One great thing about start-ups is that you really can start over. You can have latest technologies on programming, latest laptop models on your desktop and you can be damn sure that milk in your fridge isn’t more than three months old. Here is what we have come up while choosing our equipment to do everyday’s work.

We are mostly using Apple laptops combined with desktop displays. No, we are not serious fanboys, it’s just common sense. If you’re spending most of your day behind computer it better be a good one. We are not enforcing people to use certain computer brands nor operating systems – every employee can have a configuration that suits best for his or her needs.

On the software side you can see the following applications flicker around in screens when hanging at our office:

  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator is being used by designers.
  • TextMate covers all developers coding needs. This powerful editor makes them really productive.
  • Coda is for smaller coding needs. Mostly used by designers.
  • Several Windows XP Home installations running on Parallels Desktop virtual machines to test web applicatons on all Windows browsers. We also deploy test servers with Debian Linux on Parallels VMs, therefore we don’t need any noisy physical servers ticking in office.
  • iWork is for producing and (mostly) reading documents. Fraktal is not a mean-document-producing-factory.

On the collaboration side, we try to store every small piece of information in internal Instiki wiki. More granular day-to-day information and collaboration with clients is in Basecamp. Of course, there are friends Subversion and Trac under heavy use by developers.

Skype chats and calls are for main communication channel. It’s not just that we have people in Tallinn and Tartu, we tend to talk with each other in office via Skype too – it is just more efficient to drop a line or two into chat window than having a ten-minute smalltalk at coffee table. Plus, you always have chat history stored…

One interesting thing is that we do not have a traditional landline telephone in office. It’s just a fun experiment to use Skype wireless phone as a replacement. Can’t say it is working flawlessly but it gets the job done.

Replies to this post

  • Tajo Mar 12

    I must of course mention, that there is also a mighty mighty Thinkpad crunching pixels in our otherwise Apple-infested office.

  • vadger Jul 22

    I wonder, why you're using just an editor that mainly has syntax highlighting for ruby code writing. There are a great IDE with ruby support - Netbeans - the best open source IDE for development in ruby (with built in support for RoR).

  • Priit Jul 23

    Vadger, we love TextMate because it does one thing exceptionally well - manipulating text a.k.a source code. It is incredibly snappy and totally configurable/customizable. I personally don't care much about language "support". For example, working without auto code completion helps me to learn the language or framework API in depth and realize what's going on behind the scenes.

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