Posted on in #development

Saw a number of these types of posts at the end of last/start of this year and thought it would be good to document what I'm using to do the developing.

Office

As a freelancer I primarily work from home, after moving house in 2016 we converted a garage, 1/2 into an office for me and 1/2 to open up the kitchen. It's great to have a dedicated room for work and consider myself lucky, when I'm there it's work mode and when I'm not it's easier to switch off to spend time with the wife and kids after closing the door. Also easier to get away from the wife and kids when I'm trying to work!

I have an Ikea Bekant sit/stand desk - went for the bigger size which was a great shout in the end. Space to put things without clutter/mess I find puts me in the right mindset. I use a Markus chair when sitting and a Topo when standing to help with fatigue. I usually split the day 50/50 between sitting & standing so the motorised desk is worth it.

Other items in use:

Machines

For my main machine I use a Mac Mini (2012), it's done me well over the years but started to show it's age, patience is a virtue as they say and I'm getting lots of practise! I upgraded the memory but that's it. I was originally a PC user starting out and picked up the mini to learn Objective-C & Swift on the side and dip my toes in the Mac world. After my PC conked out I made the switch and haven't looked back. Got it hooked up to a ViewSonic VX2770 27" single monitor which does the job. Previously had 2 monitors hooked up in my PC days but switched to a nice tasty single widescreen.

Treated myself to a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) back in 2014 to replace a trusty 17" Dell laptop (which was a beast), the MacBook is a lovely machine and I use it daily for both work, home and on the move. Not tempted with an upgrade at all with current keyboard issues and the touchbar and thankfully it isn't showing it's age. The Rain Design stand is highly recommended, brings up and tilts the keyboard and allows you to swivel.

Editor

Sublime for the win! I'm using Material Theme with Fira Code font and Dracula colours. I don't change themes/fonts/colours much.

Main packages I use are:

Some great resources for getting Sublime setup with PHP are:

Terminal

Replacing the default terminal with iTerm2 seems pretty common, tabs alone are worth it. Switched to using Zsh and Oh My Zsh which is amazing - I use the mh theme with Dracula colours to get it looking good.

I use Homebrew which is a package manager and super handy for quickly installing applications without going through the app store and also unix tools. Instead of using the version of apache/php shipped with the os you can quickly switch php versions from 5.6 -> 7.0/7.1/7.2/7.3 - this article for doing that is amazing.

I really need to convert my dotfiles to a git repo or use mackup so that I can sync all my settings between machines and setup new machines quickly (which rarely happens!).

Apps

  • aText
  • BetterTouchTool
  • Caffeine
  • Cheatsheet
  • Chrome
  • Day One
  • Dropbox
  • f.lux
  • GitHub Desktop
  • Hocus Pocus
  • NordVPN
  • Postman
  • Resilio Sync
  • Sequel Pro
  • Slack
  • Spectacle
  • Spotify
  • VLC

Process

I mainly use Homestead for Laravel/PHP development, I have a few client projects on old PHP 5.6 versions outside of any Vagrant or Docker setups so I use the os apache/php with virtual hosts. Bitbucket & Github are used for version control and thankfully just 1 site I can think of still uses FTP to update!

I use Trello for projects that I run and try to get clients on board, agencies I work with are usually on Jira and/or Basecamp.

Music

I'm a Spotify user, check out my profile, when working I usually listen to Post-rock such as If These Trees Could Talk, This Will Destroy You and 65daysofstatic. The lack of vocals helps me to concentrate. I also love listening to soundtracks such as Arrival, Edge of Tomorrow, Interstellar, Moon, Tron. Mr Robot, Les Revenants, Stranger Things, Halt & Catch Fire from TV and Monument Valley from games. The Calm Before the Storm & Deep Focus playlists are superb. Sometimes work calls for some Indie & Rock bangers or some Dirty Rock & Blues

Other Setups