Software Engineers Gear Up to Work From Home

How can you be more productive while working remotely? Here are a few practical tips we heard repeatedly from our engineers around the globe:

  • If you are using a laptop, you need an external monitor.
  • For video calls, get yourself a good headset; speaker echo is horrible for everyone.
  • Get a good chair, as you will sit on it for hundreds of hours.

However, almost as important is the question of what gear one is using at home, so we also asked our engineers what their technical setups are. Here are just a few of the photos and descriptions that our engineers shared of their WFH setups:

Prajjwal Devkotta, Team Lead, SSOX Internal Workflows (New York)

  • airLIFT PRO Electric Sit-to-Stand Desk Riser (standup desk)
  • ZettaGuard HDMI 3×1 switch x 2 (for switching monitors between work laptop and home setup)
  • UGREEN USB switch (for switching USB inputs between work laptop and home setup)
  • Acer 27 inch monitors x 2
  • Logitech webcam (camera and mic)
  • AfterShokz Bluetooth headset (speaker)
    • Bonus: Google Home Mini pair for playing music
  • Lenovo keyboard and mouse (external, wired)

Duncan MacKenzie, Software Engineer, Liquidity & Analytics (New York)

Custom rig with liquid cooling my son built for me about 4 years ago:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 GPU with 16 GB RAM, SSD

Alexey Mitev, Software Engineer, Application Frameworks (New York)

  • Bloomberg Engineering’s Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop connected to a Dell 27″ monitor
  • Personal laptop to keep in touch with family members

Lazar Sumar, Software Engineer, Intraday Analytics (London)

Bloomberg Engineering’s Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop with an ErgoDoxEZ split keyboard and a box to lift up the laptop.

Diego Salazar, Software Engineer, Bloomberg Law CMS & Workflow Tools (New York)

  • A small desk, Bloomberg Engineering MacBook Pro, 27″ LG monitor, and my tactical support dog

Jeremy Rabasco, Software Engineer, Bloomberg Managed Services (London)

  • Bloomberg Engineering-provided Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop
  • VGA/USB 3.0 to USB-C adapter (gray switch on the left)
  • One of my favourite purchases, an Anker USB-C Wall Charger, Premium 60W 5-Port Desktop Charger—4 USB 3.0 + 1 USB-C on one charger (black thing with many cables)
  • Corsair K70 keyboard with CHERRY MX brown switches that I modded with some Vulture Rubber keycaps (the red keycaps you see are rubber)
  • ASUS VK248H – 24″ FHD 1920×1080 monitor (this one on the left has a DVI -> HDMI adapter)
  • ACER KG271 – 27″ FHD 1920×1080 monitor (this one on the right uses the gray VGA adapter)
  • Logitech C920 HD Pro webcam
  • Logitech G500s mouse
  • Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 headphones

Andy Pearce, a Team Lead within the Connectivity & Integration Team (London)

The desk is an Ikea one. Since the monitor is sitting on a shelf, it has a handy space underneath where I tuck all the cables, as well as the USB and ethernet hubs. It works pretty well.

Sadly, the Logitech Z200 powered speakers (no bass unit) are connected to my home PC (I use headphones for music since my daughter is homeschooling now). And yes, that’s wallpaper rather than a lot of books (installed by the previous owners).

Fun fact: the painting is by Jamie Hageman who was a finalist on the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2015. I love his work!

Daniel Scanteianu, Software Engineer, Bloomberg Query Language (New York)

  • Fender Nashville Telecaster guitar
  • Yamaha P45 keyboard
  • Tech 21 Fly Rig multi-effects pedal
  • Logitech Marathon mice
  • Dell monitors
  • Mackie CR4 Multimedia Monitors speakers
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (work), Lenovo ThinkPad p51 (main home machine), and IBM ThinkPad E480 (for school) laptops
  • Sennheiser HD 580 and Sony MDR-7506 headphones
  • Lexicon Alpha audio interface

Nicolas Limare, Feeds SRE (Tokyo)

My home desk setup is nearly identical to my office desk; the Bloomberg pantry is the only thing missing!

  • Ikea BEKANT electric standing desk
  • TypeMatrix 2030 keyboard
  • Kensington SlimBlade trackball
  • Plantronics Voyager 5200 headset + charging case (Audio is great; Bluetooth pairing never fails, and the charging case is a clever way to keep it charged.)
  • Two 24” LG 24UD58-B 16:9 4K FreeSync IPS monitor‎s (Mounted on dual arms similar to the ones in our office, this lets me maintain the same display settings when moving between home and office. The arms allow me to freely reposition and rotate the monitors.)
  • Amazon Basics laptop tray (Mounted on the same type of arm as the monitors, I can adjust the height any way I like, and still use the space under the laptop.)
  • StarTech Thunderbolt 3 mini dock handles the connectivity to the monitors, my wired network, and a USB 3.0 hub that extends it for my keyboard, trackball, etc.
  • Not visible in the photo: A Timeular device used to track how I spend my time each day.

Suraj G, Software Engineer, EBond (London)

My setup isn’t very complicated:

  • 24” LG IPS monitor mounted on a 30 pound monitor arm (highly recommended)
  • Vortex Poker 3 60% keyboard with CHERRY MX blue switches
  • Sony MDR-V6 headphones (nice flat/neutral monitors at a reasonable price point) wired into his iPod
  • Inexpensive mouse and speakers bought on Amazon

Shaopeng Zhang, Team Lead, Data Technologies – Web Services (Princeton)

  • MacBook in a Twelve South BookArc stand
  • LG 38” Ultrawide 38UC99-W monitor (It has an app to split your screens in grids.)
  • Logitech MX Performance mouse
  • 87-key mechanical keyboard with CHERRY MX brown switches (I also keep a Surface Keyboard for when my son is asleep.)
  • Taotronics LED lamp (to the right of my monitor); I also recently bought a BenQ LED screenbar that sits on top of monitor to reduce screen glare.
  • The red banner on the wall says “Know it by heart; Excel it by hand.”

Yuxing Huang, Senior Software Engineer, Data Technologies –Web Services (Princeton)

  • 2 x LG 27” monitors plus a dual monitor desktop arm
  • Edifier speakers and stand from Amazon
  • Rode VideoMic Micro mic (above the monitors)
  • Plantronics v5200 headset
  • Mikrotik RB4011iGS router
  • Zoom F4 USB audio interface + DT990 headphones (for music, etc.)
  • Code v3 87-Keys keyboard
  • Logitech MX Master 2S mouse

Eric Volpert, Software Engineer, Platform as a Service team (San Francisco)

Bloomberg Workspace (Center):

  • Bloomberg-issued MacBook Pro
  • Keychron K2 Mechanical Keyboard (CHERRY MX Blue Switches)
  • Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse
  • Steelseries Arctis 7 Pro Wireless Headset
  • LG 43UD79-B 43” 4K IPS Monitor (on a TV stand)
  • Logitech Brio 4k Webcam

Furniture:

  • Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk (78×30, Contoured) (left)
  • Gladiator 66.5” Hardwood Workbench (Bamboo) (right)
  • Seville Classics Airlift Pneumatic Mobile Desk Cart (center)
  • Steelcase Gesture Blue Jay Office Chair (left)
  • Lorell Adjustable Multitask Stool (right)

Video Workspace (Left):

  • AMD Ryzen 3950x Desktop
    • NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti
    • 2 x 1TB Samsung 970 Evo NVME SSD
    • 4 x 16GB Ballistx DDR4 3000 RAM
    • Aquantia 10Gbit NIC
    • Elgato HD60 Pro Capture Card
  • Viewsonic VP3268-4k 32” Pro Video Monitor

Gaming Workspace (Far left):

  • Intel Core i7 9700k Desktop
    • Intel Core i7 9700k@5.2 Ghz
    • NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti SC2 (EVGA)
    • 4 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 RAM
    • Aquantia 10GBit NIC
    • 1 x 1TB Samsung 970 Evo NVME SSD

Linux Workstation (Right):

  • Intel Core i7 6700k Desktop
    • 2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 RAM
    • 1 x 512GB Samsung 860 Evo NVME SSD
    • Intel Converged 10Gbit NIC
    • NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti
    • AMD Radeon VII

Homelab (Far Right Server Rack):

  • Supermicro Whitebox 1U Server (Proxmox Host):
    • 2 x Xeon E5 2660 CPU
    • 64GB ECC DDR3 RAM
    • 2 x 1TB Samsung 850 Evo SSD
    • 2 x 4TB WD Red Pro HDD
    • Intel Converged 10GBit NIC
  • Dell r720 Server (Proxmox Host + NAS):
    • 2 x Xeon E5 2660 CPU
    • 64 GB ECC DDR3 RAM
    • 6 x 10 TB Seagate Iron Wolf Pro HDD (3 ZFS Mirrors, 26.3TB Usable)
    • 1 x 1TB Samsung 850 Evo SSD (ZIL Cache for ZFS)
    • Intel Converged 10GBit NIC
  • Unifi 16XG 10GBit Switch
  • Unifi CloudKey Gen 2
  • Unifi 8 Port Gigabit POE Switch
  • Phillips Hue Bridge
  • Unifi Security Gateway