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Development Tools I Can’t Live Without

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Development Tools I Can’t Live Without

Here I detail some of the hardware and software that I use every day. These are tools that I use for my freelance work. Have any suggestions?

t is no secret that I enjoy writing WordPress plugins. I’ve got a few that I’ve released freely, some I sell on CodeCanyon, some I keep to myself, and many are contract work. Most of my work goes undisclosed. However, when I release free plugins, the question that invariably arises is “what versions of WordPress will it support?” I have a tendency to write code for the latest version of WordPress. The WP developers add new functions that increase it’s functionality or add extra depth that plugin developers can tap into.

I am inclined to disbelieve the phrase “You’re only as good as your tools allow.” A lot of great things come from those in seemingly unfortunate circumstances. That being said, having quality resources at your disposal can only improve your productivity and appearance of professionalism. Being a freelance WordPress developer means I spend quite a bit of time on my computer (much to my wife’s dismay). I’ve had a few people ask me what tools I use most frequently so I’ve detailed my setup below. After seeing what I use, leave your favorite tools in the comments.

Hardware

Laptop: For the past six months I’ve done all my developing a 15′ Acer . I didn’t want to fork the money out for a high end laptop and am glad I didn’t. This baby hasn’t let me down yet.
Wireless Mighty Mouse: The trackpad just doesn’t cut it for long development sessions. Of course the Apple Store likes to sell the most expense mouse that they make. What the heck, I had just spent a grand and a half on a computer, what’s another $70?
Wireless Keyboard: For a while I just used my laptop’s keyboard. However, my wrists started aching and being a dental student wanting to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome I purchased a wired keyboard for $49. I don’t mind the wires and wanted the number pad. The low profile is actually quite comfortable.
1TB Western Digital HDD: I bought this for $80 on Black Friday. It’s great for backups of all my projects, family photos, and family videos. Has SATA, Firewire, and USB connections.
Samson GoMic Microphone: I bought this microphone for $42.62 on Amazon for producing my screencasts. I have been pleasantly surprised in its quality. It has a great filter for soft background noises and works on Macs and PCs

Software

Notepad++: I write my code in it. Free license, nice interface, I found it simple and productive.
Billings Pro: To manage my invoices I use a great program called Billings. It allows you to send your clients estimates, invoices, and receipts after payments. It generates PDFs which it then can email through your mail program. It also tracks payments so you can see just how much your clients owe you.
XAMPP: Apache + MariaDB + PHP + Perl. Runs my local development servers. It comes with an installable widget for starting and stopping servers easily.
Photoshop Elements: When I need to do some graphic design I usually fire up Photoshop Elements. It’s quick and does everything I need it to. Regular price: $69.99.
TeamViewer: Sometimes a client will have an error that I can’t replicate. In those cases I like to see exactly what they’re seeing. TeamViewer lets my take control of their PC using a onetime generated password. Regular price: Free for personal use.
Related:  The ins and outs of SQL injection

So there you it, the programs and tools that I use most frequently when working on development projects. What do you think? Have you used any of them? What are some of your favorites?

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Szabi Kisded

Hi, my name is Szabi and I'm documenting my journey earning an online (semi)passive income. Learn more

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