Setting Up Your Windows For Programming / Coding (web development)

setting up your computer for programming / coding (web development)

One of the most important and necessary things to do as a developer is setting up your machine. Though this might seem easy especially on Operating Systems such as MacOs and Linux, it mostly hard and a headache to do on a windows machine. With a little experience over the years, I find windows machines a hell to go with as far as development is concerned. If you ask for my recommendations, I’d suggest you go in for a Unix based box. But I know a lot out there prefer to use windows and that’s not a problem because today am going to be teaching you how to set up your windows machine for development. This tutorial is going to be as basic and self explanatory as possible. So my noobs out there don’t worry, I encourage you not to panic but rather grab a cup of coffee and get ready to follow along smoothly.

Before I move straight into the main tutorials, I’d first like to explain some really important concepts which is going to answer the questions to why we are setting up our machines the way this tutorial is going to be teaching. Also this tutorial is going to cover the following:

  • Terminal with a suitable package manager
  • Text editor with suitable extensions
  • A version control system (VCS), Git

1. Terminal

A unix-based (Arch linux) Terminal

Windows terminals have proven to be insufficient as it is very inefficient and slow in accomplishing development task. But in recent times, developers have contributed to developing terminal tools to aid windows developers complete their development task with ease. So lets get straight into it. We’ll not be using windows’ default terminal (command prompt).
We’ll need to install Cmder. Cmder is a software package created out of pure frustration over the absence of nice and efficient console emulators on Windows. It is based on amazing software, and spiced up with the Monokai color scheme and a custom prompt layout, looking sexy from the start. Follow the instructions below to install Cmder.

1. Go to this link -> https://cmder.net/ and download cmder

cmder homepage

N.B : There are two options to download from namely the Mini and Full. If you choose the Mini, you would have limited features and would have to install git with cmder manually(don’t worry, will show you how very soon). But if you choose the full setup with git, then you don’t need to install git again. In this case it is recommeded to go in for the full version.

2. Wait for it to finish downloading,Run the setup and voila it’s installed

2. Package Manager

The package manager we’ll be using is called chocolatey. Follow the instructions below to install chocolatey package manager.

  1. Open your terminal as an Administrator. You can do that by pressing the windows key and typing cmd and press Shift key + Enter and select yes from the dialog box that appears.

In case you choose to use cmder, first of all you will have to extract (with WinRAR https://www.win-rar.com) your downloaded files to your pc directory/Folder, Pragram files directory is recommended. How to find program files?

  • Go to and open your local Disk on your computer
local Disk (C:)
  • locate and Open Program files not Program files (x86)
Program Files
  • Create a new folder(Ctrl + shift + N) to store extracted cmder files. I recommend you name the folder cmder as I have done below (first folder) in Program Files directory
create a new folder called cmder

Now that we have our folder ready, it’s time to extract the downloaded files.

extracting cmder files to program files
  • From the next dialog box, navigate to the cmder folder we created. follow in this order(This Pc//Local Disk(C:)//Program Files//Cmder)
    N.B: the small minus sign(-) means minimize/close and the (+) means maximize/open.. so incase you don't find the folder, you will have to open by clicking the (+) sign.
locating the cmder folder
  • Now click ok
  • In order to create the cmder shortcut to desktop or taskbar, Right click on cmder icon in the cmder folder we created in the Program Files folder, select create shortcut and choose ok/yes or select pin to taskbar
creating cmder shortcut icon to desktop or taskbar
ignore message and click yes to create shortcut on desktop to allow easy accessibility
  • Now that we have the shortcut icon created on our desktop or taskbar, Right click on the icon and select Run as administrator.
run as administrator

N.B: Terminal must be ran as Administrator.

2. Copy and paste all the codes from the link below and press enter
https://gist.github.com/CODETOPIA-COMMUNITY/fcf26145bc83759bc61cf3c7b86049c0

3. Wait till the installation is done. Close and reopen the terminal and type choco -v to verify that the installation has succeeded.

4. Voila! It’s done

3. Text Editor / IDE (Integrated Desktop Environment)

  1. Open your terminal (cmder, I’d prefer) as an Administrator.
  2. Type into it choco install vscode and press enter
  3. Enter yes or y to any question that’s being asked
  4. Wait until the installation is done and type code -v and press enter to test your installation. If successfully installed, a string (series) of numbers or version of vscode will appear.

Extension for web development

  1. Press Ctrl + B to view the side bar if it’s not in view
  2. Click on the extension’s icon which is the fifth icon on the left side.You can alternatively press Ctrl + Shift + X to select
  3. Type the name of the extension you want to install, in this case it’s going to be prettier (An extension for refactoring code and making it look organized as the name suggests)
  4. Select the first option and click on install
  5. After prettier is installed, repeat the the same process to install for Lorem (An extension for giving content)
  6. Voila!!! We are done
Installing the extensions

A Version Control System (VCS), Git

  1. Copy and paste or type choco install git and press enter.
    (If you installed the full version of cmder, then you don’t need to install git again. But you can go ahead if you doubt that git is indeed installed on your computer. If git is already installed, our package manager (chocolatey) will issue a warning telling you that you already have git installed. If no warning, chocolatey will install git for you.).
  2. Type yes or y and enter to any question asked.
  3. wait till the installation is done.

Now our system is ready and capable of running some real programming codes… hahah!

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