Work inspiration with Zach Holman

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Zach Holman

Developer from San Francisco | Ruby, JavaScript, and Shell

I'm Zach Holman, and I'm a developer. I’ve been working on things at GitHub for the last four years.


On the hardware side, I use the rev A 15" Retina MacBook Pro. Pretty big fan of pixels, and I don't particularly want to ever go back to a non-Retina lifestyle.

A few years back I decided to stop fighting it and just upgrade my phone every year. I use that object every day more than anything else in life, so it makes sense to stay on the latest and greatest. Been really enjoying the iPhone 5S the last few months, and really miss the Touch ID sensor when I switch to my Retina iPad Mini. Big fan of the Mini form factor, though; the traditional iPad size is just way too big for what I use it for.

Though traditionally I've shot Nikon, I've switched to the Fujifilm X100S and have fallen in love with it. I travel a lot, so the smaller form factor is much appreciated (and it takes great photos to boot!)


Naturally I'm a pretty heavy user of Git. Most of what I do will end up using Git in some capacity, really.

I'm typically going to end up using Ruby for most projects, although I've been using more and more Shell lately, too... there's something very liberating about using that clunky language.

On the Mac side of things, I use Aperture to manage my photos, iA Writer to write Markdown, Sparrow for mail, Adium for IM, Day One for journaling, Traktor for DJing, and Alfred to open most things.

Dream setup

I used to be on a 13" MacBook Pro and I think I liked that form factor, although the additional pixels on the 15" is pretty nice. I think ideally, though, I want a MacBook Air — but it has to be Retina. Once that finally ships, I'll happily switch over.

Beyond that, man, who knows. Dream setups are kind of boring to me nowadays. It's been a long time since I've worried about the performance of my hardware- everything is software constraints at this point, with the sole exception of wanting much better battery life.


I like information, so I procrastinate on Twitter, RSS, Hacker News and Reddit a fair amount. I think the greatest inspiration for me comes from seeing what other people are doing today. Just seeing someone use a technology in a slightly different way can sometimes trigger a completely different idea in the back of my mind. That's why I love it when people share all these dumb ideas they might have... it helps stimulate my own dumb ideas.