The Essential Mac #5: Software Development

My Essential Mac series profiles those applications that I consider essential- apps so important to my workflow that I won’t upgrade my OS without them.

Today’s entry, Software Development, is probably the least useful to my audience, but I’m including it for completeness. What makes it not entirely useful? Mainly because at this point I’m a software development hobbyist, focused on iOS software development. I’m sure that a true full-time developer would look at my list and immediately rattle off half a dozen software packages that I’ve never heard of. (As an aside, if you are reading this as a serious software developer, please list some of your favorites in the comments- thanks!)


Xcode is Apple’s integrated development environment for iOS and Mac software development. It includes a text editor, compiler, debugging tools, and everything else you’d expect from a modern IDE.


Xcode includes integration with git, a distributed version control system. It’s a pretty basic integration, though, and there are better tools out there. In particular, I’m using SourceTree, a free git client that provides a comprehensive version control toolset, including github integration.

Wait. That’s it? What about a text editor? Like I said, I’m a software development hobbyist. 99% of the time, the integrated Xcode editor does all I need. I’m using TextWrangler, a free version of BBEdit for other tasks, but I can hardly call it essential at this point.

Next time I’ll wrap up the Essential Mac series with a writeup of my favorite web applications.