Developers August 5, 2020

What are your favorite dev/design tools you can't live without?

Catherine Chen @klickers

What tools do you find 1) most useful, 2) save you time, or 3) etc.?

  1. 2
    • Dev VSCode, design Sketch
    • Kap for capturing quick animations of what I'm doing
    • I've been eyeballing Polypane as a dev replacement for Chrome but haven't gotten around to testing it yet
    • I also build a lot of tooling myself, this one for testing multi-touch input without a mobile device is super useful
  2. 2

    For design I heavily rely on Figma and Presentator (and sometimes Illustrator for logos/print).

  3. 2

    I mean, I'm kind of building a tool to save SaaS developers time, so uh, that, but while I'm building Nodewood, I am absolutely in love with:

    • Tailwind CSS: The very best way to do CSS these days, and it pairs exceptionally well with Vue components
    • MassiveJS: A PostgreSQL data mapper that just makes sense to me. Nodewood uses "plain" models that can be shared between the back-end and front-end, so I can use MassiveJS in my services to build the models, and then pass them back and forth through the API and use them directly in the UI. Really saves on code re-use.
    • Lodash: An oldie, but a goodie, there are so many useful functions in here that ought to be in base JavaScript, and functional versions of existing functions. It really keeps my code clean and simple.
    1. 2

      Yep, Tailwind is always my choice for CSS as well! I've seen Lodash around a lot (I'm assuming it's that package dependency-bot is warning me to update), but I never knew what it was used for until now.

  4. 1

    Design tools

    • Figma. Quite simple to use. I do most of my design work here. Basic version is free. I even created business cards in it for print.
    • Gimp. I use it for thingsI can't acomplish in Figma (like photo editing).

    Dev tools

    • Clojure(Script). I can't imagine I could efficiently program in another language. I love the philosophy of Clojure. If you want to find out more about it, check Rich Hickey talks. He is the creator of Clojure. Also, you can use it both for front-end and back-end. You can even share the code between them.
    • IntelliJ IDEA & Cursive. Cursive is a plugin for Clojure for IntelliJ IDE. It does a lot. Examples of some most notable: Structural editing is an amazing thing you can't live without, once you get used to it. Also Cursive integrates REPL into IDE.
    • REPL. REPL is a power tool that allows you to change code of running aplication. It makes programming more interactive and more fun. You change the code and you instantly see the change. It is easy to play with code and find out how stuff works.
  5. 1

    I use:

    • Figma.
    • Vs Code
    • Bulma or Tailwind

    Then I built one to myself.

  6. 1

    Adobe Illustrator is my go to for design work from mockups to actual artwork creation (icons, backgrounds, print design, various web graphics, etc. While there are softwares dedicated to mockups, I find knowing a software in and out saves time, so I always reach for AI.

    Because of AI I subscribe to Adobe CC, which has a suite of creative software. I use PhotoShop regularly, Dreamweaver, and a few random others on rare occasion.

  7. 1

    I don't know it they fit in the "dev/design tools" but I can't live without

    • docker + docker-compose - makes the development and moving things to production so easy and repeatable
    • makefile - I have commands for everything: make start to start development, make stop to stop the development environment and clean it up, make <service>.build <service>.deploy to build and deploy a certain service
    • bootstrap - I'm the most comfortable with it at the moment
    • SASS - for customization of bootstrap when needed.
    • PyCharm Pro - it also has support for JSX, HTML and SCSS. All in one for backend/frontend development.
  8. 1

    Very specific to my stack (Laravel): Tinkerwell & lately Helo.
    Helo is a local mail-catcher that makes it really easy to debug emails.
    Tinkerwell is like a console for your PHP app. Great for manually testing things in isolation, or anything else really. Once I found some uses for it I can't imagine not using it

    1. 1

      I'm a Laravel dev too, so I'll need to check out Helo and Tinkerwell. I haven't yet figured out how to make emails workin my Laravel applications, but someday...

  9. 1

    I love the Pixlr suite of image editors in the cloud, formerly by Autodesk. Particularly the lightweight Pixlr X, which has a clean design and a toolset with just the most frequently used features.

    As for development tools, my favorite is the Repl.it multi-language cloud IDE. As a Chrome OS user, I love Repl.it because it works fully in the cloud.

    1. 2

      Pixlr looks cool! I will have to try it out.

      And yes, I love Repl.it as well. It's like JSFiddle, but not just for JS and for larger projects.

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