Moving to a Standing Desk

I’ve wanted to try a standing desk for some time. Since my new job allows me to work from home, or just about anywhere else, I figured it was a great time to see if a standing desk would work for me. The first problem was choosing a desk.

The Desk

Since I didn’t know if the standing desk experiment would work, I didn’t want to spend $1000 or more on a high-end desk from GeekDesk, Anthro, Humanscale or Steelcase. I also didn’t have a desk at home to use something like the Kangaroo Pro. Finally, I wanted to be able to move the desk around, so casters were required. With those requirements, I decided to purchase the Safco Muv Stand-up Adjustable Height Workstation.

The desk was about $250 from Amazon. Don’t let the word adjustable in the desk’s name fool you. It’s only adjustable during assembly when you decide on the overall height of the desk. Once you’ve committed to the height, you’re basically locked in. (The above picture doesn’t show it, but it’s possible to adjust the keyboard tray if you want more room between it and the work surface. Again, you can’t dynamically adjust it.) Assembling the desk took about 30 minutes and it’s remarkably sturdy. I was concerned about it supporting the weight of a 27″ cinema display (~24 lbs) but that hasn’t been a problem.

Working

The first day I used the standing desk, I was exhausted after five hours. And I mean exhausted. I needed a quick power nap in order to regain enough focus to work. Subsequent days have been more of a 70/30 split between standing and sitting. It’s not clear if I’m more productive because I’m standing or because I’m moving back and forth. I’ve found that simply changing work locations can yield productivity gains. It’s still too soon to say if the standing desk experiment will work out and if I can justify a more expensive, adjustable desk in the future.

 

PaaS Job Growth

In February, Gartner released a strategic look at PaaS adoption in today’s enterprise. The report all but declared an impending strategic catastrophe for enterprises failing to adopt a PaaS solution. Despite these warnings, it’s hard to blame CIOs and CTOs for moving slowly. Decision-making is complicated by a constantly changing provider landscape and pricing structure. Paired with a number of high-profile outages of legacy IaaS/PaaS, it’s understandable if executives are hesitant to fully commit to a PaaS solution.

To get a better idea of the kind of PaaS adoption enterprises may be making, I explored some job trends at Indeed.com. Specifically, I was interested in overall job growth in the PaaS space as well as which technologies might be driving adoption. First up, the overall PaaS job picture:

As a percentage of overall job posting, PaaS isn’t exactly breaking any records. However, the raw number of PaaS jobs increased significantly from 2010 to the start of 2012. And this amount of growth can’t be driven solely by service providers. Enterprises are beginning to ramp up on talent in core areas. There’s little surprise what’s driving this growth: the big data bubble. Specifically, Java:

The growth of Java jobs in the PaaS space is understandable since most enterprises seem to be using Java. Hadoop, and to a lesser extent, Python, are also trending up:

Other technologies, such as NoSQL (most prominently MongoDB) and Node.js, have recently shown up on PaaS job openings, but are insignificant at current levels.

The job growth we’re seeing indicates two things. First, enterprises are clearly moving into PaaS, albeit tentatively. But they’re not likely to adopt any new technologies, such as NoSQL. Instead, these graphs indicate enterprises will seek to migrate existing applications and infrastructure out of current data centers.

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