Importance of installing your own development machine

If you are a software developer like me, every once in awhile comes the opportunity to install your new development machine. Some of the causes can be a new job, new computer or just reinstalling your current computer.

I am trying to emphasize the importance of installing your own machine, just like Jedi knights have to build their own lightsabers, you should be competent enough to install the required software on your development machine.

I will try not to go into platform specific rants or anything, just a guideline on how to do it.

1. Know your OS – be it windows, linux or osx, please be familiar with the os you are planning to develop on, if you get stuck, search for some tutorials on the web. You should be very friendly with the command line, if you are planning to use linux, and even in some cases osx.

2. Know your platform – be it ruby, java, python, .net or anything else, learn how to install the basic tools to get you running, you have great video tutorials for just about anything, so go ahead and watch them.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask someone – take this one with caution, it is ok to ask for an advice, or if you get stuck, but never ask another developer to install some of the tools for you, as you then seem incompetent in their eyes.

And do try to follow some of the people creating the technology you are using on social networks, you can see some tips and tricks, update and version release announcements and everything else. Looking at a few cat pictures is sure worth it considering the knowledge you are getting from these people.