A little about my development setup

See my desk of 2021

One thing I've found quite useful over the years, both developing and just generally being interested in computers is what other people's setups are. From what hardware they use, or what fonts they use in their IDE. This has been made easier now there is a convention of a /uses page on people's sites.

Check out a comprehensive list of uses pages

Hardware and Software

Operating Systems

I develop mainly on macOS, although I have been known to use linux. I quite like the kubuntu distribution.

I have a MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021), Apple M1 Pro, 16GB, running macOS Monterey.


When I'm at my desk I have an Apple Magic Keyboard with TouchID. When I'm out and about I'll use the keyboard on the MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Pro keyboard is very comfortable to type on.


When I'm at my desk I use an Apple Magic TrackPad. When out and about I'll use the trackpad on my MacBook Pro.


Code Editor

PHPStorm with Material Oceanic color theme and JetBrains Mono font

My IDE (integrated development environment) of choice is PhpStorm, from the JetBrains Family. With this my font of choice is JetBrains Mono

I have a subscription to two plugins to PHP Storm;

  • Laravel Idea - a smart plugin to auto-complete and generate laravel based code and makes navigation so much easier
  • Material Theme UI - there is a free version, but I like the customisations the paid version offers.

I also use subscribe to;

  • GitHub Copilot - GitHub Copilot uses the OpenAI Codex to suggest code and entire functions in real-time, right from your editor.

Debugging PHP

I will use xdebug sometimes when coding, but more frequently I will use Ray by Spatie. It makes debugging a doddle.



I use iTerm 2 for my terminal and Oh My Zsh as a shell.

I use Fig, which adds IDE-style autocomplete to your existing terminal.

I also use bat on Mac/Linux to get syntax highlighting.


Generally, I will use Safari for my day-to-day web browsing, however it can be overzealous in caching, so generally I will use Chrome to do development. I do like the ease at which browser extensions can be created for Chrome. Safari is pretty speedy and doesn't use as much in terms of energy. Plus it is useful for Apple Pay.

Other Apps

  • 1Password A robust password manager, allows you to store more than just usernames and passwords. You can create secure notes, licences and much more.
  • Alfred to boost productivity with workflows, snippets and more.
  • Postman for experimenting with REST and GraphQL APIs.
  • Moom for moving, zooming and arrange windows on Mac

Home Office Setup

Having a good home office setup is important when you regularly work from home.

  • Desk: John Lewis, two level desk. Purchased around 20 years ago and still going strong!
  • Chair: Secretlab TITAN 2020 Series - Black SoftWeave┬«. Considerably robust, everything is adjustable. Great back and neck support.
  • Seated Elliptical Trainer: Cubii Given we sit down for long periods of time, I like to keep moving (even if sat down) with an elliptical trainer.

Writing tools

Even though this is mainly a technical list, I could not work without good writing tools.