Michał’s Desk

Developer’s Toolkit #1

Developer’s Toolkit is a series of blog-posts about things, devices and tools that we use everyday to get our stuff done.

Who are you and what’s your job at DaftMobile?

My name is Michał. I’m DaftMobile’s team leader. I’ve started as an iOS developer a few years back. Now, after developing a few games, apps and servers, I spend most of my day in Mail and Google Docs, and I don’t spend half as much time in Xcode as I would like to.

What’s on your desk?

You can tell a man by the contents of their desk. Or can you?

If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk a sign?
~Albert Einstein

I definitely live by this quote, though I cannot say it’s entirely on purpose. My desk tends to get messy and cluttered, but there are a few things that are crucial to my daily routine. It starts with a big mug of coffee (brewed, preferably an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe washed). After that I cheerfully dive head first into work. There are some tools on my desk that I find absolutely essential as a part iOS developer, part Scrum Master, and part business developer.

R2-D2 Timer

This timer is essential to every Star Wars freak, who also happens to be a Scrum Master. You need to keep your scrum ceremonies within time frames and on topic. Of course you could use a timer on your phone, but there’s nothing like the slightly annoying ticking sound coming out of our R2, reminding us to stay focused.

Bose QC35

Office open spaces tend to get noisy when crowded. There are many ways to deal with this issue, and everyone reacts to noise differently. Some deliver their best work when in a loud environment (I’m sometimes like that as well). However, there are times when you just want some quiet space and peace. There are some ways to achieve this, but I prefer noise canceling headphones instead of forcing all coworkers to stay quiet, or seeking an isolated office space ;) There’s nothing like a chilly music or complete silence that gives you ability to focus and deliver.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pens

You sometimes need to write stuff down. With our DaftCode notebooks it’s especially pleasing. I enjoy taking notes with my two fountain pens from Lamy. They give you very smooth writing experience.

Of course I use custom inks. I tend to load the red pen with Noodler’s red Tiananmen Ink, and the blue one with Iroshizuku TSUKI-YO — Moonlight.

Debugging Ducks

Debugging ducks are key tools of every developer and engineer. When working on your code (architecture especially), and during debugging you need someone to talk to. You need someone to listen carefully. Go for a fellow developer or — as in my case — an equally good listener — a debugging duck. My duck of choice is the Unicorn Duck (a gift from Jan Grodowski and Natalka Smoczyńska). In many debugging conversations I’ve had with the UniDuck, he’s always been a perfectly calm and patient listener.

Here’s a quick debugging algorithm: Explain your bug and architecture to the UniDuck. Do that until he gives you a nod (which he never does, because well, he’s a rubber duck), or until you understand your problem well enough that you’re able to solve it on your own. Works every time.

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