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.

Yay first week!

So that's my current computer setup. It's connected to all my existing hardware and you can read more about that on my uses page. Thus far, I've done a lot of reading, had plenty of onboarding chats about logistics, and started to get a handle on what my new role is. Excited for what's to come.