I thought it would be a good idea to showcase some of the things I'm using these days to develop on the web.
I’m self taught and freelance, so I consider myself quite resourceful (thank you Google, MDN, Stack Overflow and Codex!) and motivated. I’m a tedious //commenter and see beauty in well indented and spaced code.
Working at home is great because of the flexibility and limited distractions. When I do venture off you can usually find me at a local Whittier coffee spot or at Kleverdog co-working in Chinatown. Besides the great local food, co-working provides a great entrepreneurial environment and plenty of resources in case I need a second opinion.
The four Ps of programming
I use this methodology when programming because it gives me a systematic approach to doing things. Otherwise, I'll find myself completely out of whack. This methodology is courtesy of Andrew Chalkley at Team Treehouse.
Prepare //Define the problem //Propose a solution Plan //Step 1 //Step 2 //Step 2.1 //Step 2.2 //Step 3 Perform //This is where you actually code and nothing else. You've planned it out and should be executing here, unless something has gone wrong of course Perfect //Address bugs and feature requests post deployment
As of this post, here are the tools that I'm currently using:
Notepad and a Pilot Precise V5 pen
Despite all of the awesome digital tools out there, for me, everything starts on a piece of paper and an easy-to-write pen. Even if it's the most basic visualization, putting something down on paper is an ideal starting point for me rather than trying to do something on the computer first.
I can’t function() (← get the joke!?) without a to-do list to plan out my day. No matter what technology you choose, plan out your day. Lately, I've started writing out my to-do list the night before. And when I get started in the day I'll add more things or modify.
Seriously, if you're not using Git or some kind of SVN, get started today. Git is super easy to learn and makes you feel like a bad ass when you start firing off commands on the Terminal. Just like all tech, start small and work your way up - there's a big community out there to help. Give it some time, and you'll hit that 'ah-ha' moment in no time.
I heard about Sass from the awesome LA/OC WP folks. After hearing them present Sass, I took some time to give it a shot.
Sass helps you write CSS like a rockstar - variables, mixins, nesting. It helps you organize your files and introduces programatic components that save you time while developing and especially when modifying. Any developer looking to improve her workflow should give Sass a shot.
Get started using Sass to organize your files, name a few variables and nest - after that, introduce some mixins and you'll be flying in no time!
Foundation is a front-end framework that helps me build things faster. They have great documentation and are super responsive. It's a mobile-first approach that's completely customizable to your dev needs. It plays nice with Sass too!
I really like their grid system the most. The class names are very intuitive and are easy to pick up. The framework gives you a lot of layout/positioning options to meet your needs as well.