So, I've decided to join in on the trend today.


As Ho Chi Minh City gradually recovers from the pandemic, we at People@atWare are also returning to our vibrant office life. While I appreciated my time working remotely, there's something special about having a dedicated space to focus on my work.


A little bit about me


I work as a software engineer at atWare, joining the company in March of 2020, right at the onset of the pandemic. Like many others, we faced the challenges of transitioning to remote work. Initially, it was disheartening not to have a designated desk at our beautiful office. All I had was my laptop and the support of my senior colleagues and leader.


Remote work continued for nearly 9 months, so you can imagine my excitement when I finally had the opportunity to work from an office again. I put considerable effort into creating the perfect desk setup that catered to my needs. While we have since returned to remote work and changed offices multiple times, my setup has remained relatively consistent.


It may not be extravagant, but I'd be happy to show you my setup and the struggles I've faced in trying to keep it somewhat organized.

A quick overview of my desk

Desk & Chair


It always amuses me how blogs like these tend to overlook the desk and chair aspect.


In our private office at WeWork, the desks and chairs are provided, and it seems they are standardized across all WeWork locations worldwide.


The desk itself is spacious, crafted from wood, and thoughtfully designed with cable management holes. Most importantly, it serves its purpose well, and I've grown rather fond of it.


However, I can't say the same for the chair. It appears to be of low quality, lacking in features, and, to be honest, quite uncomfortable. To top it off, my chair even has a hole in the right armrest. I'm not sure if it's possible to request a replacement, but let's move on from that for now.

 

My partner in crime «MacBook Pro w/ MOFT Stand»


The company has provided me with a silver MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) for my work. Previously, I had been using a 15-inch 2017 version with the notorious butterfly keyboard and a Japanese layout. It caused me quite a bit of trouble, but my considerate leader recognized the issue and promptly purchased a brand-new MacBook Pro to replace it. (Geneさん, ありがとうございます。)

To elevate my MacBook, I've been using a MOFT stand (specifically, the Artist Edition because, well, why not?). It provides the perfect height and angle for my screen. What surprised me the most is that it has held up remarkably well, even after two years of extensive usage.


While I don't want to make a definitive statement that macOS is superior to Windows or Linux, personally, I can't envision myself switching to another operating system for coding in the foreseeable future.

 

Monitor «Dell P2419HC USB-C 24 inch≫


At atWare, we have the flexibility to choose our own accessories and devices for work, as long as the team agrees and it fits within our budget constraints.

For my setup, I had simple requirements: a monitor with a minimum size of 24 inches, Full HD resolution, and crucially, USB-C support. I've found it challenging to adapt to Apple's reliance on dongles, so USB-C compatibility was a must-have feature for me.


While the monitor I selected may not be aesthetically pleasing (despite being an IPS display), it was affordable and had the added benefit of being able to power my MacBook directly without the need for a separate charger.


One convenient aspect of this monitor is that I can connect my keyboard and mouse directly to it, essentially using it as a large hub for all my accessories. It simplifies my setup and reduces cable clutter. While I would recommend this model, it seems that Dell may no longer sell it.

 

Keyboard «E-DRA EK384W»


I have a fondness for mechanical keyboards, but I prefer not to splurge on expensive ones. E-DRA is a budget-friendly brand that offers commendable quality.

E-DRA is a budget-friendly brand that offers commendable quality. I managed to acquire one of their keyboards for around 1,300,000 VND (approximately $55), and I consider it to be a worthwhile purchase.


I opted for the version with red switches for their silent operation. However, I must admit that they still produce quite a bit of noise when I type rapidly. My apologies if it's distracting!

Another aspect I appreciate about this keyboard is its simplicity. It doesn't come with flashy RGB lighting effects. Instead, it features an appealing gray-white color scheme and keycaps with a pleasant font that is easy on the eyes.

 

Mouse «Logitech G103»


I have been using a gaming mouse, which I "borrowed" from one of my colleagues and never got around to returning, so I'm uncertain of its original price.

I currently own a Logitech M585 mouse, but unfortunately, I misplaced the receiver. Additionally, I'm not a fan of using the Bluetooth connection on this mouse due to its unreliability and noticeable delay. For everyday office use, I would recommend opting for a wired mouse like this one.


I typically set the mouse speed to the maximum setting, and I particularly enjoy the convenience of the "back" and "forward" buttons located on the side of the mouse.


While the mouse does feature RGB lighting, I've always wanted to set it to a single color. However, I must confess that I'm too lazy to do it at the moment. As a result, the color of the mouse's lighting varies between green and red from time to time.


 

Headphones: «All 3 of them»


In our current post-pandemic world, remote work continues to be the norm, particularly in the tech industry. Despite returning to the office myself, a significant portion of my teammates and clients remain remote. As a result, I find myself spending around eight hours a day on Zoom calls, making a reliable audio setup essential.

I interchangeably use three different headphones.

  1. Sony EXTRA BASS™ MDR-XB55AP This will almost always be plugged into my laptop. I use it mostly for the mic.

  2. Airpods 2 I have used it for more than 2 years now. The mic is broken and the battery life is really bad. But it still works and I don't have the funds to buy a new one yet.

  3. A knock-off Airpods Pro I use it when my AirPods are out of battery. The sound quality isn't great but it's cheap so I have no complaints.

I'm thinking about getting a better audio setup, including a separate microphone and improved Bluetooth headphones. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.


My "babies"


Well, last but not least, my GREENs. I have 1 plant and 3 succulents (there used to be 4, but she left us last week 🥲).

Although I'm not familiar with the specific names of the plants I have, I do make sure to water them regularly.


I believe that having some greenery near our desks is essential, especially considering the strain we put on our eyes from staring at screens for over eight hours a day. The presence of plants can help alleviate this pressure and provide a refreshing visual element.


Plus, they simply look cool and add a touch of nature to the workspace.






 

Ending


I love my desk and it was a fun experience sharing my space with you.

I also follow and love the "What's in my bag?" series, maybe I'll do one in the future.


So, everyone, especially the People @ atWare, 「What's on your desk?」

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1 Comment


Nguyễn Anh Huy
Nguyễn Anh Huy
Feb 27, 2022

I think I will write my home corner things 🤣

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