I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page to show how I approach development, and what tools and resources I use/read. It’ll be a running list, and I will be updating it regularly. I recommend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
My Most Recommended
Focus@Will: I use this service every day, and it has really changed the way I focus when I’m working. They describe themselves as “A neuroscience based music service that helps boost cognition by up to 400%“, and although I can’t give you an exact percentage to describe my increased productivity, there is a noticeable difference between how effective I am when using it vs not (vs just listening to regular music). I’ve used it for over 2 years, and almost never listen to anything else while i’m working.
Heroku: You can’t get much easier than Heroku for hosting and prototyping some code. Initialize a git repo, point it at heroku, and git push: you’ve just deployed and started your server! I’ve worked with Heroku for years from prototyping code to live production setups.
Linode: Linode is my first choice when I need a custom setup and want a solid VPS. All of their options are SSD now, and the pricing and management of your server is intuitive.
Shopify: Shopify is an awesome resource if you need to setup an online store. Everything you need to sell your products online, on top of a solid platform that is easy to theme and extend.
WP Engine: If you specifically need WordPress hosting, WP Engine is one of the best dedicated options available.
Freshbooks: I used to be a big fan of Harvest, and I still think that’s a great service. But switching to Freshbooks has been great, and it’s more comprehensive than what Harvest offers. I use it for time tracking, expenses, invoices, and subcontractor timesheets.
Cushion: Cushion has been a great tool to help forecast my business and income. You can setup income goals, track project timelines, and get insights into your relationships with clients.
Most of my developer news comes from one group, Cooper Press. Keeping up with development news across different languages and specialties can be difficult to do on your own, so i’ve turned to over a dozen different newsletters over the years. The stuff Cooper Press produces has blown most of it out of the water, which is why 5 of the 6 newsletters listed here are from them.
HTML5 Weekly: Weekly resources and news from the HTML5 world
Mobile Web Weekly: Weekly resources and news focused on mobile web development, ranging from responsive web apps to tools like Cordova, React Native and Nativescript.
Node Weekly: Weekly resources and news focused on node.js
Ruby Weekly: Weekly resources and news all about Ruby, Rails and friends.
Ruby Tapas: Much like Jeffrey Way, Avdi Grimm is a great educator and his videos are enjoyable and instructive. His content is much more focused on Ruby with less emphasis on any frameworks. Each “Tapa” is a bite-sized, targeted piece of content that illuminates topics ranging from Ruby best practices to general architectural choices. Unlike Laracasts though, the tapas site is much simpler and doesn’t offer most of the features Laracasts does (like grouping videos into Series, or marking a video to be watched later). You can however get a feed of the Ruby Tapas videos and easily watch them in iTunes or on your phone without logging into the site, which is a plus.
Safari Bookshelf: Safari Bookshelf has been a great tool that i’ve been using for several years. If you’re like me at all, there are usually dozens of technical books you’re looking to either pull chapters from or read in full, and buying them in every case could be prohibitive. Safari Bookshelf offsets the cost by giving you monthly subscription access to virtually every resource they have available to them. I’m more wary of recommending them these days because their costs have gone up alot ($39/mo). The value is there (I think) so if you’re interested give the free trial a try before jumping in.
Jetbrains develops the highest quality IDEs (integrated development environments) available. Outside of text editors, they are always my first choice.
RubyMine: Awesome editing, tooling and debugging for Ruby and Rails.
PHPStorm: Has all of the features of their web-oriented editor WebStorm, plus tooling for PHP and related frameworks. Also offers the easiest PHP debug setup i’ve ever used.
Atom: My choice for coding when I don’t need the full features of a Jetbrains IDE or i’m just doing some quick editing. Atom is very similar to Sublime for anyone familiar with that, but built on an open source project with tons of extensability.
Lucid Chart: Lucid Chart is my favorite answer to Visio in the cloud. I needed a solution for creating charts/graphs/flows and UI mockups, and Lucid Chart is a fantastic tool for that. Also has plenty of options for sharing (png / web page / pdf) and collaboration.
Github: The programming community standard for git-based source code management. Having an account here is a must for tracking or contributing to any open source project you’re interested in, and most of my clients manage their code here.
Bitbucket: The user interface isn’t as nice as Github, and it’s usage isn’t as ubiquitous, but it has two big things going for it: free private repositories and more fine-grained collaborator management in their free version.
Miracle Morning: This book has had a huge impact on my life and business and set me on a path of growth that just wasn’t there before. Change your mindset about what you’re capable of and what you can accomplish, read and follow the challenge this book prescribes.