Using the iPad as a software developer
My job is to create/manage/debug softwares. Not iOS apps, but PC software mainly developed in java using Eclipse. How is the iPad related to my work? I must admit that I'm very surprised how much I rely on it to help me on my tasks.
My home is my office. Since I work from home, I can freely choose to work at my desk or on the couch ;). Over time, I discovered that the iPad can be a great asset and a great tool to complete my daily routine.
- There is a lot of reading involved, often design documents, research reports and so on. I could do the reading on my laptop, but I find it more convenient to read those documents on my iPad, comfortably installed in my favorite chair, sipping my coffee. It's a more natural way of reading and more enjoyable. At the same time, being able to be elsewhere than at my desk is a welcomed benefit.
- I rely exclusively on my iPad/iPhone to manage my emails. So while my laptop can be busy compiling source code or testing a new feature, I can review my emails, elsewhere than in front of my desk. This means also that I do not need a mail client opened on my laptop...
- Tasks, Todos, reminders, calendars are also manages my by iPad and not by my laptop.
- There is a daily conference call over Skype. I don't have to worry that Skype may slow down because I am currently executing some tests on the laptop since I am using Skype on my iPad. Doing so, I can launch any resource intensive tasks on the PC and not worry about missing that meeting over Skype.
- Designing processes or workflows is often required in my daily routine. I use SimpleMind+ for mind mapping and Penultimate for anything else. It's way more efficient and comfortable do such documentation on the iPad than on a PC. There are also some diagram apps that I use when such a document is needed. I'm still testing different solutions.
- The iPad can also be used as a secondary screen while coding. If I need to have some references displayed while working, I put them on the iPad, and have those references available whenever I need to look at them, instead of switching from one window to another. I could use a real second monitor, but let's face it, it does require more space on my desk for a once in a while task.
- Another thing that I find handy with the iPad, is the mobility factor. If I have to do some research on the net or some reading, I can go to coffee shop on the other side of the street and work from there. Of course, I could bring my laptop, but I keep those "me-time" for reading and doing research in a more casual state.
- Having Pages and Numbers, I can keep track of my time, or write reports without having to think about creating a backup since iCloud is taking care of that. It's easy to share the documents with my colleagues and the PDFs just looks amazing with the provided templates.
There are a lot of other goodies involved, but basically, the iPad is a great companion. There's no need to stay at my desk all day long, I can work on the couch, at the coffee shop or in my favorite chair. The touch screen and screen size are perfect for long readings and taking notes. Essentially, the laptop is used to code, compile and tests. Everything else is done on the iPad, making my daily work more comfortable.