My Local Envi­ron­ment Timeline

Publisher: TJ Fogarty

Modified: 2018-03-20

The dust has more or less set­tled now in terms of the tools I use to devel­op for the web, at least on my own per­son­al machine. I’m rock­ing a mid-2012 Mac­Book Pro, and while it’s start­ing to show its age it still pow­ers through thanks to some soft­ware options avail­able. I wouldn’t say it’s a com­pro­mise by any stretch, and sure it would be nice to have that extra oom­phf every now and then, but it’s not a lim­it­ing fac­tor for my per­son­al work.

OS and Hard­ware #

I’ve used Win­dows since I was a young lad, start­ing with Win­dows 98SE on a Com­paq Pre­sario. I remem­ber play­ing a lot of Crit­i­cal Mass on it, and the sound of fir­ing a missle still rings pret­ty clear in my mind. Seri­ous­ly, it’s a great game. I stuck with Win­dows from then through col­lege and my first devel­op­er job. Dur­ing my first job I had a bit of devel­op­er envy see­ing all the tools avail­able on Mac, and the pow­er of the ter­mi­nal. A lot of Stack­Over­flow respons­es referred to the ter­mi­nal, and I got more of a taste for it when I installed Ubun­tu on my old lap­top. Some hard­ware didn’t work cor­rect­ly with it so I aban­doned my attempt at switch­ing OS after a cou­ple of months. Even­tu­al­ly I saved up enough to buy a Mac­Book, and after a peri­od of adjust­ment I was rm rf-ing with wreck­less aban­don. Every devel­op­er job I’ve had since has been almost entire­ly Mac-based out­side of some time on Win­dows for cross-brows­er test­ing. That’s not to say I wouldn’t switch back; Mac­Books are damn expen­sive, and when I end up hav­ing to shell out for a new machine in the future I might go that route.

Soft­ware #

Col­lege was most­ly Net­beans and Eclipse for Java devel­op­ment, and Notepad++ for HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It was in col­lege when I start­ed using Sub­lime Text and the LAMP stack using tools like XAMPP. I stuck with this set­up for years, only swap­ping XAMPP for MAMP on the Mac. When Atom hit the scene, I imme­di­ate­ly switched. A mas­sive com­mu­ni­ty came from seem­ing­ly nowhere cre­at­ing count­less plu­g­ins. This was a refresh­ing con­trast to Sub­lime Text which was start­ing to wane in terms of updates and com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the devel­op­er. I stuck with Atom for a cou­ple of years, before final­ly return­ing to Sub­lime Text due to per­for­mance issues. I could run Atom, Chrome and MAMP con­cur­rent­ly, but not much else. 

It was dur­ing this time I switched to Lar­avel Valet and Sequel Pro, and it real­ly gave my machine some breath­ing room by spar­ing some resources that were oth­er­wise con­sumed by MAMP. I still had MAMP on hand for lega­cy projects that need­ed Apache and old­er ver­sions of PHP, but those were slow­ly updat­ed or phased out. 

Lat­er on, Visu­al Stu­dio Code was start­ing to make waves, and I was dis­tract­ed once again. For the most part, it was a real­ly great expe­ri­ence, espe­cial­ly for larg­er JavaScript projects, but again I was even­tu­al­ly hit­ting per­for­mance issues with a rogue process hog­ging all my CPU pow­er. After a few months, I once again switched back to Sub­lime Text.

The Dust Has Set­tled #

For now, at least, it has. I feel much more con­fi­dent in where I’m at com­pared to pre­vi­ous setups. In the past while, it’s the code edi­tor that was always the one being swapped in and out; I always felt like I was tri­al­ing some­thing know­ing I could come back to Sub­lime Text. I’m just as pro­duc­tive as I was (if not more so as I’m spend­ing less time deal­ing with per­for­mance issues), and I don’t feel like I’m miss­ing out using Sub­lime Text, Lar­avel Valet, and Sequel Pro.