How I setup a new development Mac in less than an hour

Jonathan Fielding
3 min readMar 14
Photo by Dmitry Chernyshov on Unsplash

Recently I upgraded to a new MacBook Pro and went through the process of setting up my development environment. As most developers will appreciate, this can be a long experience as you often have to visit the websites for each of your tools, find the correct version and then download this. If, like me, you use a lot of tools; then this can result in this taking a long time.

Fortunately, though, I learnt a few years back of a much more optimum way of setting up my machine, so today I thought I would share the tools I use to optimise my systems setup.

The first thing I always install when setting up a new Mac is to install Homebrew, Homebrew is a package manager for the Mac that can be used to install both system packages (for example, wget and node.js) and applications.

As its a command line tool it is also installed using the command line so I fire up Terminal and run:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

With Homebrew installed, the next thing I do when setting up my laptop is to install my applications. I achieve this by running the brew install --cask command followed by a list of the applications I wish to install, an example of which can be seen below:

brew install --cask 1password  iterm2 setapp authy nordvpn steam firefox raycast visual-studio-code docker

Tip: If you are already using Homebrew to install apps on your old computer you can run brew — cask list to get a list of applications you had installed and if you remove the extra spaces you can use this as the list of apps to install on the new machine.

Having installed my applications the next thing to install is my system packages I use to code. As a JavaScript engineer for me I want to install Node.js and of course the GitHub CLI. Again I use Homebrew, this time with the shortened brew install command followed by a list of packages I want to install.

brew install node gh 

Next I need to install my coding font of choice which is Fira-code

brew tap homebrew/cask-fonts
brew install --cask font-fira-code
Jonathan Fielding

Staff Engineer working for @Spendesk, speaker about web things, writing about tech, contributor to open source. If you like what I write make sure to follow.