I’ve been programming on a Mac for almost two years now. Coming from the world of Windows, there were a few things that surprised me and some things that took some getting used to. Soon, however, I realized just how extensive the developer tooling on MacOS was. I was able to set up a workflow for myself that makes me more productive.
I attribute a large part of my productivity to the apps I use on a daily basis. I use a variety of different applications when I’m coding and each plays a crucial role in my workflow. And while some of these apps are cross-platform, I either didn’t discover them until I started using a Mac or they first launched on Mac only. Today, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite Mac apps that I use for programming.
This should come as no surprise to anybody, but my text editor of choice is Visual Studio Code. VS Code has been my go-to editor for a long time now. I primarily work with TypeScript, React, and Next.js and VS Code has amazing support for those. I have a variety of plugins and extensions set up to make my workflow more efficient. Some of my favorites are
- Better Comments
- Error Lens
- Import Cost
- Tailwind CSS IntelliSense
- Material Icons
As for my color scheme, I have a few that I go back and forth between. I’m currently trying out Subliminal by Dan Abramov and I like it thus far. Some of my other favorites are morgan.codes and poimandres dark theme.
Sometimes, however, I do use Sublime Text for some things. I mainly use it for quick edits to JSON or configuration files. Sublime is really fast, so sometimes it’s just more convenient to do an edit in there.
For my terminal, I’m currently using Warp. Warp is a new Rust-based terminal that has some amazing features. One of my favorite things about it is its cursor position features and autocomplete. It also has a really cool AI command builder that turns natural language input into commands. Warp is one of the best terminal experiences I’ve had.
I also have a variety of CLI apps installed that make my terminal experience even better, including
- exa (ls alternative)
- bat (cat alternative)
- pscale (Planetscale CLI)
I do have iTerm2 installed as well. And while I do primarily use Warp, I will sometimes use iTerm2, depending on what mood I’m in. One app I can’t live without in iTerm is Fig. Fig takes autocompletion to a whole new level. If you’re using iTerm and don’t have Fig installed, you should give it a try!
I’ve had a pretty rocky road with SQL editors. I’ve used SSMS, PG Admin, MySQL Workbench, Azure SQL Data Studio, and a few others. I primarily use Postgres and MySQL for anything outside of work, and I’ve always felt the available editors were lacking when compared to things like VS Code.
That all changed when I tried Arctype. Arctype is a modern SQL editor that supports Postgres and MySQL. It’s fast, modern, and super easy to use. You can quickly view table data, write queries, build dashboards, and so much more.
One of my favorite features is the ability to manage workspaces. This is really handy when I have a few databases for different projects. I also adore their Planetscale integration. I can quickly change between branches and create deploy requests right from the UI! It’s an amazing experience and I can’t recommend Arctype enough.
Outside of more traditional programming apps, there are a few others that I can’t live without. These are apps that I use for various other things that just make my workflow just that much better.
- Notion (Larger drafts, documentation, project planning)
- Apple Notes (Quick notes, early drafts)
- Alfred (File searching)
- Clipy (Better clipboard experience)
- Scroll Reverser
- Rectangle (Window management)
- Google Chrome/Brave (Web browser)
- DevToys for Mac
The push within the last few years for better developer experiences have to lead to some amazing apps coming out. The applications I use in my development workflow have improved my productivity and made the programming experience more enjoyable. They’ve transformed my Macbook from a laptop into a place where I can build and create with no limits.
Got an app that you like that isn’t on my list? Let me know on Twitter @brockherion! I would love to connect with you and learn more about the apps you use.