Daniel Spector

You Need to Love Your Environment

When I started programming I would hear a lot about "dotfiles" and vimrc's. I realized that these were customizations that people had made to their workflows.

To be honest, I never thought I would have time for it. It was hard enough learning how to program, having to think about creating bash aliases and tinkering with editor themes was total information overload.

Over time though, I started tinkering bit by bit. I would take an annoyingly long bash command and alias it. I would tweak my font. To be honest, I've always been extremely interested in visual design. I appreciate using beautiful products not only for their aesthetics, but also for the way the all the parts of the products blended together in a seamless way. I started becoming very personal about my environment.

Once I started tinkering, I couldn't stop. I would endless customize in order to get that perfect combination of beauty and productivity. I slowly became unable to use other people's computers. My hands would automatically go to my custom shortcuts and bash commands (now zsh). I wouldn't enjoy using terminals that haven't been configured. To the endless consternation of my co-workers, I remapped my Ctrl and Caps lock key in order to be as efficient as possible.

You need to absolutely fall in love with your environment. When you open your terminal, you need to be at peace. Every keyboard shortcut should be completely second-nature, you should enjoy looking at your text editor and feel completely comfortable in your envirnonment.

As programmers, we spend a ton of time every day in our terminal and text editor. Investing the time now to optimuize your environment pays huge divideds for your future productivity. Start tweaking. Make your terminal's colors nicer. Customize your prompt to give you the perfect amount of information at a glance. Edit your text editor's theme and shortcuts. Make your environment your home.