An update to Mise en place development environment
Mise en place (or, literally translated, everything in its place) is a culinary concept that we would do well to practice in software development. Like starting on a woodworking project with a cluttered shop or painting without first prepping the canvas, you’re setting yourself up for failure without first starting from a place where all your pre-requisites are available.
So what’s changed in 4 years…
- Microsoft Visual Studio. Visual Studio remains a joy to work with. If you’re not fortunate enough to be provided a Pro or other commercial license, get Community, it’s awesome.
- Node.js (of course)
- Virtual Machines
- All relevant versions of IE.
- If on Windows or Linux: OS X in VirtualBox
- If on Mac Windows 8.1+ in Parallels or VirtualBox
Nice to Haves
- Database administration. From MongoDB to the growth in usage of PostgreSQL the number of database technologies a developer might need to work with on a typical project has grown. These days I still keep Microsoft SQL Management Studio around (and it gets heavy usage) but since it’s just as likely I’ll need something else this is no longer a must have.
- A decent image editor: my usage of this has dropped dramatically and I rarely find myself needing to produce anything with these tools. But when you need one it can be a huge time suck to find or install.
- Patterns was recommended to me by a colleague a year or two ago and I’ve been surprised how much I’ve come to use it.
- Fiddler (Windows) or Postman (Mac).
- I’ve alluded to it throughout the post: OS X. In the past I enjoyed working in Windows primarily and was a staunch advocate of the ecosystem. I begrudgingly switched to Mac when offered by my employer (all-the-while making snide uninformed comments along the way) and over a surprisingly short amount of time grew to love it. Windows is now usually in a VM unless I just don’t have access to a Mac. “Finder” and window management is a joke in OS X compared to Windows (or Linux) but it’s enough of a *nix system to keep me happy and productive while not interfering with my productivity with arbitrary (or whimsical) user interface flaws.
Well that’s it for this!
See you in 4 or 5 years for Mise en Place Trois.