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Setting up my new Machine

I started my new job this week, and that meant setting up a new machine. I have a set of tools that I’m comfortable with, so choosing what to download wasn’t complicated.

What I did find interesting is the tools I “just had to have” and those I haven’t yet configured yet. A lot of my choices are available on my uses page, but it also needs an update.

So with that, I’m going to talk through my must-haves this past week!


Over the years, my terminal has become my programming control center. Who would have thought! When I first started doing development work, I was incredibly intimidated by the command line. I suppose building CLIs will rid you of that fear 🤷.

As it turns out, my terminal setup requires a lot of things. Oops!

  • iterm2: I find this a nicer option than the built-in apple terminal.
  • oh-my-zsh: All my machines use this and I’ve gotten comfortable with it rather than bash.
  • starship: This is a newer tool for me but I love the information-rich command prompts and the overall look.

Once the look and feel of my terminal was ready, I needed additional software.

  • homebrew: The essential package manager for macOS.
  • nvm: My JavaScript-loving heart can’t live without it.

I also set up Xcode command line tools so I could get git working. But that was most of my first week essentials in terminal.


Now it was time to get my most-used applications. My machine came preloaded with Slack, so I didn’t need to worry about that. But there were a handful of other things I wanted right away.

  • VS Code: My IDE of choice. I’ll dive into this more in a moment.
  • Magnet: I actually didn’t download this until day three and was wondering why my monitor was bugging me so much. Windows managers are so key!
  • Elgato Control Center: This is how I control my lighting setup and make my video chats higher quality.
  • Clockwise: I technically downloaded the chrome extension and integrated it with Slack, but close enough. Calendar tools are a first-week necessity.
  • Google Doc dark mode: Another chrome extension, but this one helps my eyes a ton when I’m trying to do a lot of deep focus reading.

That’s a surprisingly low number of apps. I’m sure it’ll grow in the coming weeks.

VS Code

Now we get to the really good stuff. I’m a developer after all! As it turns out, I didn’t do much coding in this first week, but I did look at a lot of existing projects. So what were my go-to extensions?

  • ESLint
  • Prettier
  • Bracket Pair Colorizer
  • Indent Rainbow
  • JavaScript and Typescript
  • Peacock
  • Monokai theme

And that’s the current list! It’ll get longer, but you can already tell that it’s focused on readability. I don’t necessarily know what functional helpers I’ll need yet.

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