I spend all day, every day making websites. As a result, I’ve had to think a lot about the tools I use, what would make my life easier? What would speed up my development workflow?
Being a front-end developer in a fast paced agency is a juggling act. On the one hand, I’m constantly trying to keep up to date with the latest trends and technologies, and on the other, I’m trying to hit deadlines and need to stick to what I know in order to plough throw work as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, I’ve managed to come up with a happy medium, bringing together a starting platform of software, plugins and code that I can add to as and when I become comfortable using a new piece of tech.
My software stack is pretty standard and relatively small when I’m building a website. For the most part, I use:
- Adobe Photoshop – Every design that’s done by the team, or that I do myself is done in Photoshop. It’s the starting point for every single project I work on.
- MAMP – I’m still on a budget, so I only use the standard version of MAMP, and it seems to do the trick for me. Back in the day, I used to have live staging sites, and would upload files by FTP. Switching to local development changed my life for the better.
- SourceTree – I use BitBucket as my git client of choice. GitHub is great too, but BitBucket allows for more privacy, which suits me a bit better. I’m a sucker for a nice GUI, and SourceTree makes the previously daunting task of source control an absolute doddle.
- Terminal – Where would I be without Terminal? Since learning Grunt, and moving to local development, Terminal is one of the few pieces of software that remain open all day.
- Sublime Text – Sublime is my editor of choice, and has been for the past couple of years. I learnt my trade on Dreamweaver, and held onto it for much longer than I should, but once I let Sublime into my life, I can’t imagine going back to anything else. It’s so simple and it encourages you to do what I love most… Just write code.
- iTunes – Fine, it’s not software I need to use to build a website, but where would I be without a decent soundtrack to my development? Sometimes finding the right thing to listen to while I code is half the battle. Get it right, and everything’s going to be much easier.