How much storage will a web development(FULL STACK) learner need?

I’m planning to learn web development, make personal projects(I Don’t need to host them to public professionally, heroku will do the job. And backups of codes can be stored in github once the project is completed) so that I can apply for jobs.

I currently have a 1 TB hard drive. I still have 650-700 GB of space left on hard drive. I’ve used it for more than 10000 hrs and the disk health isn’t looking great either.

So, I’m switching to SSD.

Every penny counts because we don’t make that much income. Thus, we can’t be extravagant. While buying 1TB SSD would still be utilized in some way or other, but I need higher return of what I pay(ie utilize sufficiently for web development purposes) Companies give a new laptop if you start working in them (Not to interns). After getting a job, buying laptops won’t be that hard although a laptop that serves my purpose will cost 7 months of new dev’s salary here.

Here’s my software requirements. The storage are just my guesses, your insights would be valuable here.

  1. Windows 10/11. It’ll take maximum 64 GB.

  2. Microsoft Office Professional containing word,doc, ppt, excel. 4 GB

  3. Brave browser (Not considering downloads for browser. Downloads can go to hard disk)

  4. Chrome browser 100 MB for install, ? for cache?..etc please tell

  5. Firefox browser 100MB for install

  6. images2pdf softwares At most 1GB size(estimate)

  7. cold turkey type softwar/ org emacs (only one) At most 1GB size(estimate)

  8. IDE(probably VScode or pycharm whatever supports web development and is easy to use for beginners)

  9. Web development installations (for 1 stack like MERN, MEAN etc) Not sure about it

  10. Viber/Telegram Downloads (Can be removed regularly on unwanted basis) 2GB but most of it can always be deleted or transferred back to hard drive if they’re really important. Or at all install viber outside of SSD.

  11. Save codes and notes on Joplin while learning. Notes will contain images+codes+text. Not sure about estimate? They can be printed after some time and delete from laptop.

  12. Note taking app on Joplin

My files storage requirements (of current):

  1. Important docs 34.7MB

  2. Study materials that needs to be saved forever 41.5 GB ( I can instead just keep a name of the book and download it later as they’re all downloaded from online. Almost/More than 85% storage can be freed up here)

  3. Very important courses downloads 103.16 GB

  4. Unimportant courses 206.1 GB (I downloaded them online, It’s very less likely that I’m going to use them. They’re not very important. But I could need them if a course is really good or if the topic is really tough and I need multiple insights)

In my region, If 1 TB hard drive costs x, then 128GB pen drive costs 0.307x and 256GB SSD 0.538x and 512GB SSD costs 1.153x.

Can you share your ideas about what should I do?

My view:

  1. Get 128GB pen drive to store 103.16GB Very Important Courses

  2. Buy 256GB SSD. 64GB for OS and 192GB for files.

Would this plan work? Is there better approach to this?Remind of the things that I’m letting go unnoticed at the momet as well.

While I’ve said this for web development, I really would love information about android/IOS app development setup required (storage only).

I’ll ask about RAM later on.

you dont need a SSD for web development or watching media(courses) spinning rust will suffice. Just use a SSD (512Gb is the least i would suggest) for OS + installing applications rest can be stored on a 2tb HDD.
Just a heads up Heroku is doing away with free tier so you will have to look for alternative provider.

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Oh!! But the problems that I was facing while programming were:

  1. Pycharm crashing repeatedly.

  2. VS code was laggy and unusable

I reinstalled both of them, reinstalled OS and again installed those but nothing worked.

PS I used to get 100% disk usage error.

i think 100% disk usage in Task manager by itself is not a indicator that something is wrong with HDD or SSD but a symptom.
its better to use a tool like HwInfo64 ( and check the real time summary shown there for full system as you use those programs all together whether its processor thermals or bad sectors on the drive or S.M.A.R.T errors to indicate failing drive.

if its the failing drive then backup your data ASAP and replace the drive.

100% disk use could also be a indicator that the system you are using might be RAM limited. As i understand the OS provides applications with virtual memory that uses HDD space to compensate for lack of Ram. This virtual memory is much slower than RAM and causes additional read and writes cycles to storage keeping it busy and slowing down the whole system.

This problem could be solved by adding more ram allowing the OS additional space to allocate to other applications as you work.
SSD which will be faster than HDD will also work but you are trading SSD lifespan. which could be avoided depending on what choices you are comfortable with and what your budget allows.

some food for thought :

  1. check if your computer meet the recommended requirements off those IDE’s. (the program could need that much time depending on the way its compiled and system resources available)
  2. Too many plugins enabled in the IDE ( may be remove a few plugins).
    or just ditch the IDE and use a lightweight text editor vim, Notepad plus plus etc.
  3. Too many apps automatically start in background on windows startup.

For web development I would be surprised if you would need more than 20-30 GB of storage. Everything else is OS and whatever else you plan to use with the computer.

Most of the storage in web is databases and/or old Docker containers, neither would be that large for learning.

I would recommend you either save to a 1TB SSD or go with a 256 GB SSD OS drive with whatever spare HDD you got for additional storage.

If you can consider trying Linux, there is a case to be made for buying a 120 GB SSD and adding that to your current setup as a dual boot option. It will make a lot of your dev setup easier.

Unless you are running out of memory and heavily swapping, the symptoms you describe sounds like a pending disk failure. Before you do anything else, you should backup all your important stuff first.

thats barely broken in for spin time. typically your looking at a life span of 5 years which is about 40k hours.
so unless its rattling about in your cage or an external, the drive should be fine on 10k hours assuming its not physically damaged.

as for your system.
them ide’s should run fine even on a dual core potato with 4 gigs of ram.
so i would assume there is a problem elsewhere.

if your o.s is on your drive and the drive is as bad as you say.
your o.s may be struggling to run your apps.
run checkdisk and map the drive for bad sectors.
if it remaps 100’s then your drive is about done and in that case just get another lump of spinning rust as a replacement.
as you wont gain much at all from an ssd but will pay x2 the price … still :frowning: