My Tools of Trade – 2023 Edition

2023 started with a change in sector, I am now a tech lead for Beyonic a product of MFS Africa, with a change of tech stack to Python, Angular, Microservices. Outside work I dabble in PHP development with Laravel and I am in love with TailwindCSS. I am looking to get further into data analytics with R/PowerBI in 2023

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!

The previous editions are:

2023 Workspace Setup

My current hardware is focused on reducing clutter by reducing the number of accessories that I use, while improving my productivity and working in a more healthy manner.

Hardware

My primary machine is a 13″ 2022 M2 based Macbook Pro with 16GB RAM and 1TB HDD covered with a brown colored case for scratch protection. I have to say that I am in love with this tiny machine, getting used to a small screen after years with a 15″ however the all day battery and no fans is a big plus

With only 2 USB-C ports, thankfully I had purchased a Caldigit TS4 hub, which enables me to have a single Thunderbolt 4 cable from my laptop into the hub, with all of 18 ports for all my needs.

I switched to a Logitech MX Vertical mouse, for improving my erogonomics, and I totally love it replacing the MX Master 3 that I had before with the same 70 day charge. I have kept the Gimars Large Smooth Superfine Fibre Memory Foam Ergonomic Mouse Pad Wrist Rest Support  . I am using RGB backlit Keychron K7 with Gaeton brown switches (which are very quiet)  though I miss the extra line of function keys (will be getting a K3 when I can) .

My default screen is a Lenovo G34w-10 34-Inch WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor an ultra-wide which is now my primary monitori, gives me the equivalent of 2 full screens side-by-side with a VIVO 32 inch Desk Converter, Height Adjustable Riser, Sit to Stand Dual Monitor and Laptop Workstation with Wide Keyboard Tray which provides me with a standing desk option, helps break the monotony of sitting all day

I maintain my laptop in clam-shell use using JARLINK Vertical Laptop Stand to help save space on my desk. My day-to-day audio accessory is a Skull Candy wired heaphones, as my Samsung Galaxy Buds+ failed to live up to the promise, so I am still experimenting in this area

Software

As a software developer my primary tool is an IDE, the Jetbrains suite of IDES, Pycharm is now my primary IDE, with Intelllij IDEA for Java, PhpStorm for PHP, Webstorm for front end development, and Data Grip for database management (MySQL and PostgreSQL) with Fleet for lightweight editing.

iTerm2 as my Terminal despite upgrading to Catalina, I have maintained bash as my default shell with HomeBrew for package management, my primary installtion tool for both command line and gui tools

Parallels for running Windows virtual machines for PowerBI development when needed

Firefox for all browsing needs and Firefox Developer Edition for web development – I dumped Google Chrome, only use it when I meet a service that does not work on Firefox

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

Communication and collaboration tools are Office 365, Microsoft Teams and Slack – its amazing the simplicity of fewer tools

Utilities

I have added this section for the tools that simplify a lot of my day-to-day activities, they are tiny tools in the Unix style with a big impact so I figured I should highlight them separately

  1. Alfred for opening apps (not yet grown to the worflow stage) so using the free version
  2. Caffeine for keeping the laptop awake when I need to
  3. Magnet for sizing different screens when in use
  4. RDM for changing resolutions as I take screenshots for documentation
  5. Typora for Markdown editing
  6. Clippy for managing my clipboard

Do let me know if you found this useful

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