A typical engineer costs a startup $150k/year (loaded, salary+benefits). And yet many companies big and small skimp in providing its employees the tools they need to be productive and happy. Here are the things I suggest:
- Monitors: [2x24"] or [1x30" + 1x24"] ($1100-1900)
- RAM: 4GB ($100)
- High End Desktop ($900)
- Keyboard and Mouse: As nice as you can find ($200)
Total cost: $2600 (less than 2% of your employee cost)
Google does this. Yahoo! doesn’t, which says loads about how Yahoo! views it’s engineers, I think. If your engineers are “building” frequently, it probably pays to buy them a separate build machine with plenty of processor, another $750. As an alternative, you can assign “build machines” for your engineers to share, which seems to work well in many situations.
I am curious to hear what others think I am missing.