💻 How I setup my new Mac as a developer

How to configure your new Mac as a developer: configure your terminal with iTerm and Zsh, install VSCode with FiraCode, setup NodeJS with fnm.

💻 How I setup my new Mac as a developer

You've just acquired a new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, congratulations 🎉! They're plenty of ways to install and configure it. Here I describe how I do it, installing only the needed and latest tools.


XCode is required, not only if you plan to do macOS/iOS development, but for all kind of developments, as it comes with libraries and tools allowing to compile things.

Use the Mac App Store to download and install it. It's around 13 GB so it can take a while 😬, but it's very important to do it before going further.


iTerm2 is a better terminal than the default Terminal app integrated to macOS. You can download it from their website: https://iterm2.com

The beautiful Iterm2

Install Homebrew

Homebrew is a package manager for macOS. It allows to install easily things from your terminal. Think "apt install" for macOS.

To install Homebrew, follow the (very simple) instructions on their website.

Install Zsh

It's as easy as this:

brew install zsh

Install zsh theme: Powerlevel10k

Powerlevel10k is a complete and beautiful Zsh theme, that has a super-easy auto-installer. Just follow the instructions on their Github, and it'll install the required fonts, update iTerm2 settings and ask you a couple questions to configure the theme as you like.

Install Fig (optional)

Fig adds futuristic and intelligent auto-complete to your terminal. Just download it from their website and follow the instructions during the installation.

Installing NodeJS

For Node, I recommand using the versions manager fnm. It's written in Rust so it's super fast and light, supports .nvmrc files and will allow you to use NodeJS without installing it globally.

The instructions are on their Github.

Install VSCode

Visual Studio Code can be downloaded from the official website. Follow carefully the instructions to install also the code command in the terminal.

Inside VSCode, I use the beautiful font Fira Code. The instructions to install the font and configure VSCode are on their Github.

At this point, you should have a nice and robust setup. Happy coding! 👋

Other apps you may find useful

  • Alfred: a replacement for Spotlight, allowing to open apps, search into your files and contacts… A must-have!
  • CleanShot: to take clean screenshots, annotate them, save them in the cloud, record your screen… All screenshots in this article have been taken with CleanShot. The most well spent $29 of your life.
  • Notion: what else 💁‍♂️
  • Spark: a very clean and powerful email client, supporting multi-accounts, with features like scheduled update, reminders if no answer…
  • Todoist: my todolist favorite app
  • WhatsApp: so handy once you joined the multi-devices bêta