The Setup

Interview

What do people use to get stuff done?

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Robert Böhnke

Robert Böhnke

Software developer (SoundCloud)

Posted Photo by Natalie Keshlear.

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Robert Böhnke, though I usually go by Robb. Character encoding is tricky, which is why some people prefer calling me Mr. Böhnke.

I work at SoundCloud, mostly on the Mac and iOS applications, sometimes at Music Hack Days. Besides that, I study Computer Science in my native Berlin.

What hardware do you use?

I recently treated myself to a maxed-out 13" MacBook Air with English International keyboard layout and a matching Thunderbolt Display. A great machine and quite powerful to boot, even giving me decent framerates in 3D games.

I own a monome sixty four and a one twenty eight, as well as an [arc 4][arc], beautifully minimalistic controllers, that have gathered an unfortunate amount of dust over the last couple of months.

I have a pair of Ultrasone DJ1 Pro headphones that I carry around with me all the time.

At work, my machine is a early 2011, top-of-the-line 27" iMac, probably the fastest computer I've ever worked on and makes for a great development machine.

I run a dual monitor set up, the other display being some 24" Samsung screen. Nothing to write home about but the extra pixels are very much appreciated.

My phone is a iPhone 4S, I also own an iPad 2.

And what software?

I'm not emotionally attached to any particular brand or operating system. Still, I run OS X Lion almost exclusively, the only exception being the occasional game on Windows 7.

I use a very clever tool called F.lux to automatically adjust my monitor's white-point based on the time of day. It takes a great amount of stress off your eyes and I urge everyone to try it out for a couple of days. It's cross platform, too.

I've ditched OS X's own Terminal.app for iTerm 2, which sports proper fullscreen, split windows, auto-completion and much more. However, its killer feature is the Hotkey window, which allows me to open a fast, fullscreen console no matter what I am currently doing. Using the awkwardly named PCKeyboardHack, I mapped my Caps Lock key to F13, which I then made the trigger for the Hotkey window – finally putting that key to a good use.

Inside of iTerm 2, I run zsh using the default theme + some plugins from oh my zsh.

Most of my iOS and Mac development happens inside of Xcode 4. It crashes probably a few times a day but on a fast machine, I can live with that.

My text editor of choice is currently Sublime Text 2. I like it because it is fast, cross-platform, good looking and has a nice distraction free mode in which I am currently writing this interview. Someday, I'll sit down and learn all its fancy features.

If I write something, I will probably check it into git at some point and push it to Github.

My go-to language is CoffeeScript, my preferred browser is Chrome and I use Sparrow for E-Mail.

On the go and off the grid, I read articles in Instapaper and books using the Readmill app and listen to Spotify.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm very happy with what I currently have. My dream set up would probably be two large displays, powered by a thin and light laptop without fans that still has good graphics performance. I'm almost there.