How many of you work in a software company?
Anyone working in an Indian Software company is intimately aware of his chair. We believe it is the source of all trouble – physical.
You get a back ache or a neck problem, then it must be the chair. You try to fiddle around with its controls to make it more suitable for your unique (and lazy) posture.
There are three levels of adjustment to the office chair
– Height of the seat
– Height of the arm rests
– Angle of the back rest
Now imagine that you were not aware of one of these 3 adjustment options.
Now imagine that you never found out about the missing adjustment for years.
Nope. Remember Abhi?
Last week I came in to sit in my chair after a break, found that my chair’s back rest was no longer at my preferred angle of 80 degree.
Someone unlocked the backrest and when I sat, it just swung back to the maximum angle.
So I just set my angle, lock the chair there with a lever below the seat.
Abhi : Hey! can you lock it at an angle?
Abhi: WoW! I had no idea. This is great. I always exchange my chair for one which is locked. I thought some chairs were defective.
I was really surprised. Abhi could not figure out something which many of us figure out in the first few seconds of sitting in a modern-day office chair.
He was ignorant about this feature for the last 3 years.
Abhi went to prove that he was not the only one. The other two guys in my sections also had no clue about this feature.
All these years they had to adjust with chairs which arch all the way by 45 degrees.
Their solution: Steal chairs from other desks which had a locked back.:-)
Okay you had your laugh at these guys. Now think about this.
What if you missed a very useful feature in your tool? A feature which would make your work life much more comfortable.
As software engineers, we use plenty of tools in our work day. Some of these are core of our work, such as :- Email Client, an IDE (eclipse, visual studio), ms office, browser, internet, google.
Are you sure you know all the important features (tricks) of these tools?
What if you believed (like abhi) that there were only two features to your tool.
You go on working for years never even knowing there was an easy way to do things within your tool(s). You never even tried looking for it.
Some Examples of tricks and features of common tools
Giving a – between two words searches for a combination. So searching for “tool-box” gives results of “toolbox” and also “tool box”
site: This keyword will help you search within a website. So searching “site:http://www.cnn.com obama” will search content within cnn.com
filetype: This keyword will search return results of that files. filetype:doc java will give you docs and pdfs about java. Great way to search for ebooks.
Single click with middle button of your mouse on a hyper-link will open a new tab with that webpage
Developers will love the “Find in Files” search feature of notepad++
There are thousands of such examples for everyday tools which make are our life easier and interesting.
We should try to make efforts to search and fiddle with all the handles of our tool(s).