Battle Station For 2021

Even though we are more than halfway over with the year I wanted to write about my set up, tech stach, whatever you want to call it.
With the current prices of computer components I am sure most of my current setup will remain the same for a while.


I am not going to include the macbooks provided by employers since those always tend to be rather boring.

My current setup here is as follows:

  • M1 Macbook as daily driver. This one is really just a slack and email machine though I find myself doing most of my coding work on it via vs code remote.

  • Two Dell Optiplex 7050 MFF. These run a nextcloud instance, pihole, openvpn and other random node services via docker swarm. One of them runs a dedicated mysql database (I can rant on forever as to why deploying a database via docker for anything other than dev is a horrible idea).

  • Workstation/Gaming Machine: 3950x, 64gb Ram with a 3080. This one runs all my work stuff. I rarely work directly on it though. I mainly connect via vs code remote from any of the macbooks I use.

  • One big ass monitor: 49in Samsung Odyssey


  • Mysql: This one is my go to for any project I have control over. Its simple.

  • Redis: Go to for caching, driving worker queues and fast access data storage (sessions, metadata)

Programming languages

  • PHP: The meme above explains my love for PHP. Even though I don't get to work with it daily.

  • Node: This one is growing on me but deploying projects with it is not as smooth as PHP.

  • Apex: Salesforce still inflicts daily pain in my life.

Software && Services

  • VS Code: I cannot live without vs code remote at this point.

  • Datagrip: This is the best IDE for databases IMO.

  • Laravel Forge: Fastest way to push out laravel projects.

  • Docker (both swarm and k8s): I prefer to use docker compose and swarm when working with smaller projects. K8s are just configuration hell that are not worth it IMO unless you are soley dedicated to that.

  • Digital Ocean: I basically host all my stuff here. Its cheap and it doens't induce a headache like the AWS control panel.

  • AWS: Basically every employer will use this. I mainly only use it for S3 to backup stuff and because digital ocean lacks a good offering there.

  • Serverless: Well I guess this counts as using AWS. This is the only sane way to deploy small node services that I've found so far.

In summary for everything that is not work stuff I will pick the simplest most boring things because I am lazy.