Gadgets and tools that will save you time or make your development life easier and even increase your productivity!
Lets face it, developing is a lot of hard work, with lots of hours involved. You're spending days coding and with all that hard work, there are definitely times you've probably said "There's gotta be a better way!" Well there is no MAGIC BULLET but these gadgets and tools will make your dev life easier and in some cases save you hours!
In no specific order, the following list are things that have made my life easier or faster and can make yours that much more awesome as well (Please note, any links to Amazon are NON-AFFILIATE links. These are genuine direct links to the various tools and sites and based on my personal opinion).
1. Logitech MX Master Mouse
My good friend Srdjan swears by this mouse, so much so that literally I made sure I got one. WOW does this thing ever help! I've used Magic mouse (Apple) as well as other mice but this thing is so good! It links up to several computers and can even work BETWEEN computers!!
That's right, ONE MOUSE TO RULE THEM ALL! You can literally drag from a windows pc into a mac with ONE single mouse (Using Logitech's FLOW technology and the two systems have to be on the same wireless network). I have the MX Master 2S which I bought for around $120.
The most useful feature I use the most is the HORIZONTAL scroll function and the SUPER scroll thing on this mouse. If you've never tried this stuff out, I just can't explain how efficient it makes movement in your systems! This alone has saved me some solid time for sure!
Anyways I could go on and on about this mouse, here is the link to grab one for yourself: https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Cross-Computer-Control-Graphite/dp/B071YZJ1G1
2. Noise Cancelling Headphones
I cannot stress how big this one is! Seriously it changed my life and my code and productivity just went through the roof after I grabbed my first pair.
There are so many in the market, but the ones many devs tend to go for are the Sony and Bose headphones.
You want something that can really clear out all background noise. These aren't cheap though and the Sony ones can easily run you a good $400 or so. However they will pay you back in the amount of increased productivity you end up getting because of the complete background noise removal. Literally incredible and just can't be explained, you need to get a pair to really understand how it works.
Getting a pair is up to you, but to let you know, myself and many other devs who got a pair have sworn by them and I for one have definitely seen a massive boost in my productivity and development life because I can focus more instead of all the excess background noise.
Here is the link to grab a pair of the Sony ones => https://www.amazon.com/Sony-WH1000XM3-Canceling-Headphones-WH-1000XM3/dp/B07G4MNFS1
This is the link for the Bose ones => https://www.amazon.com/Bose-QuietComfort-Wireless-Headphones-Cancelling/dp/B0756CYWWD
3. Fidget Spinner / Toy
Yes the good old fidget spinner/desk toy. This is one that once again is a very helpful thinking tool/gadget. At first it may seem just like a toy, but you'll start realizing how useful this one thing can be when you're sitting around thinking of how to overcome a coding challenge.
It literally just gets played with and you can choose what works for you, but having a toy to work with while coding can literally help your thought process. I'm no doctor or something but I do recognize that there is a direct link with our body and mind.
For me specifically, playing with a fidget spinner or desk toy (In my case I upgraded to a Rubik's Cube because I can solve it at the end of the day after a long coding session, its actually pretty fun and helpful), has helped me overcome several coding challenges and has now become a major gadget/tool I use in my daily dev work.
Fidget spinners and toys range in price. My most expensive one cost me around $100, but that's just extravagant. You can grab one usually at your local dollar store for less than $5 or on Amazon for under $20.
4. Standing Desk
As you start to code there are times where you just need to stretch. Seriously, going weeks sitting will really catch up to you!
I simply went to Ikea and got a desk top for like $15 and 4 extendable feet for like $15 each to make my own custom standing desk for around $75 or so. Trust me your body will thank you when you stand up and code. I find that I can actually think better standing and get some serious coding and work done while standing. (Especially after the mid-day lunch hour LOL)
There are many standing desk solutions, even ones which can easily convert. Take a look at the options out there and see what works for you, but you'll see a definite boost of energy while standing. It's worked wonders for me and I've been able to pump out some pretty complex codes during those standing times.
Grab yourself a standing desk today!
5. An Ergonomic Chair
Ah the good old dev chair...Literally you know which chair is yours...it conforms to you it speaks to you, and if done right it can help you code like a champion OR put you to sleep!
For me I actually got a PAINFUL chair on purpose. Not to hurt my back or anything, but something that wont put me to sleep. For others they need a nice comfy chair to code on. I've had both, heck even the big "I'm a Manager" chair as well.
Some of the brands of chairs many devs go by are Herman Miller and Steelcase. Check those out if you're serious about chairs, but just know that Herman Millers and Steelcases can go for a pretty solid penny (Looking at several thousand on some of their models) so keep that in mind!
6. External Monitors
Yep when one monitor is just never enough, you definitely need a second one! I constantly find myself throwing code into other windows and with Unity 3D you definitely have times where you want to do some tests in one window and then code in another window (Ex. Visual Studio in one window and Unity 3D in the other).
If you're serious about development as a Unity developer then dual monitors are a definite MUST in my opinion.
What you get however is up to you. I personally prefer smart TV's as I can just as easily swap over one of them to Netflix or cast something from my phone onto one of them.
Many devs prefer top quality monitors with the fastest speeds. During writing this article, the hottest screens are all 4K and the bigger the better! I'd recommend also getting a dual screen holder stand for your screen that you can easily move the screens around should you want to (That's just an added bonus if you can get it).
Anyways, take a look at the latest screens to see what you like. This one is quite user preference at this point as I've yet to see devs all zone in on a particular brand or model like the other gadgets in this list.
My friends, Warren Wang and Matthew Ostil (Both Unity Live Experts and Unity Power Users) recommend Dell and Asus monitors (4K if you can get them).
This one is a definite must have! I actually personally use just basic notepads and pencils that I grab at the dollar store. At any given time my desk is littered with HUNDREDS of scribbles and notes and seriously I can't stress enough how big this is to have.
One other nice notebook I have is something called a Rocketbook. It's literally a reusable notebook. The nice thing about it is that you can take a picture of your notes, convert them into PDF files and then simply erase the book with tissue and water and use it unlimited times! It's a very useful tool if you're trying to save on paper (Think of the trees my friend, think of the trees! LOL!) => https://getrocketbook.com/
Another tool I find really helpful is my iPad and Apple Pencil. It does a similar thing and I use that as well when I'm on the go and need to jot out some ideas.
In any case I can't stress enough how important it is to have some gadget or tool around to write notes on. This will definitely help you as you do your Unity development!
So there you have it, a short but sweet list of "must haves" for any developer who is looking for gadgets and tools to help them out in increasing productivity, becoming more efficient and ultimately being able to code better and faster overall.
And if you have a developer friend (Ahem Ahem ;) *wink wink*) and you're looking for Christmas gifts, then you now have an idea of things you could buy them that would literally make their development lives that much sweeter!
Now go make some awesome games! You are a super star! Keep up the great work and NEVER GIVE UP! You Got This!! BE A CHAMPION!
Nav is a Unity Live Expert and Mobile Game and App Developer
LEARN TO MAKE GAMES FOR FREE! => Watch Me Live On Twitch => https://www.twitch.tv/academyofgames0
"I'm a game dev making fun awesome RPG and Fantasy Games. Check out my games on Steam and all major mobile platforms today => Game Scorpion Inc.!"