My Desktop Development Tools - 2016 Edition

Desktop apps are my main tools when it comes to web development. A browser, a terminal and an editor. That’s the absolute minimum applications that I would need to do a days work but there are a few more desktop apps that I also use to help get a good days work done.


My terminal of choice hasn’t changed but what has changed is that I’m now back to using iTerm built-in pane management rather than using tmux. Most days I tend to just have two terminals open side-by-side and that’s all I need. Tmux is a great option if you need more control over your terminals AND you run an editor like Vim but for me it was overkill.

Sublime Text 3

The last time I wrote a post like this Vim was my goto editor for coding. Despite sticking with it for over a year and I eventually switched back to using Sublime Text. I also had a brief spell as well with Atom but I prefer using Sublime Text. It’s what I’m most comfortable with.


I also switched browsers and moved back to using Safari for browsing and as my preferred browser for building and testing Rails applications. Open source it isn’t, but it’s a solid browser and the ability to sync tabs between different devices is a feature I use frequently. I still use Firefox but more as a secondary browser.


Not an essential tool but something I’ve come to rely on heavily over the last year. Dash is a document browser and code snippet manager. I don’t use the code snipper manager but the ability to lookup the docs for the different frameworks and programming languages I use makes my day a lot easier. It also negates the need to do frequent searches online.


Probably my most valuable piece of software. Secure, easy to use and makes handling your passwords a lot easier. I'm also using 1Password for families to allow my wife and son to handle their own passwords. So far it's working well.


Last year I was a big HipChat user, but the pull to Slack and it's growing set of features was difficult to ignore. Starting with a couple of clients, I gradually made the migration across and now use Slack exclusively as my online meeting point with clients.