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How do you write code for your project?


The question title is pretty generic but would love to hear how fellow bootstrappers work on their project. This includes anything from computer setting, office/location setting, tools used etc.

  • Where do you code usually for your project ? Your home/office/outside etc ?
  • What are your hardware settings ? Laptop /desktop , dual monitors, docking station??
  • What tools do you use primarily ? Sublime for editor ? vi ? Any IDE ? etc.
  • Anything else that helps you focus on coding…


Working mostly in vim in several tmux sessions for code and on a MacBook Air. Most of the time from my home office (big screen included) or my kitchen (my favorite place for quiet working time), but from the occasional coffee shop too. There’s something about the noise level in a coffee shop that makes it oddly suitable for certain coding tasks.

My personal biggest distractions are the usual suspects (email, Twitter), but more importantly, it’s customer support.

It’s hard to justify turning it off for a bit, as we have a live chat channel, but from time to time, what must be must be. On the same note, our team communication is mostly via Campfire. It’s hard to turn it off as well.

  • I have a home office where I do 99% of my work (other 1% on laptop Macbook Air through out the house)
  • Early 2013 27" iMac connected to a 27" Thunderbolt Display and 24" Acer Monitor (3 monitors), thought about replacing the acer with another Thunderbolt but the product is due an update so I guess I am waiting for that.
  • Since most of my work is PHP (Laravel) and front end, I use PHPStorm for just about everything.
  • I use to actually have a lot more trouble focusing but not so much anymore. I didn’t really change anything, I think it is because I have a family now and don’t sit on the computer all day and night like I use too.

  • 100% home office, I don’t really like working on the laptop elsewhere as I have a really comfortable setup at home (Aeron, Model M replica keyboard, upright mouse and most recently a set of Sennheiser RS 180 wireless headphones :grinning: )
  • 2012-era Macbook Air with a 28 inch monitor.
  • Rails, vim, git and an assortment of unixy things.
  • An office with a door that closes and spotify.


Home office, PC with several SSD’s, dual 24" monitors.
QNAP NAS for storage.
Visual Studio for C++ development of desktop application.
Subversion for version control.
CodeJock for UI development.
HelpSpot for support.

When away, Asus laptop or Android phone for support via HelpSpot.

200+ episodes of the TechZing podcast I just discovered in the background.


I sometimes think I’m a bit of a luddite, but actually I’m just cheap, no fancy macbook for me, I use a windows 7 PC which I upgraded to an i5 and SSD, about a year ago, I have 2 x 24" Screens.

I work at home in my man-cave, mainly working with PHP (Another Laravel convert) so spend most of my time in sublime text, but I switch IDE/editors fairly regularly. I do 99% of my graphics in Fireworks, shame it’s EOL.

I run a Linux development server in virtual box which is where my bootstrap project lives during development, but most of my clients sites I just develop on Windows with XAMPP. I also have a virtualised hackintosh for occasional IOS work.

I also have a Thinkpad running windows 8 which I use when I’m out an about.

Git & Bitbucket for version control/remote backup/syncing.

I’ve tried listening to podcasts while I work, but I find it difficult to concentrate when they are playing, so I mainly listen to www.di.fm, probably not to everyone’s taste but good coding music.


Linux. Lots of it. No macs or windows machines to be found here :slight_smile:

One physical desktop / one physical server, both in a dedicated home office. Server houses code, databases, etc. Server has 2x3 terabyte drives, one which all the important stuff is rsync’d to nightly in case of primary drive failure. Work with both local and remote hg repositories for source control. Typical dual monitor setup on desktop, server is headless. Editor wise, I use a mix of Netbeans & Sublime. Thinking of trying PHPStorm.

Also, caffeine converts directly to code. I’m sure you’re aware of this.

  1. Work space is an office of a client I do a few hours a month for, but get 100% use of my own office. It’s nice, windows on two sides, door to the balcony. It’s awesome. Otherwise, I do visit a coffee shop or two for a change of pace.
  2. MacBookAir with external monitor for when I’m at my desk. iPad mini and Nexus 7 also come in handy. New-ish convert to Laravel in which I use SublimeText with MAMP., Sequel Pro (trying to mentally justify Navicat, no dice yet)
  3. Server is a MediaTemple DV whatever the newest is. 4.5 I think. But as my app gets more serious, pondering a solution for just that app because I don’t like being in charge of a whole virtual server. I just want to write software.
  4. In my office I keep a SodaStream for sparkling water on the fly, and all the fixing to grind coffee and french press it. Cuz good coffee is a must.
  5. Oh, and GitHub, Parallels, Google Music, LimeChat for IRC, Alfred is amazing.


I work on my bootstrap projects in the evenings and nights. Usually I work from home, every once in a while I will hit a local coffee shop.

Dell laptop, 15 inch screen, backlit keyboard, PHPEd for IDE, Laravel 4, Eclipse, Github and Bitbucket. Backlit keyboard is important for me as I code in the bedroom and my wife goes to sleep early.

In future, I will get a laptop with a smaller screen and SSD.


I’m coming to the conclusion that the correct answer should be “I don’t, I outsource development so I can focus on marketing and other business tasks.” But I’m not there yet. :smile:

I think good ergonomics are important for productivity and health. In my home office I use an adjustable height desk (GeekDesk Max), Aeron, 30" Dell monitor, MS Natural KB, 2011 17" MBP. If I wasn’t working in Xcode on iOS apps I would have a ThinkPad running Linux.

[quote=“yashchandra, post:1, topic:632”]
Anything else that helps you focus on coding…
[/quote]The biggest help for me is removing distractions. A clean desk, no music/podcasts, no Twitter, etc. Comfort is also important. Being able to switch between standing and sitting helps keep me working instead of taking a break to stretch my legs or calling it quits for the day.


Actually instead of outsourcing development, I much prefer to keep the development in-house, but to rule the feature set with an iron fist.

I’ve seen so many people ask for help (to me, as I do Rails freelancing since 2005) only to have me say, quite often, “rewriting is all I can suggest”, that I definitely prefer to keep that at home.

That said, I do outsource development actually, but to SaaS services instead of developers. Eg I use Recurly for billing (I already implemented billing myself, didn’t want to do that!), EngineYard for provisioning and securing my servers (I’m proficient with Chef / devops, didn’t want to do that!), Intercom.io for user tracking (I’m proficient with OLAP/analytics, but I’d rather avoid that!).

But outsourcing the core of my app to someone else -> no way for now!


I use

  • Macbook Air 11" normally with 24" monitor
  • Stand up desk (treadmill on way)
  • WebStorm as my IDE
  • Postgres.app for local dev
  • Navicat for database design (@jeremy: pull the trigger, it’s well worth it. Even if only so you don’t have to think about it anymore.)
  • grunt for build
  • github for version control
  • Heroku for hosting

For those of you who’ve got a team: have you standardised your toolkit? Or to each their own?


Thanks @danielstudds. I hear great things about Navicat. I appreciate the encouragement!


We now work from home, so here I work on an iMac - although I am missing my Linux desktop. If I am coding I mostly use Zend Studio for PHP, sometimes Sublime. I fire up VMs using Vagrant to test things on as increasingly I’m writing support materials for Perch. I have a provisioning script that throws up a copy of Perch with a load of content already in place so I can then use that as a starting point for a tutorial or video, or just to test something for a customer. Setting this up was a revelation to me, it saves so much time and hassle.

Also, if you spend a lot of time at the command line I can heartily recommend Zoc.

As other people have mentioned Navicat is great!

I shattered my elbow earlier in the year so my home desk has a split keyboard and arm rest as I’m still a bit one-armed.

When traveling I work on my 11" Macbook Air. I love those little machines, mostly as you can still work on an airplane with seat reclining man in front of you.

Productivity-wise I am GTD obsessed and ruled by to do lists that live in OmniFocus. I like the Pomodoro Technique for actually getting through tasks.

Evernote has been increasingly handy since I broke my elbow. I do a lot of my writing one handed on an iPad mini and then Evernote syncs that up to everything else so I can then copy it to wherever it needs to be. Drew and I can also share Evernote folders and preview articles etc. so I find it very useful.


I use a 15inch Dell precision laptop with the latest Ubuntu. At my home office I have dual 24inch monitors.

90% of my coding work is done in emacs. The other 10% in Android Studio/Intellij.

I track progress for personal projects in flat files in emacs org mode. When I need to expose progress for clients I usually use Trello.


The best place for me to work is usually my home office, or at least somewhere quiet. I’ve never been able to work in coffeshops, for instance.

I only use a laptop (Macbook Air 13") and I don’t have any external monitors. I sometimes use other machines for testing. Some years back I used lots of machines and external monitors for working. I usually had 4 or 5 and a server in my office. Over the years, though, I have become much more minimalistic as you can see.

I use Textmate for editing and other tools for various tasks. One that I can’t live without these days is Pingboard (pingboard.in).


Pinboard? I can’t seem to find pingboard.