This page is written primarily for myself to remember all the things I do to setup my own personal software development environment. You may or may not like my current setup depending on what tech stack you are working with. Developer environment preferences are as varied as tastes in food.

Ultimately this page is my own personal disaster recovery solution - if my personal computer is ever stolen all my code/files should be committed to repositories or backed up on cloud storage or synology NAS and all I’d need to do is get a new computer and setup the environment again.

I’ve recently switched to Mac as my main development laptop after spending a decade or two loyal to the Microsoft Windows OS.


Mac OSX Terminal and CLI tools

You can either skip this if not using mac osx or find the windows equivalents.

  • Install Brew. Homebrew is a package manager for the Mac — it makes installing most open source sofware (like Node) as simple as typing brew install node. You can learn more about Homebrew at the Homebrew website.

    To install Homebrew just open Terminal and type:
    /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

  • Brew install Azure CLI for macOS
  • Brew Install Terraform. To install terraform via Homebrew just open Terminal and type:
    brew install terraform
  • Install NVM
  • NVM Install Node/NPM
    • Ensure that nvm was installed correctly with nvm --version, which should return the version of nvm installed.
    • Install the version of Node.js you want
      • Install the latest version with nvm install node
      • Use the latest version with nvm use node
      • Install the latest LTS version with nvm install --lts
      • Use the latest LTS verison with nvm use --lts

Install Docker Desktop

Install Visual Studio Code (VSCODE)

Visual Studio Code is a cross platform integrated development environment (IDE) for software developers. It is lighter weight than traditional Visual Studio and well suited for modern web languages like JavaScript, HTML, CSS, JSON, YAML, XML, markdown, etc.

VS CODE Extensions

Install Microsoft Office

It’s nice to see full MacOS support from the current Microsoft Office suite. Historically I know a lot of people who used windows as their primary OS for no other reason than access to Microsoft Office or other non-crossplatform apps.

  • Install Microsoft Office from the App Store

Install Slack

Slack is a messaging app mostly used in professional environments. It is hugely popular in software and web development arena and integrates with all sorts of stuff.

Install Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is picking up market share for business meetings at least. We still use Slack for most casual chat, but Teams for business meetings/calendar integration/calls.

Install GIMP (Image Manipulation Program)

GIMP is a free open source cross platform image editing app. Historically I’ve used for image editing on windows, but after switching to Mac based work environment I found GIMP as a cross platform alternative. This is mostly for cleaning up screenshots for documentation or blog articles and perhaps adding basic annotations.

Install Postman

Postman is a collaboration platform for API development. Postman’s features simplify each step of building an API and streamline collaboration so you can create better APIs—faster.

Most notably, you can test your APIs easily and repeatably with their GUI tool. Instead of memorizing dozens of curl commands with various application headers and request bodies, Postman lets you save a library of test requests for your application API so you can rerun them anytime.