Top Developer Tools On New Macbook Pro

I just got a new Macbook Pro to replace my old one. As I am loading it with all my developer tools, I thought I'd write up what I am loading or am about to load in case it's helpful for other developers.

Top Developer Tools On New Macbook Pro

I just got a new Macbook Pro to replace my old one. As I am loading it with all my developer tools, I thought I'd write up what I am loading or am about to load in case it's helpful for other developers.

Finally - A New Laptop

I have primarily developed on the Microsoft stack for most of my professional career. So ASP.NET, C#, SQL Server, Entity Framework, Azure, the usual suspects. However, more recently, I've been doing quite a bit more work in additional languages and platforms. Much more JavaScript in Node.js, Angular, React, more mySQL and PostgreSQL, and more AWS.

I used to fancy myself as a someday writer too. So, back in 2015, I picked up a Macbook Pro. It was partly to keep my writing separate from my professional work, but also because I wanted to get more familiar with the mac environment. Ever since then, I've added more and more developer stuff on the mac. And, ever since then, I've increased the amount of time I go back and forth between the mac and the windows desktop when working on projects.

Over the last few weeks, my 2015 Macbook pro battery and cooling has been finally going out. When not on a power source, the fan is on more and more of the time, and the battery doesn't last very long at all. So, after some research, and with a $400 off deal at Amazon, I bought a 2021 Macbook Pro 14" 16GB 5122GB.

It literally just showed up (thanks Amazon). I just unwrapped it and did a quick setup on it,  got chrome installed to transfer profiles over, and am writing this article while installing things at the same time.

Let's go over what I am installing, and plan to install, from a developer perspective.


Chrome is my go-to browser. It's not that I don't like Safari- I just use Chrome and am used to it. I like the browser itself, its dev tools, the ability to carry profiles over across machines, and the instance interaction I get with my Google Workspace.

I mean it was easy and quick to get this new laptop on the wifi, set up my Chrome profiles, and instantly have my same bookmarks and username/password info right there where I have them on my other machines.

Just search on "google chrome download" and you'll quickly find it and get it downloaded.


I use Homebrew as my package manager and application manager on the mac. It is simply awesome. Below is a link to an article I did reviewing Homebrew on the Mac side and Chocolatey on the Windows side:

Use Package Managers for Easier Tool Management
Every software engineer has a number of tools on their computer at any given time. Having the right tools can boost your software engineering career. In this article, I’ll take a look at two of my favorite package managers to manage all the tools on my machines- Homebrew and Chocolatey.
Homebrew and Chocolatey package managers

Once I get brew installed, I'll use it to install all the other dev stuff I need and easily manage its versions, updates, etc.

I will also use it to install applications like Gimp for image editing without having to mess with the whole dmg file drag stuff.


ITerm2 is a great replacement for the default Terminal that comes with the Mac. I see it as Terminal on steroids. Here's a link to go check it out:

iTerm2 - macOS Terminal Replacement
iTerm2 is a replacement for Terminal and the successor to iTerm

VS Code

Microsoft Visual Studio Code is definitely my go-to IDE on the Mac right now. I have looked at Eclipse, and some of the JetBrains editors, and they are all very good. But I really like VS Code and it plays well with what I am used to in Visual Studio. Now I just have to look at which extensions I use and get them installed too...

Docker Desktop

I finally decided to start making my life a little easier. Instead of installing SQL Server, and mongo, and MySQL, and PostgreSQL, and all kinds of other developer and data tools I use sometimes but not all the time, I started using Docker Desktop to throw things out to containers and spin up the containers only when I need them. It keeps each of my machines much cleaner. It also makes it easier to run and test things across machines (when managing volumes correctly). And it keeps my Docker skills current too.

Docker Desktop - Docker
Docker Desktop is available to download for free on Mac, Windows, or Linux operating systems. Get started with Docker today!
Docker Desktop


So- Parallels is one things I never installed on my prior Macbook pro. But after reading some great articles on just how well Windows runs on the M1 chip using Parallels, and given the amount of work I do in Visual Studio anyway, I am going to install it along with Windows 11 and then run Visual Studio Community there.

I read some articles really gushing about how great Windows runs on this specific 2021 Macbook pro M1 chip setup so it's worth checking it out. If I don't like it for some reason, I'll install Visual Studio for the Mac and use it alongside VS Code.

Parallels: Mac & Windows Virtualization, Remote Application Server, Mac Management Solutions
Parallels Official Site | Mac & Windows Virtualization, Mac Management
Parallels: run Windows on a Macbook Pro

What's Next

Once I get to a good stopping point, I need to get this new Macbook Pro connected to the Ivanky docking I purchased. I did a bunch of research, and had no idea the combinations and specifications that must be reviewed to make sure you can actually connect dual monitors to your mac laptop. After a lot of research, I found an Ivanky docking station that looks to support this 2021 Macbook Pro M1 chip and has a great set of additional ports too.


I'm trying to not get caught up in this shiny object new laptop I just got! That's why I'm writing this article at the same time I'm doing these installs. Makes me feel a little better at least. But I'm definitely excited to get this connected to the dual monitors and full-size keyboard and such via the Ivanky docking station I bought, and see how well it handles the dual big monitors too. So much work to do!