My Setup

I am always intrigued to see others’ development setup and so I thought I would share mine. There are installation instructions for the apps and tools I use, as well as how to keep preferences for those apps in sync. This is mainly for my own benefit, when I reinstall my OS or get a new machine, but hopefully you may find it useful too.

Machine & OS

  • macOS 10.14 Mojave
  • 15” 2015 Retina MacBook Pro
  • 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7
  • 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

Cask Apps

Brew’s casks are for GUI apps. Here’s mine.

# Install GUI apps
brew cask install alfred appcleaner bettertouchtool dropbox firefox google-chrome istat-menus spotify telegram visual-studio-code


Spotlight is a great system-searcher and app-launcher but damn is it slow! And how do I know it’s slow? Well, try Alfred and you’ll see what I mean. Alfred is a free alternative but buy the Mega Supporter upgrade to get all of the new app upgrades for life. It’s the best app you’ll ever buy. Alfred can do much more than search your Mac. One of my favourite features is “Snippets”. These allow you to define your own text expansions. I primarily use them for email addresses and for quickly inserting chunks of lorem ipsum. The settings can be synced to Dropbox.


Macs make it easy to uninstall apps by going to the Applications folder and dragging them to the trash bin. However, they pretty much always leave some traces of themselves behind. AppCleaner finds those remnants and allows you to select them for removal too.


I use a Logitech Performance MX mouse and I’ve found the software that Logitech provide to be inconsistent and buggy. BetterTouchTool allows me to program the mouse’s buttons. It also helps me program my mechanical keyboard (a Varmilo VA68M ISO). I store the settings in Dropbox.


This cloud storage service doesn’t require much introduction. Privacy concerns aside, I find Dropbox just works and it’s a great backup tool.

Firefox / Google Chrome

My browser of choice is Firefox, and the dev tools have gotten much better over the years. I also really like Mozilla’s ethos. Chrome’s a great browser but I mainly just have it installed now for testing, seeing as it’s the most widely used browser. Firefox and Chrome both have great built-in synchronisation services; backing-up settings, history, add-ons etc.

iStat Menus

I like to keep an eye on my system’s vitals; CPU, RAM, temperature etc. iStat Menus shows all this information in the menubar. I keep the settings backed-up to Dropbox.

More to come…

The background patterns on this page have been generated using the excellent Hero Patterns website.