Windows is the most popular desktop & laptop OS, love it or hate it, lots of programmers run this OS.

The reasons may be various, but I like to think that many use it because it just works very well for a lot of stuff - including programming.

Ok, another reason that matters to many. For some time Mac computers didn't have a real competitor design-wise. I think now, they do.

I mean just take a look at the new [2020 Dell XPS 13] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B084J4LFJD/ref=aslisstl?language=enUS&ie=UTF8&linkCode=gs4&linkId=e1bc65bb491f87147af7fe5c371cff86&tag=laptoptalks0e-21) - that thing is gorgeous.

Dell xps 13 pic

While I don't want to raise a battle on Windows vs Linux vs Mac, I want to state that I've tried all 3, and I like them all for what they do best. Windows is a very good all-around operating system that also has its quirks, so I want to share what you can do to make your developer experience as good as possible on this OS.ย 

Chocolatey ๐Ÿซ

The Package Manager for Windows - this tool, once installed, can do things like:

choco install nodejs

choco install vscode

choco install firefox

Amazing right? You can have a script with everything you need to install on a new machine - making the setup process really easy. Also - they have a cool website where you can search packages and see what other nice things choco does (besides getting some nice dopamine in your brain).

Alternatively, you could also check out Scoop.

Cmder ๐Ÿ’ป

Cmder is a console emulator - allowing you to have a multi-tab console for Windows - supporting cmd, Powershell & bash. It has lots of customization features - like choosing a background, the font-size, aliases, and other nice features. Also has good keyboard shortcuts out of the box.

By the way, you can also map your VS Code terminal to be Cmder.

Some alternatives:

I'd say give all a shot and pick the one you like the most.

Wox ๐Ÿ”Ž

Wox - I really enjoy using this tool as a Spotlight alternative for Windows. Need to quickly find an app, run something from a command line, calculate something, or search something on google? Wox can do all those things for you - FAST!

Wox launcher

Code editors

Take your pick, the best of the best run on Windows of course:

  • VSCode
  • Webstorm
  • Atom
  • Sublime text

Develop as on a Linux box with WSL2 ๐Ÿง

Of course, spinning up a Linux VM is pretty easy on Windows with Hyper-V, but why bother when you can get this natively? You just need to turn on WSL from the Windows features section, and then you can code using Linux-first languages like Ruby or Python in the environment they were designed to run.

Extra steps to make the OS faster

  1. Uninstall any bloatware
  2. Prevent Windows Security dev folders scanning
  3. Turn off Windows search indexing - since you are using Wox, you don't need it

Conclusions

Do you need a Mac to code?

Absolutely not. Unless you are doing some OSX/iOS development, you definitely don't need a Mac. Pretty much everything you can do on a Mac is possible on a Windows PC as well.

Leave a ๐Ÿงก & ๐Ÿฆ„ if you like this article, also check out my Twitter where I post more cool content.

๐Ÿ‘‡ Comment below ๐Ÿ‘‡ Tell me what you like & dislike about Windows, and what other apps you found helpful on Windows.

This post is also available on DEV.