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Agile: The choice of Tools (aka a Linux user working on a Windows stack based company)

Last year I made a job change and ended up in a company with a big attachment towards Microsoft products.

Not having worked in a Windows environment for 10 years approx, I decided to give it a try. I played with WSL, PowerShell, and other handfull of options I had, but ended-up erasing my work laptop and going back to the tools that make me be agile at my profession.

It's not that I don't want to change or adapt to what they ask me, it's that I decide not to; both for ethical and professional reasons.

In any case, after 6 months of working both in a Windows laptop (from work) and a Linux-based workstation (at home), I ended up giving a little internal speech about what Agile is for a developer.

Not going to deepen on it, but we could summarize my talk saying that:

In any work field, tools are what we use in order to shape the knowledge we have. If we have no access to these tools, or what they provided to us, we feel one-handed.

Bear in mind, I'm in favour of anyone using whatever makes them agile at their work, no matter the OS, IDE's, or the language they use. Debating about the pros and cons of each of them it's an eternal flame fight, but you should never impose it and give people the freedom to choose their weapons.

choose your weapon image

Now, some quick points after my experiment:

If you're a Windows user and want a more Linux friendly environment

  • Try the WSL 1 and if possible 2. Beware of Docker usage limitation if you use version 1.

  • Can get comfy on any terminal level you need; GitBash, Hyper, Cmder or ConEmu.

  • Package Management usage; got scoop for powershell and chocolatey for the rest

  • Powershell for Sysadmins, no starch editorial book

  • Keep a close eye on beta and alpha releases, they're evolving fast on terminals :)

If you're a Linux user that needs to work on a Windows based-stack

  • teams for linux Non-official. Yes, they're working on an official version, but up till now, it's not competing with this one.

edit: after some months the teams linux-client official release was stable enough to move forward onto the so appreciated Isma's work

Another option is using web version, but have screen-sharing and videoconf limitations, depending on the browser.

  • onedrive

    Free Client for OneDrive on Linux

  • outlook web version; don't need a client.

Check networking connections
In my case, I had to enable Protected EAP Authentication both for wireless and wired connection at the office, providing my credentials.

If you use VPN, check that too, OpenConnect will mostly help u

  • smbclient / smbpasswd for windows domain resource management

  • sharepoint
    I handled it with dafvs mounting points
    mount.davfs -o rw https://\*\*\*\*\*\* my-shared-resources

  • Libreoffice

  • Skype Business there's no alternative for this. Ended up using mobile phone Android app when needed.

Gotta say, nowadays, most of the issues I have to deal with, are company policy-related and non-diversity issues towards other OS, but guess with time, this cultural unfitness may loosen up as more employees demand it.

My advice: make friends with people in a similar situation. Most of the ones I talked to already tried things that may be helpful for you.

Are there any tools you use on Linux-based systems to make an easier windows-stack environment? Suggestions appreciated.

Top comments (1)

abbm586 profile image

In my company the MS-Office was my pain. The web version were closed for "security" reasons.
I first used LibreOffice. Then changed to WPS-Office. Using Libre the format would be different when MS-Office users received my documents.
I use Hiri to sync Outlook.
Just be aware Hiri is licensed for one email address, though...