Against (company) setup scripts
I recently reinstalled from scratch to El Capitan (I have to say it’s pretty neat) and of course had to go through the ordeal of setting up my dev environment.
The company I work for has long battled to create some kind of setup script that will make this process easier, installing tools like rbenv downloading projects, setting up nginx, and so on. There have been a couple separate attempts, all in different states of disrepair at this point so I decided to use none of them and brave the process on my own, possibly learning something. And lo and behold - it wasn’t so bad!
It actually took me just an evening and a day to get everything set up with the projects I usually work in. I’m now also much more confident that I can debug this setup when something goes wrong compared to the much more opaque setup scripts I used in the past. Huh. Who knew?
It seems to me that a setup script is a good idea from the perspective of a new hire but might ultimately not be worth the effort. It’s at least a half-time job to keep the script current, make sure it works with newest software and hardware. That kind of work is also difficult to justify - all of the people who worked extensively on these scripts in the past have done so mainly after hours which resulted in a half-finished product that still needed a lot of debugging when used which made the claim that they save you time dubious.