My Development Setup

January 15, 2020

The following is a my current development setup. Updated for January 2020.

🖋️ Editor

  • Visual Studio Code has been my go-to editor for a few years now. It’s cross-platform so whether I’m working on my own Surface Pro or a client-issued MacBook Pro, my setup is going to be pretty much the same.
  • This week’s theme of choice is One Dark Pro Vivid. I change theme pretty regularly.
  • Extension-wise, my setup is fairly light and typical. Prettier, ESLint and Bracket Pair Colorizer are a few favourites worth mentioning.
  • The font I code in is Fira Code with ligatures enabled. It took me a short time to get used to them but now definitely I’m a fan.

⌨ Terminal

  • I’ll use VS Code’s terminal panel 90% of the time. When I only need a terminal window I’ll reach for the new Windows Terminal.
  • I’m back using git-bash as my default shell. WSL is an incredible leap forward for developers on Windows. However, v1 is just too slow for me but with WSL 2 on the horizon, I’m looking forward to making the switch back.
  • NPM packages I install globally.

📁 Desktop Apps

  • Chrome is my main browser. The dev tools are #1 and React Developer Tools is pretty essential.
  • Microsoft OneNote is the best I’ve tried so far for noting taking on the Surface Pen.
  • Slack is my preferences for team chat but I don’t mind Teams. Skype is 🤮
  • I use Postman to test and debug APIs.
  • Figma when I need to personally do some UI design work.
  • Zeplin for exploring Sketch files from the design team.
  • Affinity Photo is my Photoshop/Lightroom.
  • Local - I’ve been experimenting with Wordpress as a headless CMS recently and this makes spinning up a new site and local environment easy peas.
  • Spotify for music. VLC for video.

🕸️ Web Apps & Services

  • G Suite give me the best of GMail, Drive and co for my business.
  • Trello for simple to do lists and planning small project.
  • Since GitHub began offering free private repos I’ve found myself slowly migrating across my projects from BitBucket.
  • Netlify hosts this very website.
  • SVGOMG - UI for optimising SVGs

🔩 Hardware

  • Surface Pro 6 which I connect to the dock when I’m at my desk.
  • Logitech MX Master mouse.
  • Corsair K55 keyboard is nice and quiet.
  • A 24-inch Samsung curved monitor. It’s only 1920 by 1080 but it’ll do me a couple more years. Was the curved thing a fad? Eye-saver mode it a nice feature I flick on at night.
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II noise-cancelling headphones. The open-plan offices I’ve worked in recently have made these puppies worth every penny.
  • Google Pixel 2 XL is in my pocket. The camera is 🔥
  • There’s a Raspberry Pi Zero W hidden in some drawer for the odd side-project.

uses.tech is a cool new site to see other developer’s setups.


Duncan McDougall is freelance web developer from Annan, Scotland.
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