Sharpen Your Axe
Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” An axe is a strength multiplier. You can be the strongest lumberjack in the world, but with a dull axe, you’re screwed. The same goes for development.
Thus, every month or so, I dedicate a few hours to upgrading my productivity setup (i.e. sharpening my axe). Over the years, I’ve built up a set of personal automations, scripts, apps, plugins, extensions, etc. that allow me to work faster than most. This isn’t backed by quantitative evidence, but just qualitative data points from countless employee coding interviews I’ve conducted.
The human-to-computer interface as it stands now is rather slow and terrible. This is one of the reasons why Elon Musk is working on Neuralink, but until we get brain implants, we as developers are bound by our physical bodies to communicate with our machines. Whenever you boost your own productivity, you are increasing the bandwidth and throughput of your HCI. Anyways, this a long way of me saying, “Invest in your own productivity, because no one else will.”
What follows is a running list of some of my favorite productivity tools and apps.
- dotfiles - My bash, fish, and macOS command line setup
- z -
cdanywhere based on ‘frecency’
- Alfred - Spotlight, hotkeys, keywords, text expansion, and clipboard history
- Awesome Alfred Workflows - An awesome list of installable Alfred workflows
- Jared Palmer’s VS Code Extension Pack - All of my VSCode extensions, in one installable extension pack
- iTerm - Terminal emulator
- Grammarly Chrome Extension - Spell checker that works on everything I type online
- 1Password - Password manager
- Better Snap Tool - Window manager for macOS
- iStat Menus - macOS monitoring in a neat menu bar app
- xScope - Measurement and alignment app that works over any other app
- The Noun Project - Over 2 Million curated icons
- Google Slides AddOn - Quickly search/add icons to Google Slides presentations
- Octolinker - A browser extension for GitHub, that turns language-specific statements like
importinto clickable links
- BrowserStack - Interactive cross browser testing on 2000+ real devices and browsers
- Wappalyzer - Chrome extension that uncovers the technologies and frameworks used on websites
- Bitmoji Chrome Extension - Directly insert Bitmojis into Gmail, Jira, and GitHub
- Tailor for iOS - Automatic Screenshot Stitching
- JSONViewer for Chrome - Pretty prints JSON nicely when you visit it “directly” in a browser tab
- FontFace Ninja - Chrome extension for inspecting, try, and bookmark fonts
- Kap - An open-source screen recorder built with web technology
- Prettier Chrome Extension - Run prettier on markdown codeblocks within GitHub and StackOverflow inputs, textareas, etc.