Programmer tools of the trade

2011-04-26

Tools of the trade for a Programmer are many. Everyone thinks of the computer, the language, various frameworks, and possibly an IDE. Fewer think about the keyboard and pointing device they use, and even fewer would consider the desk or chair they’re using as tools of their trade.

But think about it a moment. We’re in front of our computers at least 8 hours per day. Are your back, posterior and fingers not worth considering?

I’ve been complaining about the chairs my employer provides for several years now. Every time, I was told the chairs were fine, as long as they were adjusted correctly, and besides, I was the only one complaining. I had spoken with several co-workers, and they either had no opinion (the minority) or also felt the chairs provided are inadequate.

Recently, I had the opportunity to use the infamous Aeron chair for several months. Here was the proof I was looking for that a good chair is not only available, but much nicer and more relaxing to use on a daily basis. As I recently returned to my employer’s office, I had a decision to make: live with the chairs, or buy myself a chair.

Of course, I once again started by requesting a better chair, but once again, my request fell on deaf ears.

So, I purchased a chair for myself. I considered the Aeron, but a new chair from the same company has been released, so I wanted to try it first. I found a local store that carried the chairs, and after 15 minutes, I was convinced that the new design was definitely a step forwards.

I have been using my Embody chair for the last 2 weeks, and have no regrets about the purchase. Yes, I could have gotten a used Aeron for significantly less, but I honestly think the Embody is that much better. Also, as the chair has a 12 year warranty, I expect I will still be using it 20 years from now, so amortized over that amount of time, the chair isn’t that expensive.

The difference is surprising. Just today, I sat in one of the company chairs, and couldn’t believe it took me this long to get a better chair. Well worth investigating, and investing.


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