4K_work_envI have been reading quite a bit about 4K monitors. I recently spotted an article that suggested that these screens are PERFECT for software developers.

I watched several videos and deduced that the screen real estate would be fantastic. The ability to see ALL your code while having sufficient browser tabs open along with Chrome’s debugging console sounded very appealing.

So I ordered one on Monday. It arrived Tuesday. I opened it this morning and bemoaned that I didn’t have a converter for HDMI…until I realized my MacBook Pro came with an HDMI port. And here I am writing my first blog article ON IT!

I have to say that the blog authors were right. It’s GREAT! Up above, you can see it next to my MacBook Pro 15″ retina. I have personal email, skype, and HipChat on my laptop, while my development environment is spread across the big screen.

4K_desktopI am working on a couple things right now. On the left, I have IntelliJ open with a demo app I’m working. I have the app running in the top, the HTML open on the left, and the javascript open on the right.

In the middle, I have a browser tab open towards the bottom, with my mobile user agent switcher activated so I can build my jQuery Mobile front end. Seeing it all in one place without jumping between screen shots is fantastic.

The TALL console window in the middle is currently running a crawler script I wrote in python. We had reports of some of our guides having broken links, I decided to crawl our website to spot any other gaps. On the right, I have script opened in TextMate, and you can see the WHOLE file with scrolling.

The takeaway is breathtaking.


I am learning how to navigate everything. I tried mirroring at first, but that doesn’t work. I want the relatively unimportant stuff not hogging screen space, so I learned how to shove that onto the laptop.

On this big screen where the refresh isn’t ideal, I kept losing the mouse. So I increased the size of arrow so I simple movement would quickly show me where it was located.

The screen refresh rate isn’t the highest, but that isn’t a real big issue for me.

Finally, I still don’t understand when and why OSX decided that Alt-Tab will pop-up on one display or the other. It seems to have a mind of its own. But I’m willing to live with that in exchange for this supreme work setup.