Hi, I'm Bassam Ismail

Setup - 2018 editition

2 mins read setup

Text editor


I use Visual Studio Code for all sorts of development. I have swapped it for PHPStorm for Drupal development as xDebug works flawlessly and I don’t have to worry about my laptop overheating.

The UI and syntax theme I’m using is Arc+. It’s gentle on my eyes and as an added bonus it matches the OS UI too.

I use the Settings Sync plugin to backup the editor’s settings and extensions to GitHub Gists. You can find them here.


Terminal Gnome Terminal is the terminal of my choice. It’s the default terminal that comes with Ubuntu and isn’t half bad at customizations.

I’ve swapped bash for zsh and use oh-my-zsh with a few third-party plugins. I’m using Spaceship prompt theme and Nord for the terminal color scheme. You can find all my dotfiles here.



I’ve been using Space Mono for years now. It’s my goto monospace font. I use it with my text editor, terminal, and for code snippets on this website.

Also, it’s cost $0. You can get it from Google Fonts.

Operating System

Operating System

After using various MacBook’s for the last 6 years, in 2017 I bought a Dell XPS 13. It came preinstalled with Windows 10 which I did like and used for a couple of months until hitting a wall. The WSL support is still rudimentary and they have a long way to go. Failing to achieve anything close to a decent developer experience I switched to Ubuntu 18.04 and now 18.10.

Ubuntu is really fast compared to macOS and Windows but it comes at a cost. The OS isn’t polished like it’s counterparts and I run into bugs every now and then especially related to HiDPI screen scaling and Bluetooth audio.

If you are a designer or a front-end developer then Ubuntu isn’t for you. You can’t open design files (like Sketch, Figma, or Photoshop) and the chores it takes to keep the OS functioning are too high. I’m considering moving to MacBook Pro sometime next year.


Hardware setup

I’m using a Dell XPS 13” (2017 edition) with 16GB RAM and 512MB SSD. Here is my not so positive review. Do take it with a grain of salt considering this is from when I was using Windows 10 on it.

Here is the assorted list of other products I use day to day.

  • Dell 21” monitor
  • Logitech MK850 Combo
  • Audio Techinca M50x
  • Blue Snowball iCE
  • Bullet Wireless earphones
  • OnePlus 6T

Mobile setup

  • Developer
  • Father
  • Human