Things that I use and like, professionally or otherwise.
- Visual Studio Code: my favorite editor ever. I was a reluctant Sublime convert but the switch was more than worth it.
- Theme: I use the built-in Monokai theme.
- Font: MonoLisa. I’m a code nerd and a font nerd. This is my favorite dev font. (If you’re not willing to spend the money though—and I definitely understand if that’s the case—Fira Code is my runner-up.)
- Extensions: I don’t have too many global recommendations here (it depends a lot on what you’re working with), but I’ll mention:
- Bracket Pair Colorizer: makes it easier to distinguish where a code block ends by assigning the same color to the opening and closing brackets.
- Polacode: a nifty, pretty way to take code screenshots
- Live Share: the best way to collaborate on code remotely that I’ve ever used.
- es6-string-html: treats HTML inside template literal strings like actual HTML code, for the purposes of highlighting, code completion, Emmett, etc.
- GitLens: less indispensable now that VS Code has the Timeline view, but still amazingly handy for viewing git status and history in projects.
- Close HTML/XML Tag: the only keyboard shortcut I miss from Sublime Text is easily replicated with this extension. Gives you a key command to auto-close whatever HTML tag your cursor is inside of.
- Local: hands-down the best way to develop WordPress sites. Fast and easy (especially if you host with Flywheel or WP Engine; you can push and pull sites directly).
- CodeKit: there’s nothing CodeKit does that I couldn’t accomplish by fiddling with NPM scripts, but why bother? It’s smooth and easy to use, and as a bonus, it works great with Local.
- iTerm2: I’ve tried other terminals, but none seem to run as well, and with the recent update, arguably, none look better, either.
- Netlify: I’m also a fan of Now, but Netlify has taken over my JAMstack hosting #1 spot. It’s free to start and unbelievably easy. Netlify makes the painfully difficult effortlessly simple.
Languages and frameworks
- I’m also a big fan of Svelte, and I know React as well, which is also cool but it’s not my favorite.
- I love CSS passionately, but I don’t use any libraries or frameworks; all my CSS is from-scratch and custom (usually written in SCSS).
- I’m a WordPress expert and generally prefer to build themes from scratch (as with this one).
- Professionally, I work in Ruby on Rails with SCSS and HAML templates using Vue components.
- Firefox: currently in the middle of trying to convert again after failing last time. Liking what I see so far. (Brave is my fallback choice.)
- CloudApp: taking screenshots and videos is a many-times-daily activity for me, and CloudApp makes it as seamless as possible.
- RightFont: a simple, minimalist app for managing your computer’s fonts that looks and works better than Mac’s built-in FontBook.
- Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse: I could feel my wrist straining using both a magic mouse and a touchpad. I switched to this mouse years ago. It took some adjustment, but I don’t ever want to use another mouse again, and I don’t even use the extra buttons.
Productivity & Utility
- Alfred: the first thing I install on every new Mac. (I use the powerpack for added features, which is worth every penny.) The main features I love are clipboard history, snippet expansion, global search (never touch Finder again!), and workflows to automate repetitive or tedious tasks. Wouldn’t ever want to work without it.
- Rectangle: never drag or resize another window again. Keyboard shortcuts to put everything right where you need it.
- Bartender: helps wrangle all those app icons in your taskbar if you’re a minimalist like me.
- Rocket: lends you Slack-like ability to use emoji anywhere. Way better than the OSX default emoji picker.
- Notion: my current favorite notes app. Can grow and get as complex as you need it to be, but for simple notes, the markdown and code highlight support is fantastic.
- 1Password: I’ve tried and liked other password software, but 1Password is just the most reliable cross-platform and -device in my experience.
Design and Illustration
- Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher: you can have software 90% as good as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign forever for the cost of three months of Creative Cloud.
- Wacom Intuos Pro PTH-451 (small): I don’t often illustrate these days, but when I do, I’m always glad I have this fantastic pad. Wireless is a big plus.