What I Use – My Tools of Trade – 2020 Edition

I am a software engineer supporting the design, development, rollout and maintenance of UgandaEMR, one of the national electronic medical records systems in Uganda by day. At night I dabble in PHP development with Laravel and I am in love with TailwindCSS at the moment plus learning Vue.js/React at the end of 2020

Note – This was inspired by Wes Bos, who I am huge fan of! This list will be a living document that I will update whenever anything changes!

Being a creature of habit, my home office mirrors my office setup, so that there is very little cognitive overload and switching as I move between environments

This is the 2020 version, with the 2019 version here What I Use – My Tools of Trade – 2019 Edition

Desk Setup Evolution – 2020

Home Office Setup - 2020

Home Office Setup – January 2020

March 2020 Workstation

March 2020 Upgrade – new chair and working table

Laptop clam shell with MX Keys and JarLink vertical laptop holder

Laptop clam shell with MX Keys and JarLink vertical laptop holder


MacBookPro 15″ 2019 version with 2.4GHz, 8-core i9 processsor, 32GB RAM and 1TB HDD covered with the MOSISO MacBook Pro 15 inch Case for scratch protection. Due to the change to USB-C only I am also sharing the accessories making this transition less painful:

  1. Anker USB-C to HDMI Cable permanently plugged into my monitor so just use it when needed
  2. AUKEY USB C Adapter Aluminum to provide a USB port when needed

Ergoprop Laptop Stand for when I have to move around, I am currently switching between using the 15″ only, 2-screen setup, or the external monitor only (was much easier decision for the 13″) I had before

Logitech MX Master 3 mouse (grey) an evolution of the best mouse ever made in the world great scrolling (including app specific), 70 days on a single full charge (I haven’t tested that out but at least I go for a whole month) used with a Gimars Large Smooth Superfine Fibre Memory Foam Ergonomic Mouse Pad Wrist Rest Support

Logitech MX Keys keyboard for clam-shell use using JARLINK Vertical Laptop Stand to help save space on my desk

Samsung U28E590D 28-Inch 4k UHD LED-Lit Monitor the 4K, multi-input support and lighting is excellent, I only use it to write code and now to watch movies, and play games on my PS4 Pro (December 2019 addition). 


Jetbrains suite of IDES, Intellij Ultimate for Java (mainstay), PhpStorm for PHP, PyCharm for Python and Data Grip for database management (MySQL and PostgreSQL). I took the Toolbox subscription which gets cheaper every year

iTerm2 as the expected replacement, despite upgrading to Catalina, I have maintained bash as my default shell

HomeBrew for package management, my primary installtion tool for both command line and gui tools

Alfred for opening apps (not yet grown to the worflow stage) so using the free version

Visual Studio Code GitHub Pull Request reviews, light weight code editor and coding while on the road/flying when battery life is a premium

Laravel Valet for running PHP sites locally and TinkerWell for testing out scripts

Caffeine for keeping the laptop awake when I need to

Magnet for sizing different screens when in use

RDM for changing resolutions as I take screenshots for documentation, with ScreenResX that helped me get a retina resolution for 2048×1152 resolution on my 15″

Firefox for Corporate email/app access and Firefox Developer Edition for web development

Cloud storage – Box.com for office work, Dropbox for personal use with Google Drive for backup (currently subscribing for 200GB plan)

And whatever office editing and communications tools my colleagues whom I am collaborating with are using, MS Office, Office 365, Google Docs, Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Telegram, Whatsapp, Skype (thankfully almost none), Skype for Business … the list just keeps on growing, but I try to blend in

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