My Ideal Technology Setup for work

“Since I’m dreaming, I’d like a pony” –Susie, in Calvin and Hobbes.

“I’m not just the President of the Hair Club for Men, I’m also a client.” –President of the Hair Club for Men

Not only do I write software, I use it. A whole bunch. I am a Linux guy, and when ever I end up in a situation where I have to work around a proprietary solution that just doesn’t make sense for what I am trying to do, it ads a point or two to my Diastolic. So here is my dream setup:

First of all, I’d like a company that doesn’t use Exchange. I want to be able to talk to my mail server, and my calendar server using standards based protocols. I want email based notifications of meeting. GMail does nice job of sending them via SMS. I don’t want to have to run Outlook to book a conference room. Is there such a solution out there? Probably. I haven’t looked, but I am sure I could find many. Let’s start with Exim for mail, and then find a decent Calendaring program that talks email and iCal. Squirrelmail is a clunky webmail client, so I hope we could find something better, but it still beats Exchanges webmail. Basically, I want to run the Mozilla tools on my desktop.  An I want to sync mail to my Palm based Cell phone without installin Goodlink.

Ubuntu Linux as the default developer install.  I have never been so happy with my desktop as I am now.  Debian package management rules, and Ubuntu desktop support is the best I’ve worked with in Linux.  Of course, I would probably be just as happy with Fedora, but haven’t used it in a while.  Most of my Red Hat work has been with Red Hat Enterprise and that is a fine, stable server architecture, but doesn’t suite my needs for a developer work station…too stable.

I want an internet proxy that allows me to talk to ports other than 80 and 443. Yes I realize this is a configuration issue. I want to be able to SSH in and out, and check in and out from public CVS, Subversion, and Git repositories. I want to be able to hit a website on port 8080.

For Revision Control, I would like to use Either Subversion or Git. Probably Git mixed with Quilt. Note that this is not just for software, but also document preparation. For document preparation: Open Office across the board. It does what I need for Presentations, Spreadsheets, and Word Processing.

A single unified indexing system for all of the companies information system.

All emails sent to public mailing lists should be indexed.

Blog sites for individual developers. Word Press seems to work nicely, but Drupal was good, too.  The more publically available the information in a development environemnt, the bettwer it supports community type development.

Decent IDE support for Refactoring. Refactoring support it baseline, regardless of language. I was incredibly productive using Eclipse for Java, but have not been able to get it to work well for our C++ projects. XRefactory looks promising, but I haven’t tried it yet. Slick Edit wasn’t able to handle our source setup, either. But whatever we chose, the team needs to support it.

A commitment to open source software.  There are few things more motivating to a developer than knowing that the effort they put into learning a code base will not get flushed when they leave the company…and you might even use this as a way to hire new talent, too.

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