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Dev Tool Time is our bi-monthly virtual event series in which guest developers share their favorite dev tools and productivity hacks. We welcomed Seth Vargo as our first guest on April 14, 2021. You can watch the live stream video on YouTube Live or at the bottom of this blog post.
Seth was generous in sharing his dev productivity secrets, including how to leverage keyboard shortcuts, a hack for setting up a new computer in record time, and his .gitconfig containing the Git aliases you need to become a Git ninja.
He also talked about the importance of screen real estate and showed us his desk setup that’s optimized for productivity. Here is a summary of the setup and tools he mentioned:
Seth’s desk setup for productivity
This monitor comes with a built-in USB-C hub to charge his MacBook at 96 watts, his Stream Deck and to connect his Thunderbolt-based wired Ethernet.
Each Stream Deck button is assigned to run something, for example one button shows his CPU usage, another the CI status when he’s running a build, while another sends him straight to his GitHub notifications. He loves that it’s highly customizable, adapts to the current app, integrates with a ton of community-built apps, accelerates his workflow, and adds a little fun factor.
This allows Seth to stream with his DSLR camera and he gets many compliments on how great his video quality is.
Below is the rest of Seth’s kit:
Seth’s key dev tools
Seth’s workflow focuses aggressively on keyboard shortcuts and quick navigation between workspaces. He has a few tools that have become indispensable:
SizeUp allows Seth to quickly resize and position his windows with keyboard shortcuts at pixel precision.
Seth likes iTerm for loading his preferences from a URL. Seth keeps his .dot files with all his settings synced in a Git repository to fast-track new computer setups.
Visual Studio Code is Seth’s favorite IDE, and his color scheme of choice is Default Material Dark. He uses the Material Product Icons theme for his icons. He also uses the Go Plugin for VS Code to help with auto-formatting, so he doesn’t have to worry about indentation or tabs versus spaces. These are his VS Code configurations.
Words of Wisdom:
“Formatting is owned by the repository… the linting configuration is a property of the repository not a property of the user.”
About Seth Vargo
Google Cloud Engineer
Seth Vargo is an engineer at Google Cloud. Previously he worked at HashiCorp, Chef Software, CustomInk, and some Pittsburgh-based startups. He is the author of Learning Chef and is passionate about reducing inequality in technology. When he is not writing, working on open source, teaching, or speaking at conferences, Seth advises non-profits.