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 10.13 High Sierra
  • 15” 2015 Retina MacBook Pro
  • 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7
  • 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

Command-Line Tools

Git, Node, and Ruby

I currently find I don’t have much need to version control my CLI tools so I just install them using brew.

# Install Git, upgrade node, and upgrade Ruby
brew install git node ruby
# Update Git's configuration
touch ~/.gitconfig
open -a TextEdit ~/.gitconfig

Then copy-paste my Git settings:

    name = Will Stone
    email =
    default = simple
    a = add
    cm = commit -m
    s = status
    p = push


Another really useful tool is trash. I am not a fan of typing rm -rf to remove files and folders because it’s so destructive. This allows you move items to the trash bin instead.

# Install trash tool
brew install trash


Whilst NPM has really come on these days, I still prefer the speed and aethetics of Yarn’s output.

# Install Yarn
brew install yarn

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 qlmarkdown 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 that 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.

More to come…

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