Projects,  Tech

My Development Environment Changes in 2018 (part 1)

2018 has been a corker of a year. I’ve learned a ton, got a lot done on my startup project and finally started actually writing things on my blog like I’ve planned on doing many times in the past.

In this post, I’m going to stick to how my development environment and workflow has changed as I’ve swapped out just about everything other than my MacBook Pro (though I do run Mojave now, so even that is a little bit different).

As I’ve made so many changes, this post will be part one of however many I make. This does mean that it’ll be a series that runs in to 2019, but I’ll avoid mentioning any 2019 changes that happen. Enjoy!

Primary Development Language

Ok so here there hasn’t been a change, but I wanted to cover this as I did intend on changing from PHP to Go, or at least learning it. As it stands, I’m finishing 2018 completely failing that goal as I haven’t even got myself comfortable with Go let alone begun switching anything to it.

I have, however, become rather familiar with PHP 7.2 and learned a lot of up-to-date coding techniques and practises as I was quite out of date. I hadn’t really touched PHP code for five years or so until earlier this year and my goodness, a lot has changed. For the better, let me be clear, but still a lot.


I started 2018 using PHPStorm and I’m finishing it using VS Code and Inteliphense. Honestly this combination blows it out of the park for me, it does everything I want right now while being easily extensible and uses significantly less RAM than PHPStorm.

Unfortunately, as someone who skimped on RAM when getting their MacBook Pro (8GB instead of 16. Yes. I am dumb dumb) this is very welcomed.

Local Dev / Testing Environment

This has actually been a very recent change for me. Up until now I’ve been a big fan of Laravel Homestead (I am pretty much a die-hard Laravel guy at this stage) but recently I discovered Laravel Valet and oh my god why didn’t I know about this sooner.

As someone with a RAM deficiency problem, Valet has been such a huge discovery it is unreal. Finally, I am no longer running an entire Ubuntu VM just to run a bit of Laravel code. It is all run and configured natively within macOS (automatically and wonderfully by the Valet toolset) and requires very little input from me.

This also means I’m now running npm etc commands directly on my Mac so everything is far, far faster. I know I could have done this before, but I didn’t install npm so I never did. Valet kinda forced me in to that and its a revolution.

These are just some of the changes I made, with others to come in future posts. I’ll be looking to evolve things over 2019 with diving deeper in to Docker / Docker Swarm and dabbling with Kubernetes. I really do plan on jumping in to Go, so hopefully I’ll achieve that.

I’ll see you next time.

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