For this month’s technical blog post, I wanted to share some of my favourite tools that I use as an engineer. 😊 I’m quite aware that there are probably loads of posts like these in the wider tech community but I thought that I’d share mine anyway.
These are tools that I use every single day at work and for my projects as well!
1. Visual Studio Code
I use VSCode as my main IDE.
When I first started, I used to use Text Editors that came built-in on my machine. Further down my tech journey, I realised that IDEs were a thing so switched over!
Gone are the days of using random text editors that were mostly used for exactly that – .txt files 😂 Initially, I used Sublime Text then moved onto Atom. I felt quite “meh” about all of them until I found VS Code which just has a much nicer developer experience.
I prefer it to other editors not only because of the cleaner UI but also because you can fully customise it to be your own with themes and plugins. Yep, there might be a Pawlean theme on mine (which is a bit of an eyesore so I don’t use it often 🤪)
Although I sometimes use the built-in terminal within VS Code, I still like to have a separate terminal for certain tasks (like running Docker) My MacBook comes with it’s own Terminal application and it does everything that you need, but I like the extra features that iTerm provides.
It also “feels” nicer than using the Terminal application… Not sure if that’s just me. 🤣
When you spend all day looking at a terminal (I find in my new role as an SRE, 90% of my time is looking at my terminal > a code editor), it’s important that what you’re looking at is nice and clear.
I’ve set up oh-my-zsh which really helps me with navigating around my terminal. Another thing I love about oh-my-zsh is when you’re using git and can clearly see which branch you’re in. 🔥 “ugh, which branch am I in again?” Days are gone!
4. Prettier (plugin for VS Code)
Prettier is one of my favourite plugins on VS Code. Now I don’t need to worry about the format of my code, I’d be rest assured that actually my code will always be well formatted. Top tip: set up the “Format on Save” option and shave off seconds in formatting your code.
At work, we’ve got a docker container that has our whole development environment up. The only thing we need to do to do any development is to run single line docker run command and everything is up in a matter of minutes.
This is a huge step for us as a few months ago, this was quite a manual process and we’d get the “it works on my machine” scenorios. But since using docker, everything is much more seamless! Not to mention, the more I learn about Docker, the more mind blown I am at how easy it makes our techie’s lives.
And that’s it for now! Let me know what some of your favourite tech tools are. ⬇️