Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas

Programmer, author

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Dave Thomas, known online as pragdave. I've been a programmer all my life, but not exclusively. I also write books, I was one of the authors of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, I speak at conferences and give courses. Nowadays I also drive my tractor and do some woodturning. My current interests include trying to find ways to make it easier for developers to think about the design of their software.

What hardware do you use?

For development I use a Samsung laptop running Linux. When I'm creating presentations I use my old 2015 MacBook Air (having spilled a cup of tea into my MacBook Pro). I love my Google Pixel phone (mostly because of (a) the camera and (b) Project Fi lets me travel the world without worrying about staying connected). I love my Osprey Elroy shoulder bag (and they replaced the original for free when I wore it out a few years back). Most of my work is done in an old, worn armchair overlooking the lake. I rigged up a personal area stereo so I can listen to music without wearing headphones.

And what software?

For presentations, I still haven't found anything better than Keynote, which is why I still have a Mac.

For coding, I was an Emacs user for 30-ish years, but I recently gave up the fight and switched to Visual Studio Code, which actually gives me everything Emacs did and more.

Source code is in GitHub, and languages include Elixir, Ruby, Reason, JavaScript, and whatever takes my fancy.

I run my online course in Thinkific, and invoice using Wave. Most productivity stuff is in Google.

What would be your dream setup?

I like coding in my armchair, with the lake in the background. But it would be extra nice to have a decent high-res second monitor which magically popped up out of the floor or down from the ceiling. And a bottomless cup of tea. Obviously.