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My Development Setup

Its good to compare how people doing similar jobs work. Sometimes you can find a solution to speed up a problematic process, other times you may find others using tools that solve problems you didn’t even know existed. Git was that seismic shift in my development process. If your still fooling around with ftp and multiple backup copies of websites, take the time to learn git and make your life so much easier.

I don’t think my environment is anything weird or exotic, but if it helps some other developer fill a gap in their setup, great! My current web development setup is on a 2014 iMac (work) and a MacBook Pro 2013 (personal). I find OSX to be the best of both worlds, having the power of a Linux environment and the software of a Windows platform.

I’m currently using Sublime 2 as my code editor. Through the years I’ve slowly worked my way through Notepad++, Netbeans, and Eclipse. Each had good and bad points, but Sublime 2 is the best all rounder. I’ve lately also played around with Atom, but in my opinion its just a slightly slower, buggier imitation of Sublime. Learn how to use Sublimes multi select batch edits and really impress anyone looking over your shoulder.

update : I’ve now recently started using Visual Studio Code and despite my Microsoft based reservations, I can honestly say its a delight to use.

I’ve recently jumped from using Vagrant to Docker for my local server. I dabbled with Docker a few times and was never very impressed, finding it more bother than it was worth to setup. Its concepts finally clicked, and once I got my head around how the ‘one process per container’, its been a joy to use. Vagrant still a good solution, but I can’t see me going back to it.

For all my terminal needs, I use iTerm and have no complaints. I have been using tmux for all split screen shenanigans, but due to some weird bugs I’m still not sold on it. It also has a horrendous amount of keyboard shortcuts to remember.

I tend to use Composer to manage my php dependencies and Bower for my javascript ones. I use Gulp for my Javascript/CSS minifying and since I’m not even remotely artistic, I use default Bootstrap for webpage interfaces every chance I get.

On an artistic front, if I ever need to butcher an image, I use either Pixelmator or Gimp depending on my level of self masochism at the time. Gimp is great and very powerful, even if its the most unintuitive piece of software ever created.

When I need to connect to databases, I use SequelPro. Its good and I don’t really have any complaints, but HeidiSQL is probably the only software I miss from a Windows environment. I would rather use paper and pencil than phpMyAdmin, many may disagree, but I detest it with a passion.

I think that about covers how I work, if you have any opinions or suggestions, let me know.

This article first appeared on Ayrshire Digital 11/04/2016

Published 2 Jun 2016

John McCracken