Hilton cleaned and showed his desk. I hereby accept the invitation and share mine!

Since I live in a twelve square meter room in my University’s dorm, in a flat I share with four other students, I need some discipline putting things where they belong at the end of the day.

This is how I start the work day most of the time: with an empty desk. Today for example I did some research in Evans’ DDD book.1 Usually, the book rest resides in a shelf next to the desk with the books nearby.

When I do work I’m getting paid for from home, I scatter documents, sketches and the like around like a madman—but in the end I’ve got to put things where they belong, file away documents, hide sketches in project folders or scan them and toss the paper version.

My desk is bespoke work, hence unique. A friend from back when I was at school became carpenter apprentice and liked to have some practice on crafting desks. This pretty and super-stable piece of furniture was a EUR 120,– bargain (~USD 158) and delights me every day for more than five years now.

On my desk you permanently find:

  • My MacBook Air (German keyboard layout), most of the time in clamshell mode,
  • a HP LP2275W 22-inch screen with a very decent viewing angle,
  • a small external Apple keyboard (English keyboard layout),2
  • a Bamboo Pen & Touch,
  • a Faber-Castell 0.5mm mechanical pencil,
  • a 1.25 liter water bottle,
  • a cheap LED desk lamp,
  • one of five speakers scattered in my dorm room. I never bothered mounting them on the walls in the past two years. I don’t expect a lot of surround sound in a room this small anyway.

Re: small living. I enjoy reading Shoebox Dwelling for mini house inspiration and super-small desks/bureaus. (I really want to have this one in my room right now)

  1. Eric Evans (2006): Domain-Driven Design. Tackling complexity in the heart of software, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley. 

  2. English keyboard layouts are great for coding. All the special characters are just so easy to get to. But most of the time I have set my keyboard layout to Neo2, a keyboard layout made for efficiency while typing, optimized for writing German texts. The center row of keys yield “UIAEOSNRTD” instead of “ASDFGHJKL;”. It’s nice to not move fingers a lot when writing with Neo2, yet sometimes I think I wear out faster through the course of the day when I switch activities and keyboard layouts a lot.