The Setup - Katie Fenn

As part of an ongoing series where we ask industry professionals what they use to get the job done, we speak to Katie, Frontend Developer for Canonical.

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Katie, I'm a frontend developer from Sheffield. I build websites for people using JavaScript and CSS, and I'm interested in cutting-edge software tools like React and WebPack. I love the creative side of my work, so I am often writing articles, making conference talks or contributing to open source software. I'm currently working for Canonical, the creators of the Ubuntu operating system.

What hardware do you use?

I'm an unashamed Mac user, and I use a 2015 13" MacBook Pro. It's the only platform that supports the best design apps like Sketch, Pixelmator and the Adobe Suite as well as Unix developer tools. The solid design of Apple laptop hardware and software has endured. It's also light enough to pack up and carry on my bike - which is a serious requirement when cycling in Sheffield!

I am not exclusively a Mac user, though. I have a dual-booted Hackintosh that mostly runs Windows 10 for playing PC games.

And what software?

Atom is an extensible text editor, and it is what I use for almost all of my coding. IRCCloud is a web-based IRC chat client, and I use it for day-to-day communication with my co-workers and the local tech community. Chrome DevTools, a utility that comes built into Google Chrome, is an indispensable utility for troubleshooting websites that aren't working how you want them to.

Here is a quick summary of the other assorted development tools that I use: React, WebPack, Babel, Gulp, iTerm, Oh My ZSH, Vim, npm, Git, GitHub, Pixelmator.

I use Keynote for making and delivering conference talks. I really like it for the pixel-perfect control it gives you when designing slides, as well as its intuitive animation features.

1Password is a utility that helps me pass as a responsible adult - I would be in deep trouble without it.

What would be your dream setup?

I love the 5k Apple iMac.

But my dream setup would be as much about a home office to put it in as the machine itself. I would love to decorate my own home office with a sit-stand desk, a Chadwick chair to sit on, a Denon hifi to listen to with lots of personal mementos to put on the wall.

One item you can't live without?

My AKG K550 headphones. They have been solidly reliable for years and sound perfect. The closed-back design prevents an impressive amount noise leakage, and means I don't annoy my coworkers with Public Service Broadcasting, Daft Punk or The White Stripes.

They can't even tell when I'm listening to Limp Bizkit, which is good.

Thanks Katie!

Katie Fenn on 20th January, 2017.

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