My development environment

November 27, 2016

A customized development environment could be a huge productivity boost in the day to day work. In this post, I will share the tools and configurations I currently use.

Terminal: iTerm 2

I use iTerm 2 2 instead of the default terminal on mac. On linux, I used terminator.

iTerm 2 adds several features, the most important for me is the ability to have multiple panes and tabs.

Shell: Zsh

Zsh is a shell very similar to bash, but it adds a lot of cooler features:

  • a programmable autocompletion. You can navigate with the arrows keys the completion for example when browsing a directory

  • a super history substring search

    brew install zsh

oh-my-zsh and Zgen to customize Zsh

Oh-my-zsh is probably the most well known set of plugins to enhance Zsh. It’s a super git repository of plugins, which you can enable to add aliases and parameters completion to your favorites tools. I have used it for 3 years and have now switched to Zgen to manage my plugins. Zgen loads the plugins faster than oh-my-zsh and more importantly can load plugins from various github repositories.

Here is my current list of plugins:

  #from zsh
  zgen oh-my-zsh
  zgen oh-my-zsh plugins/autojump
  zgen oh-my-zsh plugins/colored-man-pages
  zgen oh-my-zsh plugins/docker
  zgen oh-my-zsh plugins/docker-compose
  zgen oh-my-zsh plugins/git
  zgen oh-my-zsh plugins/golang
  zgen oh-my-zsh plugins/sudo

  zgen load bhilburn/powerlevel9k powerlevel9k

  #extra plugins
  zgen load djui/alias-tips
  zgen load zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting
  zgen load zsh-users/zsh-history-substring-search
  zgen load zsh-users/zsh-autosuggestions


autojump is a faster way to navigate the directories, to jump to a directory that contains “Foo” in its name:

  j foo

Install it with homebrew and then just add the corresponding oh-my-zsh plugin to load it in your $PATH:

brew install autojump


This Zsh plugin will suggest the corresponding shorter alias after you type a command. Very useful when used in combination with one of the the oh-my-zsh plugins which could add a lot of aliases.


I’ve started versioning my “dotfiles” configuration a few years ago. For this I use a git repository in my home: ~/dotfiles The repository structure follows the hierarchy to install in my home directory. For each file, a symbolic link is created in my home directory to point to the real file in my dotfile repository.

The install script replace the “_” character with a dot:


# adapted from

## Install each _-prefixed file or dir
find . -regex "./_.*" -type f -print0 | sort -z | while read -d $'\0' file

    ## Install directory first
    if [ ! -e $(dirname ~/$dotfile) ]; then
    	echo "create directory: "
    	echo $(dirname ~/$dotfile)
        mkdir -p -m 700  $(dirname ~/$dotfile)

    ## Create a link to the repository version
    echo Installing $dotfile
    ln -fs $(pwd)/$file ~/$dotfile
    chmod go-rwx $file

Dev tools:

The other tools I use every day, which would require a post on their own for each


The best IDE! The refactoring tools are still impressive, and too often unknown.


I use Docker to test technologies, start and throw away tools for my projects, etc

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