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Local setup and tooling

Choosing tools & platforms

We are a programming language agnostic company. We take a pragmatic approach to tooling. Often the unsexy tools are the best tools for the job.

We have used Ruby for large financial portals, JavaScript for data collection, and C# for system integrations. None of which would necessarily be the obvious choice.

There is always a temptation to use the latest and greatest; to deliver a ‘Kool-Aid’ driven application. Always try and consider the underlying requirements when choosing technology. Often ‘boring’ means ‘battle tested’. Especially given the enterprise nature of many business problems.

Key technology is one of the very few areas where we enforce a somewhat top-down structure. This is not because we want to force a solution upon our team, it is because often, the deciding choices in a language or toolset aren’t purely technical, but are heavily driven by business requirements (both ours and our customers). So, we have a phase where we talk through options with everyone involved and try to reach a conclusion about the best technologies to use.

Good developers have several strings to their bow. Although they may be more proficient in some languages, they should be able to change when needed. We do not hire people who can only work in one language or platform.

Programming tools

Different people like different tools. We have some preferences, but we do not think that it adds much value to try and force an entire team onto one tool. In fact we find that it can sometimes be detrimental, leading to a slower update of newer, more useful tools, which people tend to find on their own.

However, here are some of our current favourites:

  • VIM
  • Atom
  • Chrome
  • Sourcetree
  • Sublime Text
  • Tower
  • iTerm

QCon London

QCon London is a conference for senior software engineers and architects on the patterns, practices, and use cases leveraged by the world’s most innovative.

March 4-6, 2019 Find out more