My prefered tools for coding

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Guy writing code

Back in 2011, I wrote few short posts about what I install right after reinstalling windows.  I figured that 9 years is enough time between these kinds of posts.  This time, I’m going to go over my prefered tools for writing code.


I’ve been using Apple laptops since 2013.  I tried using a Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Gold Edition a few years ago as my everyday carry laptop.  It didn’t go great.  I eventually replaced it with a MacBook Pro.  MacOS just works better with docker.

I would recommend buying a used, very well speced MacBook Pro.  I got mine off of eBay.


Code Editor

I have been using Sublime Text for years.  The licensing model is pretty good and it is cross-platform.  Since they don’t offer ARM binaries and it is closed source, I have had issues with it.  I haven’t found a code editor that I like more, though.

SQL Client

One of the few things I took away from a previous employer was a fondness for Navicat.  It is exceptionally expensive but it lets you connect to MySQL, MariaDB, MongoDB, SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SQLite databases from a single application and it works really well.

Since I can’t justify paying so much to use Navicat at home, I use TablePlus at home.  To be honest, I don’t use it a whole lot.  SQL isn’t something that I tend to write for pleasure.

Source Control

I use Git and I use it from the terminal.  You can use it with Github, GitLab, or Bitbucket for free.


I’ve used MAMP, Homestead, Valet, and plain VirtualBox VMs over the years but these days, I just use Docker.  It’s easier than everything else out there and laradock is a great starting point if you write laravel.



I’ve used Linode and DigitalOcean in the past (mostly to host this blog) but these days, I use Google Cloud to host this site, GitHub Pages to host, Keybase to host, and Render to host assorted web apps.

I also use Cloudflare to where I can (you can’t use it with most of what I have listed above).


Sauce Labs is great for testing your website on various web browsers in various operating systems.  Sometimes it’s not as good as the real thing, so I also keep an Android One phone and an iPhone 6s around for testing things.  Sauce Labs does offer a service that lets you test remotely on real hardware but it is kind of expensive.


My employer offers free access to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda).  It’s ok but Pluralsight is better.  Wisconsin also offers a lot of good face-to-face learning opportunities (like MilwaukeeJS, That Conference, Milwaukee Code Camp, and Cyphercon).


Have a question? Feel free to drop a comment, below.


[ Cover photo by Samuel Bourke on Unsplash ]