I’m Justin Elliott, a junior software engineer at Technology Advice in Nashville, Tennessee. Most of my time is spent working with Laravel and Vue. When not writing code, I’m typically either playing music or some sort of video game. I’ve lived in Nashville for about seven years now, love travelling around the country with my wife, and am expecting a son any day now!
I work on a Dell XPS laptop running Ubuntu, and my personal laptop is a 13” Macbook Pro from 2018. I’m too greedy with screen space to close a laptop (and don’t have a separate webcam for Zoom calls), but I also have 27” LG and 24” HP monitors. I have an Astro A10 headset on almost all day for Spotify/Zoom, a Logitech M720 Triathlon mouse, and of course my ErgoDox EZ Shine!
When playing or recording music, I use an Orange Micro Dark amp, an Orange 2x12 speaker cabinet, a PreSonus AudioBox, and a Shure SM57 mic. Most of this sits on a custom-built 9’ partners desk that I share with my wife.
VS Code has been my go-to for a few years now, I love how much I can customize things as my demands/preferences change. I use Postman for testing APIs, MySQL Workbench and DBeaver for working with databases, and Chrome to browse the web. I probably use the terminal more often than I should (all things Git, some database queries), but that’s how I learned to do a lot of things, so it’s home, and the window is always nearby.
I’m unjustifiably afraid to stray from the QWERTY path, but beyond that I love optimizing and have customized my layout quite a bit. Being a big fan of the “there’s a shortcut for everything, use the mouse as little as possible” school of thought, I love doing things like changing three-button shortcuts into single key presses.
Constantly switching operating systems is annoying, so I let the EZ do the work for me. Layer 0 is set up for my Ubuntu machine, then I built layer 1 to be a clone of it with keys swapped out for their Mac equivalents (ex: Control swapped for Command). With this setup, I can swap computers without completely rewiring my brain. A layer dedicated to Minecraft and a button for muting on Zoom are also nice to have.
Swapping keycaps to something more colorful is definitely in the works. I was afraid of switching to blanks, but haven’t missed printed caps at all. Custom cables and some cleaner cable management would be great as well.
I’d also like to get a second board to prevent having to carry mine back and forth to the office. While I do like the modified laptop case solution I came up with, carrying something around every day is always going to add more wear and tear than just letting it sit safe and sound on a desk at home.
For my home setup, I’d like to stack my monitors vertically so I can have both laptops on the desk at the same time and KVM-switch the peripherals with a shortcut.