What Applications Do I Install As A New Meteor Web Developer (Or My Hard Drive Failed And I'm Starting Over)

by Colin Flynn

It started with a crash. On Tuesday October 21, 2014 my SSD hard drive on my mac catastrophically failed. After a day at the Apple store, and one generous "genius", my mac was back in business (minus all my applications and developer tools). Rather than install one of my backups from time machine, I decided it's a great opportunity to start fresh and share what, how, and why I install and use the applications as a Meteor web developer.

image credit (ifixit)

So without further ado, here is my reference guide to follow to get your Mac ready for Meteor Web Development:

My Machine:

  • 11" Macbook Air ($999) - 128gb SSD hard drive, 8GB ram
  • Mac OS X 10.10 - Yosemite


Productivity / Everyday Tools

  • Google Chrome (FREE)- to me, Safari is still "the browser to download other browsers"
  • Slack ($8 a month - optional) - for internal team communication. 
  • Dropbox ($99.00 a year) - For personal documents and photos.
  • Google Drive  ($5 a month) - For business documents (comes as part of google apps) - both Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Google Docs and Sheets (FREE - nothing to download) - I have completely switched away from Microsoft Word and Excel. 
  • Keynote ($19.99 in mac app store) - For presentations. I have started to use Sketch for more documents.

Web Developer Tools

  • Atom (FREE)- My text editor of choice (sublime is another good one as well). I recommend the following packages:
    • Command Line Tools - so you can type "atom" from terminal and immediately open to that directory - to install - open atom -> on the top left of you mac click "Atom" (by the Apple icon) -> click "Install Command Line Tools"
    • color-picker - Allows you to select a specific color from css
    • file-icons - Shows your files with icons based on their extensions
    • linter and linter-jshint - Helps me make less mistakes in javascript
    • merge-conflicts - Helps me work with other developers easier
  • RoboMongo (FREE) - Easiest way to manage your Mongo Database.
  • Balsamiq Mockups ($79 one time - optional) - Great for quickly wireframing products. This is currently in my workflow but Sketch is encroaching on it's territory.
  • Sketch ($99 one time) - The design tool for web designers and developers. For me, it's replaced Photoshop and Illustrator. With Sketch being 100% vector, artboards, and symbols I am delighted with how much I find myself using it.

Command Line Tools (as of October 23, 2014)

Install these via the command line (terminal). If your computer yells at you, try adding "sudo" in front of the commands. "sudo" is telling your computer to use the master account. 

  • Homebrew (FREE) - a package manager for OS X 

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
  • Node (FREE) - installs node.js and npm which is a package manager for node 
brew install node
  • Meteor (FREE) - the web development framework 
curl https://install.meteor.com/ | sh
  • Modulus (~ $30 a month per small production apps) - my choice for hosting my meteor projects
  • Github ($7 a month) - code repository (lifesaver) for developers. This isn't something to install, but make sure you have an account and follow this process to add your ssh keys to your Github account.

Web Services

  • Harvest ($12 a month) - for time tracking and invoicing
  • The Noun Project ($1.99 per icon) - for icons and vector images. A great way to start a basic logo.
  • Compose.io (FREE sandbox, $18 per Gb per month) - databases for Meteor applications
  • DNSimple ($18 month for 50 domains to manage) - DNS management for domains (and sometimes domains)
  • NameCheap (~$100 per cert per year) - SSL Certificates and domains (sometimes)

And that's it ... for now. 

Expect a follow up series to this about "Getting Started with Meteor: The Differential Way"

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