I've done almost all of my development work on a Mac since OSX came out. MacOS is, to me, what desktop Linux has been trying to be. Almost everything works without drivers install, or kernel re-compiles. OS / Hardware, however, is as individual as clothing brands. Find what works for you.
- Alfred - All around great application launcher and shortcut tool for MacOS.
- Firefox - The browser I've found to be the most consistently good. Privacy, memory footprint, speed, standards implementations, and syncing.
- Rectangle - Keyboard-based window-management for MacOS. Supports thirds of a monitor, which is important for my workflow on an ultra-wide monitor.
- vim - Old-school, works everywhere (even on remote servers) editor. I try to keep vim fairly plain, without many extensions, instead prefering to use the OS to do the work for me. See my .vimrc in my dotfiles for more.
- VS Code - Graphical editor with support for many languages and frameworks. Extensions for just about everything. See my extensions in my dotfiles.
- iTerm2 - Terminal emulator you see on stream. The MacOS Terminal app is pretty good, but I prefer the minimal window chrome setup I have in iTerm.
- tmux - The tiling window manager for your terminal. This is how I split my terminal into multiple windows.
- Containers / Docker - Containers are a revelation for Ops. Having consistent, reproducable, customizable, builds to ship to servers is not an easy thing to accomplish, but containers help make it happen. Docker was the first major company to profitize containers, for which they get kudos. I'm currently enjoying using Rancher Desktop instead of Docker Desktop.
Physical space is more and more important to me as I get older and older. Learn from my mistakes, invest in a good workspace as soon as you're able. Take care of your body, you only get one.
- Jarvis Sit/Stand Desk with the extra-tall legs. 2m (6 foot) width, 90cm (36 inch) deep. Includes a Fully-brand clamp-on power strip, and two pole-style monitor stands (arm-style kept drooping with my monitors).
- ZSA Moonlander keyboard. I love fully-split keyboards. They helped correct pain I was having in my shoulders and upper back. Took a lot of getting used to. YMMV
- Logitech MX Ergo Trackball. I find myself using the mouse as little as possible, but when I do need it, I find the trackball lowers strain on my wrist.
- Logitech G Pro mouse. This is the lightest-weight wireless mouse I've ever handled. Comfortable, simple, and the low weight means less stress on my wrist. Only used for gaming.
- Herman Miller Aeron chair. I've had this chair for almost 10 years. Most comfortable office chair I've ever sat in.
- Fully Topo standing mat.
I like the Apple hardware I've had over the years. From my first Blueberry iBook, to the 16" Intel Macbook Pro I use every day. This is a very personal choice, however. Over the years, I've used Linux, Windows, and BSD, for workstations.
People often complain about the "Apple Tax". My rebuttal is: I have yet to find a spec-for-spec comparison (including physical enclosure, touchpad, etc), where a Mac came out to be much more expensive. Yes, you can get a Dell with a flimsy plastic enclosure and a 3-generation-old CPU for 75% of the cost of a Mac. I'll take the whole package.
- 16" Intel Macbook Pro (MBP). Mobile development. I love sitting in a coffee shop, or go to lunch, to work on difficult problems. Not going to lie, I tried to get an M1 Max Macbook Pro, but the delays in shipping means I'm using this for the foreseeable future.
- 2022 Mac Studio (M1 Max). When I couldn't get the M1 MBP, got this instead. Incredibly fast in every task I've asked it to perform. What blew me away most was the performance of Docker. Normally Docker on a Mac is rather slow, but not on the M1.
- MSI GS66 Stealth. Thin and light gaming laptop. My gaming is split between my office, and hanging out with the family in the living room. This laptop accomplishes that task, as well as handling streaming duties, for Twitch.
- Various servers with Mac Mini's, Raspberry Pi's, and old laptops-become-servers.
I picked up an ultra-wide monitor for gaming, and found an boost to my productivity. I tend to work in thirds of a screen now, and find that the layout really works for me.
While I'm not a fan of Alienware's computers, or their business practices (prior to Dell, at least), I find their monitors to be as high quality as Dell's business-class monitors.
Hold on to your butts...
- Sennheiser HD598 open-back headphones. Great sound quality, open-back to let your ears breath, and very comfortable. Having a child, good headphones became very important to me a couple years ago. 😈 Plugged up to a cheap USB headphone amp.
- Apple Airpods headphones. All-day comfortable, super portable, and don't shut out the entire world. Great for meetings, streaming, or gaming on the Switch (with a 12south Airfly).
- Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers. I've had these speakers for almost 20 years, and have yet to find a compact speaker system with the same quality and power for the price. Under-used. 👶
- Razer Core X Chroma eGPU. Used to swap monitors to/from various computers. My MBP, the MSI, and my work machine can all share the same monitors, and 4 USB devices, with a single cable. Card is an AMD Radeon 5700XT.
- Random other USB hubs (Anker), USB Chargers (I really like Apple's), desk/fidget toys, old-school arm-lamps, and other paraphernalia I can't think of at the moment.
In addition to my normal work setup, I have dedicated equipment for streaming dev work to Twitch.
- Elgato Facecam A solid, high resolution, camera. Huge upgrade from a normal office camera.
- Elgato Stream Deck for controlling the MSI while streaming.
- Elgato HD60 X capture card for capturing output from the Mac Studio to the MSI for streaming.
- Blue Yeti mic. USB, good quality by my ear.
- OBS Studio app, the go-to open source software for streaming video and audio. Constantly being tweaked, like any streamer.