Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Evan Prodromou

Evan Prodromou

Developer, founder (, Wikitravel,

Posted in developer, linux

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Evan Prodromou. I'm the founder of, a software-as-a-service company that makes it easy for programmers to add artificial intelligence to their apps. I founded Wikitravel and in the past, and I was the founding CTO at Breather. I live in the snow in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with two great kids, two OK cats, and a fantastic and very tolerant wife.

What hardware do you use?

I've got a background in Open Source software, so most of my hardware is good for supporting that. My primary computer is a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition running Ubuntu 15.10. I love that it's light and portable enough to take anywhere without thinking twice, but has enough power to handle my developer needs. I have a ThinkPad X220 as a rarely-used backup; I hate the irritating keyboard joystick pointer. I use a Moto G phone as my daily mobile device, and I keep around a couple of Nexus 7 tablets for reading or taking notes. I always have a few Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black boards around for doing random projects. And I have some weird devices that I like playing with, like my Neptune Pine phone-watch-thing which I only use on occasion for running.

And what software?

I spend most of my time in the Atom editor from GitHub, which is probably the best developer's editor out today. I use Node.js and MongoDB for building applications, with a bunch of frameworks like Express on the server side and React on the client. I manage our company's servers with Docker for containerization and Docker Compose for configuration. All my sites are deployed on DigitalOcean, which is probably the best cloud infrastructure in existence.

For business, my team uses Google Apps for email, docs, presentations, and Hangouts for our daily standup. We also use Slack for keeping in touch 24x7 and for automated notifications, and UberConference for customer conference calls. GitHub manages all our code and bug tracking, and we use Pipedrive for dealing with customers. My main browser is Mozilla Firefox, mostly because I like the developer tools, but also for the readable-mode that's built in. And I use Mozilla Thunderbird for my desktop email client because it's great.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm 6'2", so I like having big hardware. I think if I had my choice I'd keep a big 15" or 17" laptop in the office. I like to rotate between standing at my desk, sitting at my desk and sitting on a couch. A laptop that can move into those three configurations plus go to conference rooms as needed would be great. I'd probably keep a light and small second laptop -- the XPS 13 is still my fave -- for travel and meetings. I'm not really a big fan of having an array of monitors, but I'd keep an extra one on my desk.

Anything else? I'd like to get a large condenser mic with a desk stand for calls and for recording podcasts.