Developers: This Is What You Should Install On Your New M1 Mac

Essential software, tools, and settings to help you be more productive.

Ahad Sheriff
2 min readApr 28, 2021


Source: Apple

If you’re a developer who just bought a new Mac, here’s a list of everything I suggest you install first.

Before you set anything up, check System Preferences -> Software Update to make sure your machine is is up to date. Next, be sure to download Xcode from the App Store.


  • iTerm2 — Everyone’s favorite terminal app for macOS. (Tip: In settings, set the tab theme to minimal and hide the scrollbar for a much cleaner look.)
  • Argonaut iTerm2 Color Theme — My personal favorite color theme, but feel free to explore other options here.
  • Space Mono Font — A clean and readable font for reading terminal output.
  • Homebrew — This is essential.
  • Oh My ZSH — A popular plugin framework for ZSH (the default shell for macOS), which will make installing additional features super easy.
  • Starship — A great, customizable shell prompt for developers.
  • Github CLI — Manage your entire Github workflow from your CLI.


  • VS Code — The do-it-all editor. More on this in the next section.
  • Docker Desktop — If you’re a developer, you’ll most likely touch Docker at some point. It now runs natively on Apple Silicon Macs.
  • Alfred — A much better universal search than what you get with Spotlight. Built-in clipboard management is beneficial as well.
  • Rectangle — I’ve tried many window management apps, and this is my favorite for its ease of use, price (free), and speed (optimized for Apple Silicon).
  • Firefox Developer Edition — A fast browser with all the tools you’ll need to build and test web apps.
  • Insomnia — Ditch Postman. This is a much nicer app for developing APIs.
  • Affinity — Lightweight, fast, and affordable design software that is optimized for macOS.

VS Code

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