Today I’m setting up a MacBook to be my primary working environment. I thought I’d document what I’m doing, for other junior developers.
1. General System Preferences
This isn’t technical, but it’s important to go through your system settings carefully. Your privacy and security depend on it, and the aesthetic you’ll be looking at for (hopefully) years is significant, too. Not only is it good to set it up right, taking the time to take full stock of your options will prepare you for the unpredictable future.
Since setup is mostly downloading stuff, you may as well start with the browsers. For me, Chrome is the most significant for development, because of the dev tools suite I’ve accumulated for it over time, as well as having important recent session histories. Eventually I’m sure to want Firefox and Tor for security (and additional testing) reasons.
Xcode is the essential Apple IDE. You can’t do much without it; everything depends on it.
The Xcode file is large, which is annoying.
4. Homebrew (probably) and zsh
You need a package manager and a shell as much as you need Xcode.
5. Your text editor of choice
You’re unlikely to be coding in Notes, so you’ll want your text editor. It’d be great if you can easily retrieve all your accumulated extensions. I use Visual Studio Code, and a large list of extensions.
Git is likely already on your system, but it might not be, so check and make sure.
Beyond this, things are more specific to the kind of development you do. I’ll cover my own cases in Part II, in case you want to see what it looks like (Ruby stuff, SQL stuff, etc.).