These are the various tools I use that add value to me and that I would recommend to anyone. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter to ask me about them.
- I use Webstorm for all of my frontend development (specifically React/Vue).
- PHPStorm is my got to IDE for all my Laravel development.
- I find VS Code to be a light-weight alternative to the other two and I am using it quite a bit for my DevOps stuff at the moment.
- I used to do a lot of WordPress work but Laravel is my go to framework for backend work.
- I have written a lot of React over the last 3 years and Next.js is now my favourite React framework. It supports SSR/SSG and all the things you would expect. You can read about the Leadhome transition to Next.js here.
- I have a few Google sheets for my overall budget but I also use 22seven to get an idea of actual spend and also as a tool to see my overall net worth. I should probably write something about why that is important to me.
- I do not have too much invested in equities and ETFs (ironically both my kids have more invested than I do). However, my go to platform is Easy Equities for that.
- I am pretty keen on investing in renewable energy and a company called The Sun Exchange allows you to purchase solar cells in a project and then lease them to that company for 20 years. They basically pay you a fee to use your cells.
- I use Luno as a online wallet for a few coins and also trade on it. By the way, you get R25 if you use this link to sign up!
- I must admit, I do not have too much invested in mining and I have tried different platforms and miners. However, I seem to always settle on Nicehash because it is easy to use. You can also buy mining power from their marketplace.
- One of the most important tools I have is LastPass to manage all my passwords. Basically every account I have has a unique password, that I do not know and is relatively complex.
- Along with strong passwords, I also use 2-factor authentication every where I can. Most places generally suggest Google Authenticator but Authy works everywhere Google Authenticator does.
- It took me a while to get onto the general usage of a VPN for browsing but I have not looked back. I use NordVPN because of the platforms it supports and the price I got it at (5 year deal at a crazy low price). It is really handy because it can start up if it does not recognise the network you are on (like the wifi at a coffee shop).
- Note taking is a serious weakness of mine. I used to carry around a notebook and write in it liberally. Problem is, I never went back to the notes. I have used Evernote for as long as I can remember and I will continue to do so. I probably do need too improve on the way I dump my thoughts somewhere I can remember.
Analytics / Error tracking
- I always used Google Analytics for my websites. In fact, I installed it by default on every site I made. However, privacy-focused analytics platforms came across my radar which made sense to me (I do not need to know anything other than how my website is performing). There are a few players out there but Fathom Analytics was my pick because it is truly privacy focussed, relatively affordable and built on Laravel.
- Having insights into running apps is something I wish I had 10 years ago. I did not even know that error tracing and application monitoring tools were a thing. I have played with a few but Sentry is my friend and has plenty of tooling to surface runtime errors.
- My daily workhorse is a Macbook Pro 15" (2018 model). I have considered going the Linux route but want to explore hardware that supports it at a manufacturer level.
- I have not found a mouse as good on Macs as a Magic Mouse which is what I use but definitely going too drop my Magic Keyboard for a mechanical keyboard.
- My first smartwatch is a Garmin Forerunner 45. I must admit, it has updated my running game in ways I cannot believe. The data I can now take from a run is so much more enlightening than I expected and it all fits on my wrist.
- I currently have an iPhone 11. It does what I need without costing what an iPhone 12 does. I also cannot go back to Android. It honestly does not feel the same.