My Development Setup

I often get asked what platform I use to develop on, which software, and about my development setup in general, rather than repeat this information to everyone that asks I thought it might be useful to write a short post about my not so big pimpin' dev setup.

In my work place I have a Core2 Duo Ubuntu machine with 4GB of RAM and some kinda Radeon HD. It's fast enough for what I need and does the trick, after a long time fighting for a second monitor, I finally have 2 x LG 24" Flatrons. The Ubuntu machine was a lot cheaper for the company than a Mac, and I much prefer developing in a Linux environment than a Windows one. In work I use the default Ubuntu LAMP stack from APT, with the document root linked to 'www' in my home directory to make everything easier. I use the Sublime Text 2 editor for writing my code, more on that later. The tricky part about this is Photoshop, which doesn't have a native linux version. To get around this I use a Windows XP virtual machine running in Virtualbox with a copy of Photoshop CS5. I simply can't use the GIMP, sorry GIMP fans! My browser of choice on all of my development machines is Google Chrome, it used to be Firefox, but I feel FF has got a bit big and bulky lately, and Chrome seem's to run better for me. I have also got used to the Chrome DOM tools, which are fantastic!

At home I have a self built desktop machine..

  • 5Ghz (yes!) Sandybridge (2nd Gen) i7 processor.
  • 16GB of DDR3 1600mhz RAM.
  • 120GB Corsair SATA3 SSD + 2TB SATA 3 Slave HD.
  • 2 x Radeon HD 6850 XXX.
  • 1000W PSU, P8P67 Motherboard.

On this machine I have Windows 7 dual booted with Linux. The Windows 7 partition allows me to play PC games with my beautiful gamer girlfriend Emma, who has a similarly specced desktop machine. Previously I used the Linux (Ubuntu) partition for development using a similar setup to my work machine, but since then I have splashed out on my new baby (or at least I am treating it like a delicate newborn). I have gone over to the dark side..

I purchased a base 15" late 2011 model Mac Book Pro, along with the HD antiglare display. Although I am no Apple fanboy ( I have an iPhone 3GS simply because the iPhones are much nicer to use than Android phones in my opinion ) I must admit that the Macbook is thing of beauty, it took some getting used to the different keyboard layout, and some OS quirks but I am finally settled, and am currently using it more than my desktop machine!

I have purchased 16GB of RAM (which will arrive soon mr burns hands) and intend to buy a 240GB SSD in the near future, which should have it running beautifully.

On the Mac I am currently using MAMP as my development web server, simply because I had some trouble getting mySQL to work alongside the inbuilt PHP + apache combo. I use the Sublime Text 2 text editor for all coding needs, which is simply fantastic, here is my normal setup..

If you haven't tried Sublime Text 2 just give it a go, its something that has to be used to understand how great it is. I've been using it since the early two digit alpha builds and I think it's fantastic! My Sublime is a mostly default setup, with the Birds of Paradise color scheme, the Zen Coding package which I can't live without (will do a screencast on this soon), and a few other Package control Packages. Just trust me and give it a go!

I use the wonderful CodeKit app from incident57 to compile my LESS css files, and minify my Javascript, I really miss this app when coding on Linux nowadays!

And of course thanks to Mac licenses I can use my beloved Photoshop CS5 natively, wooo!

I use the oh-my-zsh package to pimp up my terminal, allowing me to see which git branch I am currently on (big fan of CLI git)..

Well I hope you have enjoyed this quick peek into my development setup, thanks for reading!