The Next Jump blog is a look into the culture of a company that believes corporations can change the world.
The Arms Race has Begun
Jon
16 Dec

Project Arms Race

During the cold war an arms race developed between the US and the Soviet Union to close a perceived missile gap. Both sides stockpiled nuclear weapons to have the best armed forces. For engineers at Next Jump, computers and monitors are our nuclear weapons. But before our own arms race began we were severely outmanned.

At Next Jump we believe in always investing in our people. This investment in people is the Better You in our Better You + Better Me = Better Us formula. These investments take the form of healthy snacks, access to talks, and an onsite gym to name a few. When it finally became obvious that our engineers were under equipped with the technology they had, the next obvious investment was a literal investment in new computers for our engineers. So three months ago the Arms Race began.

Before Project Arms Race, I was using a Windows Vista computer with two 20 in monitors to do my fulltime development as a software engineer. Every time my computer crashed I would think longingly about my setup at home (13in MacBook Pro + 27in Cinema Display). We brought it to the attention of our Engineering VP’s that our productivity was suffering because of our outdated equipment. They quickly agreed that it was time for an update.

Once we had senior management on board we formed a team of three and were tasked with preparing all Next Jump engineers for battle. We were to design three different systems that all engineers would have the choice between. We would become beta testers of these setups before we rolled out the configurations to the rest of the company. We eagerly accepted our mission and went on to design the three most badass computer setups any startup has ever seen.

Option 1: Apple Fanboy

At Next Jump we had never used Macs before, we have a Microsoft stack. However, Arms Race gave me the chance to design a Mac setup and figure out how to make it work with our software.

MACBOOK PRO 15” WITH RETINA

Project Arms Race

Intel Core i7 4 Cores @ 3.7GHz 
16GB RAM 
512GB SSD 
15.4" Display (2880 x 1800)
OSX Mavericks 
27" Thunderbolt + 24" Monitor 
Magic Trackpad, Apple Keyboard, Adjustable Stand

Having a Mac at work has completely changed my level of productivity. OSX Mavericks allows me to full screen my editor and switch between spaces with my Magic Trackpad. I highly recommend this option.

Option 2: Beauty is on the inside

We wanted to offer another portable option that was PC based for engineers who are not swayed by flashy hardware. Introducing laptops will also be a first for Next Jump engineers, opening up new possibilities for remote work and collaboration within the office.

LENOVO THINKPAD W530

Project Arms Race

Intel Core i7 4 Cores @ 3.8GHz 
16GB RAM 256GB SSD + 500GB HDD 
15.6" Display (1920 x 1080) 
Windows 8 
Two 27" Monitors 
Monitors Mini Dock Plus with USB 3.0

Option 3: More POWER

The final option was for engineers who like to push their computer to its limits. We designed a desktop system that the US or the Soviet Union would have loved to have during the actual cold war.

DELL XPS 8700 SPECIAL EDITION

Project Arms Race

Intel Core i7 4 Cores @ 3.9GHz 
32GB RAM 
256 SSD + 2TB HDD 
Windows 8 
Three 27" Monitors 

Project Arms Race was similar to the cold war arms race in terms of being a race for technological superiority. However, unlike the cold war, every technological upgrade was picked for a specific need. The key to our Arms Race was to invest in our engineers for the future without spending recklessly. Now that we’ve got the technological stockpile we are going to use our weapons. Let the coding begin!

Project Arms Race

Team Arms Race

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