Tools of the Trade

As I go back to blogging, to write my first post, inspired by Wes Bos' usage post, I would discuss and list the tools I use, either professionally or personally, as an avid Product Hunt user with over 1,700 products upvoted(and counting), I enjoy testing out new products and will keep this list updated as things change.

#Static site/Blog

This blog is built with Gatsby.js and deployed to Netlify through its GitHub integration, it uses the Gatsby blog starter, forked from Dan Abramov's blog with some small CSS modifications of my own, as well as removing some unused features such as translations that I do not expect to utilize any time soon. I am especially surprised at how easy it was to setup Netlify with Github and a simple blog template, including features like PR previews, I have considered moving to GitLab in the past, but as GitHub functions as close to a developer's social network, it feels it's more useful to keep coding entries there.

Whenever creating new simple sites and doing exercises I prefer to use Next.js as a starter, I am a big fan of ZEIT's products and their simplicity, as well as its simple design, after starting so many Next.js projects I decided to create my own boilerplate to aggregate some of the most use tooling that I couple next.js with.

UPDATE: I've switched this blog to be a next.js app hosted on Vercel(formerly ZEIT), purely out of personal preference.

#Runner ups

#The case against Medium

I have blogged through Medium before, most of it was to try some forms of content writing, and see what sticks, while centralizing within a content network makes it easier to aggregate views, I found it to encourage simpler, "buzzwordy" pieces of content that most of the time are not valuable. It also goes against the initial goals of the web, as Medium also adds bigger pop-ups and footers to increase subscription rates and app install counts, it has lost some of its initial allure that promised a clean, content-focused website, and, as a developer, I found it a good hobby to maintain my own website.

I've used Hugo and Jekyll a few times, I've found Hugo to be easier to setup even if Jekyll is not that far behind, being older Jekyll also has way more options for themes. Hugo also seems faster. My choice for Gatsby was mostly based on finding it easy to work with the blog starter and the theme.

Wordpress is a better solution for some companies and is a way more complete CMS, as I didn't intend to do much more than simple writing, I preferred a static site generator since it won't require any hosting and databases and it will all be versioned in a hosted VCS. Static sites will also outperform Wordpress easily, however, Wordpress has better SEO tooling.

#Developer tools

I've tried Hyper Terminal but I end up usually coming back toiTerm2, as much as it is easier to customize Hyper, I find myself using theme defaults, and Hyper is not yet fast enough as it is still an Electron app.

I also use tmux and oh-my-zsh as terminal tooling, most of my work is in the terminal as I prefer Vim to any other editor, I've also started collecting mydotfiles for reuse.

I am still not sure about programming fonts, but I am growing fond of Iosevka at the moment.

I don't do much design, but I've started usingFigma for wireframing, it replaces my only killer mac app,Sketch , well enough for me and comes with a generous free plan.

#Runners up

While I use nothing but vim for a while now, I usually recommend and I am very impressed at how good Visual Studio Code is.

#Coding in

Most of my work is JavaScript and React these days, preferably Typescript. I also enjoy Vue.JS and will be trying the newest, shiny JavaScript framework du jour from time to time.

I enjoy using Project Euler to learn about programming languages and stimulate problem solving as a hobby, I've solved over80 of them in different languages including Haskell, Elixir, Ruby, Python and Go.

#I should learn

A few programming languages and technologies which I haven't touched much yet but I am eager to learn:

  • Kotlin
  • Swift
  • containers and k8s
  • GraphQL
  • Electron
  • React Native
  • Tensorflow

#Productivity

This one is a big for me, I've tried just about every productivity app I can find, I am slowly settling on Notion because of how simple and flexible it is, migrating from Evernote and Google Keep, however I still useTodoist for tasks as it is still one of the better tools out there for the job including presence in the biggest amount of platforms I've found so far, I still think there is room for improvement in all of these, I miss keybindings in most productivity software.

Toby is my new tab page on Chrome, it has replaced Pocket for me and works better than normal bookmarks.

#Runner ups

I likeWorkflowy and Dynalist , just find Notion to be outperforming them. Trello is my favorite team project management tool with Asana a close second.

#Communication & Misc

I've been tracking my computer and mobile usage with RescueTime and WakaTime to track coding activity.

This has revealed that Instagram is my most commonly used app and is my primary social networking activity, you can still find my resume on LinkedIn though

I've also been growing engagement with Twitter, and Tweetdeck is a must.

I also like the idea behind Mastodon decentralized approach, although I haven't found much within the community yet

I am using Station as a tool to aggregate communication tools, while most communities I participate use Slack, I've enjoyed trying out Discord so far.

#News & Media

My primary resources for news are Hacker News and Reddit. I also enjoy the mechanics behind Nuzzel. I also check Product Hunt regularly for new Products and tools.