Mac Setup: The Dual-Screen Desk of a Software Engineer

Mar 15, 2015 - 12 Comments

MacBook Pro Retina and 20" External Display, a great Mac setup of a software engineer

It’s time for another featured Mac setup! This time around we’re sharing the dual-screen desk workstation of developer Carlos P., let’s dive right in to learn more about the hardware and what iOS and OS X apps are put to use:

What do you use your Apple gear for?

I’m a software engineer so I use my MacBook Pro for web, game, and mobile development. I love the way Macs empower developers to build software that makes people lives easier and more enjoyable.

What hardware does your current Mac / Apple setup consist of?

Mac setup of a software engineer

Why did you go with this particular setup?

The reason I chose to go for an Apple setup is that things simply work in the Apple ecosystem. I’ve used other platforms in past, including Microsoft Windows and Linux OS, but so far the Mac has been the one that perfectly fits my needs.

I chose to buy an external keyboard, mouse, trackpad and laptop stand because my setup is mostly static and I prefer a more desktop-like experience. However, I also need mobility from time to time so that’s why I chose the MacBook Pro instead of a traditional desktop Mac like the Mac Pro, iMac, or Mac Mini.

The Bose QC15 noise canceling headphones are great for programming as it blocks out most external noises and allows me to concentrate much better than I would be able to otherwise. Also, they sound great.

Finally, I use my iPhone 5s as my personal smartphone. I also make good use of it while developing and testing my own apps. I chose to skip the iPhone 6/6+ as I believe the iPhone coming out this year (possibly called the iPhone 6s) will be a more noticeable upgrade from my iPhone 5s.

MacBook Pro workstation setup of a software engineer

What apps do you use most often? What apps could you not do without? Do you have a favorite app for Mac or for iOS?

Mac Apps

  • Sublime Text 3 – I use Sublime Text 3 as my text/code editor and completely love it. It has many features that make coding a much more efficient and fun experience. Also the ability to write your own plugins is an awesome feature
  • Terminal – Being a software developer, I often find myself interacting with my machine through the Terminal as much as through the GUI (Graphical User Interface). Since Mac OSX is a Unix OS it has all the bells and whistles that a developer needs
  • Xcode – For iOS development I use Xcode
  • Eclipse IDE – For Android development I use Eclipse IDE
  • FaceTime – To make and receive calls from my iPhone on the Mac

iPhone Apps

  • WhatsApp
  • Gmail
  • Google Hangouts
  • Different versions of my own apps.

MacBook Pro Retina and 20" External Display, a great Mac setup of a software engineer

Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

Since I own an iPhone I have it connected to the same network as my MacBook Pro thus allowing me to use Apple’s Continuity feature. This is a great time saver for picking up calls while using the Mac. All you have to do to connect your Mac and iPhone is the following:

  • Have Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) installed in your Mac
  • Have iOS 8.x installed in your iPhone
  • Login with your iCloud account to both devices
  • Connect both devices to the same Wifi network
  • In your iPhone go to Settings -> FaceTime -> Enable iPhone Cellular Calls
  • Allow FaceTime in your Mac to access your phone’s FaceTime

After your done connecting both devices every time you get a call, you will be able to answer it through your Mac. You can also make calls! (Editor note: this is a really great feature that we’ve discussed before, though some turn off the Mac calling part, you can also use Continuity to quickly enable Instant Hotspot and even check the battery and cell signal of your iPhone from the Mac menu bar)


Now it’s your turn to share your Mac setup! Just answer some questions about your Apple hardware and how you use it, then take a few high quality pictures, and send it all in… go here to get started.

Not ready to share your own Mac setup? That’s OK too, get inspired by browsing through featured Mac setups, we’ve got a hugely diverse collection of workstations from Mac users of all types.


Related articles:

Posted by: OSXDaily in Mac Setups


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Schlomo Shekelstein says:

    Apple users are such abhorrent creatures.

  2. Hamza Sheikh says:

    Nice setup. I have a similar kind of setup for my Mac workstation. I use several off-the-shelf stuff to keep the Mac workstation setting up price lower.

  3. vdiv says:

    Funny that he has a trackpad and a mouse :)

    I’d go with a wired keyboard instead, but Sublime Text (worth the money), the Bose cans, and some good espresso is all you need to get in the zone.

    That Apple charger with 6 NiMH batteries is pretty good for the wireless HIDs, they last about 2 months between recharges in the Magic Mouse.

  4. Mustrashh says:

    Almost as looking at my own desk. I use macbook for same reasons that you mentioned. But I have macbook pro retina 15 with mStand, and Dell u2415 monitor.

    I also use the mac keyboard with trackpad, but I don’t like Apple mouse so I use one from Logitech.

    Basically, we have almost identical setup! And kudos for ST3, I use it for literally everything. Best text editor out there, highly customisable and fast. That was the first thing I’ve noticed in this setup.

    And yes, I am also a developer. Mostly web developer, but some of my work go for mobile as well. Trying to get more work on mobile, but it’s hard since I have a lot of clients from before mobile went so popular :)

  5. Shilo Watts says:

    WOW dude!

    your setup is soooo awesome!

  6. Tom says:

    Nice setup! I see a lot of people using the mStand (or similar) and to me, it looks like the Macbook keyboard is at such an angle that it would be difficult to type on. I see you use a an external keyboard, but is the Macbook keyboard usable?

    • Ryu says:

      I use an mStand and the keyboard is a bit too high to be usable unless you’re using it as a standing desk, but I also use an external keyboard. Apple Wireless Keyboard, works great. So for me anyway, the stand is basically like a Dock. Get to the desk, put on stand > connect to external 24″ display > connect to keyboard / mouse, basically like having a desktop all of a sudden with twin displays. It’s a great setup, highly recommended!

  7. David says:

    I have a similar stand for MacBook, highly recommended! Helps with posture etc.

    Will have to check out SublimeText too, looks pretty good.

  8. john mccormick says:


    • David says:

      What an interesting, unique, and informative comment Mr John McCormick. You must know a lot about IT to be able to summarize a technical configuration which such extreme brevity.

    • Not Stevie Nicks Nope says:

      Yea mate? You agree with yourself out here in the Australian outback, Johnny? My desk is just like this, it’s a great desk, love the MacBook. What’s your desk look like, Johnny Boy?

  9. funk delux says:

    This is a gorgeous Mac setup, love the simplicity and the mStand. These are inspiring and make me want to rearrange and clean up my setup, my desk gets disorganized over time and it’s hard to find motivation to clean it up when you’re in the thick of things, but seeing these pictures, well, this is what I’m going to do this afternoon!

    Gets me thinking, when will Apple make a Magic Trackpad with Force Touch? 13″ rMBP just got it, iPhone going to get it, Apple Watch has it… should be coming to the whole line this and next year, right?

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site