Productivity laptop help

Hey GWJers,
I'm trying to help my dad get himself a new work laptop. Obviously this is normally pretty easy, but I'm running into an issue that is proving a tough nut to crack.
My dad is a programmer (database work mostly) and he needs 3 screen capability, one screen can certainly be the laptops screen, but that still means 2 more ports. most dells have a VGA and an hdmi, but he's having trouble with his current dell (the vga won't work even after a mobo replacement done by dell, we know the monitor and cable work btw). plus, vga is pretty old tech and i'd like for him not to have to deal with the issues that sometimes come with that.
so, I could use some advice from you all, i'm trying to do some research myself but my 2YO is kind of a hand full right now.
so, requirements as i see them;
-2 total graphics ports (1 hdmi, 1 DP or 2 hdmi) and the capability to run both along with the built in monitor
-current or recent gen i7
-16-32 gig of ram.
-At least 2 hard drive bays (an m.2 would be a great bonus, but isn't required)
Note: my dad does not care about gaming in any way, shape or form, so incredible graphics is not a factor, just enough horsepower to run the 3 screens.
Thank you all in advance, now I must away as I hear the wail of the toddler in the distance and I am concerned that I haven't seen the cat in an hour...

What about a docking station or port replicator as an option? I use this one at work.

It's a bit pricey, but there are others that are more inexpensive.

There's no problem with a docking station that i'm aware of, I'm asking mainly because it's an area of hardware that I have little or no experience with. I'd just like to be able to send my dad down the path that will give him the best results.

If the budget allows, I'm pretty sure DisplayPort will let you chain displays. You could probably set up a row of two or three from just one laptop port. But you have to have DP-capable monitors, and at least one needs a passthrough port. That might be too expensive.