macOS: Setting up my Mac for Test Development

macOS: Setting up my Mac for Test Development
Photo by Dmitry Chernyshov / Unsplash

This guide is to help remember all those things you need to get a good test development environment set up aka automating the good things.

Getting Started

First thing is to update macOS to get the latest security patches and updates. Also check the App Store to update existing programs.


  1. macOS Big Sur or later
  2. Make a ~/Development folder



Homebrew is a package manager for macOS. It can automate the installation of a lot of applications we need, all from a command line.

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
Installs Homebrew
brew update
Update things next

Install programs:

brew install --cask \
    1password \
    alfred \
    brave-browser \
    gas-mask \
    google-chrome \
    docker \
    dropbox \
    iterm2 \
    notion \
    obs \
    postman \
    rectangle \
    slack \
    spotify \
    tableplus \
    visual-studio-code \
    vlc \
    zoom \
I constantly edit this list based on 


Using iTerm, install Oh My Zsh because it's better:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"
Installs OMZ

Configure iTerm:

  1. Set theme to be minimal
  2. Set transparency to 10 on Profile > Window
  3. Replace .zshrc


Install Node Version Manager (nvm)

curl -o- | bash
Install NVM
nvm install node
Install latest version of node

Restart terminal and confirm:

nvm use node
node -v && npm -v #confirm the install worked


Make and set git config. Copy settings from dot files.

touch ~/.gitconfig

Pull base repos

echo dotfiles testing-guides images-catalog | xargs -n1 | xargs -I{} git clone{}

echo web-scraper | xargs -n1 | xargs -I{} git clone{}


Make and set SSH config. Then copy details from dot files.

mkdir ~/.ssh && touch ~/.ssh/config
Make and set SSH config. 

macOS Settings

I like to customize macOS in a few different ways


  • Position to the right
  • Minimize windows into application icon
  • Hotcorners, set lower left to put display to sleep


  • Force Click with One Finger
  • Secondary Click: Click or Tap with Two Fingers
  • Tap to click
  • Silent clicking

Visual Studio Code

  • Code over settings from dotfiles

Install other apps

  • Google Chrome Canary
  • Kindle
  • reMarkable
  • Day One


This sums up my settings for setting up a Mac. Inspired by (and taken with a lot of credit from) Tania Rascia. I’ve used her guide a few times before deciding to make my own version.

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Jamie Larson