A Quick Take on How a Single Monitor Setup Surprised Me!

Source: Unsplash

One recommendation surfaced a couple of times — use a single monitor. And do only one thing at a time.

It was hard to take it seriously. No way! Any self-respecting software developer knew the value of two screens! It just saved so many ‘alt/cmd + tab’s, and frequent jumps from different source files!

What I Disliked

  • While writing code, I had to constantly switch between multiple windows (even after I had a split view in my editor).
  • Large video calls meant that I had to either see everyone clearly by using the full screen, or split the screen to take notes or refer to docs in parallel.

What I Liked

  • Writing documents was way more effective. A single screen, with no other distractions, allowed for a better writing flow. It also helped with diagrams. I was pleasantly surprised how well I could recall complex system components and structures without tabbing to another window.
  • Code reviews were magical! Yes, occasionally I had to switch tabs to refer to stuff, but overall it sharpened my focus and allowed me to review more code quickly.
  • Writing (a lot) for performance reviews by the end of the year was a noticeably better experience.

But most importantly, it helped me increase my focus. And that led to a lot of good things happening.

Will a single monitor setup work for everyone? Certainly not. But you should consider giving it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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Omkar K

Omkar K

Just another rider on the Pale Blue Dot.