How to Get a Better Development Experience on Your Mac

Setting up iTerm2, ZSH, and VS Code for optimal performance and aesthetic

Ahad Sheriff


Make coding look pretty

As a developer you spend a ton of time on your computer, you deserve the best experience possible. In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to improve your current setup with tools and themes to make development more fun.

Install iTerm2

iTerm2 provides the best terminal experience on Mac by far. While the built-in Mac OS terminal gets the job done, iTerm2 gives you some really great functionality and impressive 3rd party plugins. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in a terminal you’re going to want all the little thing this app provides. Please just do yourself a favor and download iTerm2.

Set the iTerm2 tab theme to Dark

Preferences > Appearance > Tabs > Theme > Dark

Install ZSH

What is ZSH

If you’re a developer, you’re probably familiar with using Bash (sh) to run commands in the terminal. ZSH is just an extended version of Bash that uses nearly the same commands while providing modern features and support for plugins and themes. ZSH is so powerful that Apple is actually making it the default shell in the newest version of MacOS!

How to install ZSH

If you have Homebrew installed, getting ZSH is as easy as running

brew install zsh


You’re then going to want to install Oh-My-ZSH, a popular plugin framework for ZSH which is going to make installing additional features super easy. Get it by running the following command:

sh -c “$(curl -fsSL”

Fonts, Colors, and Plugins

Fira Code is a modern font that looks great when writing code or working in the terminal. Get it here.

Set Font

In iTerm2: Preferences > Profiles > Text

  • Change the font to 14pt Fira code regular and check the…