Koki Nagai



How to good cafe for Software Engineer

How to Find a Comfortable Cafe for Working

Even before becoming an engineer, I would occasionally go to cafes to blog or read books. My cafe working experience dates back to my university days, so I'm quite a veteran.

The main benefit of leaving behind a large monitor and familiar keyboard to work at a cafe is being able to change your environment. With remote work, most of our time is spent at home, sitting alone in front of a computer in the same place. While some people may be able to endure that, I can't.

Having other people around in the same space at a cafe seems to increase my concentration and make me work more efficiently, perhaps due to a sense of being watched.

Fundamentally, cafes are more suitable for blogging, reading technical books, rather than coding programs. A 13-inch MacBook screen is too small for comfortably writing or reading frontend code.

How to Identify a Good Cafe

A good cafe for me is one where I can concentrate on work - factors like stylish food are irrelevant. Additionally, this is a highly personal and subjective take, so it may not be universally applicable.

Desk Space

The most important factor is having a spacious desk. Working in a cramped space where you have to squeeze in your laptop is inconsiderate to others and doesn't allow you to relax. Tully's and some Starbucks tend to have bigger desks, while Doutor feels more cramped.


Personally, the cafe ambiance is crucial. The age group, whether it's crowded or has an open feel - these aspects impact motivation and concentration (I know it may sound silly, but it really matters to me). There's a big difference in whether you'll want to linger at a noisy McDonald's or a scenic, stylish Starbucks.


While becoming less common, some cafes surprisingly still don't offer wifi - it's like they're implicitly telling you not to work there. Such cafes wouldn't make my list, unless I've decided I'm just going to read. For work, wifi is essential - Starbucks requires reconnecting every hour, while Tully's doesn't have that hassle, so Tully's is better if wifi is a priority.

Customer Volume

Crowded cafes discourage lingering, so you need to find one that isn't excessively busy. Location-wise, the closer to a station, the more crowded; but in rural areas, there may be only a few concentrated options. That said, even near stations, some cafes may be tucked away from the main traffic flow and hence quieter. Personally, I prefer avoiding the hassle of going far from the nearest station, so hunting for a relatively empty cafe near the station is ideal.

Final Thoughts

These are just my personal criteria - I'd love to hear any additional insights from others on identifying great work cafes. Wishing you all a great cafe working life!

Koki Nagai