Setting up Windows for Modern Web Development

Starting something new from scratch does make a lot of developers, including me, excited.

Recently, I decided to ditch my old laptop in favor of a powerful one. After researching a lot, which included making a decision before sleeping only to wake up the next morning disagreeing with my choice of laptop, I settled on the new HP Envy X360 Convertible.

What are the specs like?

  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 “Kaby Lake”
  • Memory: 16 GB
  • Convertible
  • Touch

Without any further ado, here’s the list of apps/programs I use with some added plugins/extensions:

1. Google Chrome

Google Chrome is one of the most preferred (and the fastest) of browsers, especially in the developer community. Installing it is straight forward. Download the installer from the Official Website and run it. However, you’d still need Microsoft Edge to download it 😉

Some Extensions/Apps I use with Chrome for Development:

  • Postman: I do a lot of API development and have yet to find a near-perfect tool as powerful as Postman.
  • JSON Formatter: Formats/Beautifys JSON output.

2. Git

Yes. It’s an essential. Every modern developer (or not) uses Git. Yet again, the setup is quite straight forward once you download the installer (using Google Chrome) :D

3. ConEmu (Terminal)

Wait. No PowerShell? Yes and No. ConEmu is a console emulator which provides multiple tabs for individual consoles and is highly customize-able. Also, you can spawn PowerShell as well as the Bash shell (or any other shell program) bundled with Git.

4. Virtual Machine (VirtualBox + Vagrant)

Although being a Windows user, a lot of my work needs to be done in a Unix environment. I mostly work with Laravel ❤ and use Homestead to setup my development environment. Laravel Homestead is an official, pre-packaged Vagrant box that provides you a wonderful development environment, which includes all the required tools to develop Laravel/PHP applications.

5. Atom (Text/Code Editor)

Before Atom, I was a happy Sublime Text 3 user. However, times change. Although Sublime is faster (Atom has improved a lot), it looses out to Atom on the grounds of the development cycle, community and the number of packages/themes available. Also, Visual Studio Code is quite nice. Here are some of the packages that I use with Atom:

Also, I use the awesome Nord Theme, because who has ever liked the default theme/color scheme of an editor? 😁

6. PHPStorm

I do prefer Atom for when I’m working on the Frontend, however, when working on the Backend (PHP, Laravel mostly), Atom comes nowhere near PHPStorm (It’s an IDE, I know). PHPStorm is one of the most powerful of IDEs, not to mention the most preferred one for PHP Development these days.

7. Figma

Hold on. Figma, the design tool? Yeah. It’s touted as an alternative to Sketch, available on all the platforms. Is it really needed? Yes, if you do a bit of design work and don’t want to deal with Photoshop or Illustrator. Cool?

8. Putty (SSH Client)

Lastly, Putty. Putty is a straightforward yet a powerful SSH client. Been using it for a while now, no complaints yet.

Well, that was my setup.

Is it PERFECT? Maybe not. But it does work wonders for me. Is it AWESOME? Totally. 👌

I’d love to hear about your setup and suggestions in the comments 😄

Thank you for taking the time to read the post. You’re awesome! 🤘

Follow me on Twitter: @_kunnnu

Fork my Code on Github: @kunalvarma05