Every craftsperson has a finely-honed set of tools that they use to ply their craft. People who architect, develop, and deploy software are no different. Tools are important.

The technology that enables me to do my job has changed in ways I could have never imagined when I first got started in the 8-bit days. The tools that use that technology have changed right along with it. The number of options is staggering.

I have a constantly-changing set of tools that I use, which are a mix of all the various things that a developer needs to know. This page links to posts about each of the tools I use and a little bit about why I have chosen it. It's meant to be a dynamic listing, and will be updated as my toolbox is.

I invite your comments here or on the individual pages.

Linux Mint

Linux Mint logo

With more flavors of Linux to choose from than Baskin-Robbins has ice cream, it’s hard to narrow it down. But Mint is my flavor of choice since 2013. The latest release, 19, has compelling new features and improvements.

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Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code logo

Free and open source … from Microsoft? Yep. That’s Visual Studio Code, and I switched to it as my primary coding editor from Sublime Text 3. Why? It’s got killer features that Sublime doesn’t offer, and it’s a great editor.

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PHP logo

PHP: It started as some C programs for a personal home page more than 20 years ago, and the Internet wouldn’t be the same without it.

Over the years, PHP’s demise has been predicted, but it’s really stronger than ever.

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Sublime Text

Sublime Text 3 logo

A text editor is at the heart of a developer’s workflow.

Sublime Text 3 was my primary editor until recently and continues to be an important part of my toolbox.

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Laravel logo

PHP frameworks have been around for a long time. Laravel is a game changer and not only provides a great framework, but so many other tools that make development much easier.

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Git logo

If you deal with files, especially code, you need a way to track those files when they’re created, changed, and even removed. Git does it better than any VCS out there.

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Atom editor logo

Another great editor, I have Atom highly optimized for Markdown editing.

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WordPress logo

More than 25% of all web sites are powered through WordPress, which is written in PHP. That includes this site.

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WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache logo

WordPress needs some help here and there. Caching is certainly one of those areas. WP Super Cache is a quick and easy way to speed up your site.

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Libre Office

LibreOffice logo

Microsoft Office might be ubiquitous, but there are excellent alternatives. And when Linux is your primary OS, Office is not the best choice.

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Markdown logo

Markdown isn’t a program, but a way of formatting text that makes writing a breeze. I’ve been writing pretty much everything in Markdown for years, and I’m not gonna stop any time soon.

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iThemes Security Pro

iThemes Security Pro shield logo

WordPress has reasonable security out of the box, but it’s frankly not enough. Having iThemes Security Pro ensures that my site is as secure as it can be.

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Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder logo

If WordPress makes it a breeze to create the web site you want, Beaver Builder turns it into a Hurricane: more powerful and much faster.

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Slack logo

Slack goes way beyond being a “chat” client. It’s a full-on communications platform that is infinitely extendable. Paying for Slack is possible, but the free version is quite useful as well.

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MySQL logo

MySQL is the database that makes so many web sites possible. PHP might power the web, but MySQL is usually right behind there providing the data necessary for today’s web sites.

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Firefox logo

Firefox is back with its “Quantum” release … and it’s a real leap above the older versions.

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Google Chrome logo

Google Chrome has been around since 2008, and it was a compelling alternative to other browsers. It quickly gained huge market share. Lately, however, the other browsers are starting to catch up.

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VVV logo

Need a quick and easy WordPress development environment? VVV’s got you covered. You can be developin’ in minutes.

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Cloud Station

Synology Cloud logo

“The Cloud” is a big deal right now, but it’s really just your files on someone else’s computer. Cloud Station is a part of Synology’s NASes, and puts your files on your computer … but in also “the cloud”, a cloud that you own and control.

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VirtualBox logo

Sometimes you need another computer (or six) within your computer. VirtualBox is my go-to virtual machine manager. It’s free and easy to set up, with support for pretty much any operating system as a guest.

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Synology NAS

Synology logo

Having a basic NAS (Network Attached Storage) at home is great. Having one that adds some other neat features like your own personal cloud, a git server, and more … well that’s convenience on a new level.

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Vagrant logo

Virtual machines can be a lot of work and tricky to set up. Vagrant takes out the guess work and gives you a consistent VM any time, anywhere.

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Shutter logo

Programmers frequently need an easy way to do various screen shots. Shutter is an easy way to do various screen shots on Linux.

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Glances logo

Most systems, Linux included, have monitoring tools built in. Glances takes it to the next level.

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Android Robot logo

Android and Apple’s iOS are both good mobile operating systems. I’ve always used Android since it just always seemed to agree with me better and Android phones have better features and technology.

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Clementine Music Player logo

When Linux is your main desktop OS, there are lots of choices for music players but most don’t work well or have odd limitations. Clementine is simple, works well, and can handle my library.

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