Chris Wiegman Chris Wiegman

Uses

As a software engineering manager and developer I use a lot of tools in my day to day work. This page is my attempt to document those tools in hopes that maybe someone will find them useful as well as simply to keep track of the time for myself.

Why document my tools?

There are three reasons why I think it’s a good idea to document my tools:

First, as a blogger and teacher it helps folks getting involved to find tools to solve their problems. For example, I used PhpStorm for years and have been a major evangelist of it for much of my career. I can’t tell you how many WordPress devs I’ve suggested it to that are still using it to this day. Those are the moments when these lists really pay off.

Second, it helps me avoid the distraction of new software. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve switched tools to something new and, later, how many times I considered a new tool only to be reminded I’ve tried it before. I’m a firm believer that simple is best when it comes to our tools and an archive of what I use and have used is a great way remember that.

Finally, a “uses” list or page helps me keep track of the changes I’ve made in my work and, in many cases, in my life in general. From health tracking to development and travel the tools we use can often speak to how we conduct a lot of our lives in the modern world and, honestly, I love to see the evolution of it.

My Use Case

So what do I use this all for? I tend to think our use cases are just as important as the tools themselves. For instance, I wouldn’t recommend some of my own tools to someone just starting out in code or who is only writing code for themselves. How we use are tools defines, or at least probably should define, the tools we use so here are my own use cases.

  • Software Engineering Manager – In July 2024 I’ll be a software engineering manager again. Most of the tools here do not reflect this, yet, as I will be on-site for the first time in 11 years and my remote workflow will need to change accordingly. Expect further updates to this page as I get up to speed.
  • Software Developer – I love building software and have been doing so for my work and my hobbies for well over a decade. As time has gone by my tooling in this has changed considerably and the tools listed below are those I use to build and maintain the projects I am currently working on.
  • Blogger – I love writing on this site and spend a lot of time both on content as well as the site itself. This role encompasses creating content and writing code to share solutions to problems I’ve encountered in hopes that they’ll be just as helpful to others as they were to me.
  • Teacher/Speaker – Though I’ve done less of this since 2020, I still very much enjoy talking to and teaching groups of people. Historically this was mostly in person but since COVID I’ve invested a lot of time and energy to be better able to do this through video and audio to make certain my content is available to everyone.
  • Human – While the last one might seem obvious it is clear that most tech doesn’t agree. As a human I want tech that respects my rights and actually works for me instead of trying to force my use case into its features (or lack thereof).

My Hardware

My current desk configuration with 2 laptops and designed for balancing work and non-work projects.

Workstation

I built my office during my many years working fully remote. It is still my sanctuary, if you will, and where I spend a lot of time on projects, both personally and professionally.

Primary Hardware

My devices are a collection that I use to make sure I can do my work without issue and that everything I do work on will work at least across both Mac and Linux.

Recording Hardware

This list is in flux at the moment. I had added some nicer hardware during COVID but it simply doesn’t work in my new office. I’ll be upgrading the lighting and camera as I find something that will work well in the space I have.

Other Hardware and Accessories

For the rest, I have a combination of devices that just work for me. Right now there isn’t much in this list I would change.

My Software

A screenshot of the Launchpad app on my Mac showing most of the apps listed below.

Historically my software toolbox has been as minimal as possible. Lately that’s changed a bit but I still try my best to not replace default or other apps that would otherwise perfectly handle my workflow. I do still, however, have work to do across a number of devices and both Linux and Mac so this list tends to be a bit longer than I would sometimes like.

Primary Tools

Content Tools

Development Tools

Productivity Tools

  • Apple Calendar
  • Apple Mail
  • Apple Notes
  • Apple Reminders
  • Evolution
  • Moom

Other Tools

Decommissioned Tech

For a list of tools I’ve used in the past as well as my older annual “uses” posts, please take a look at my decommissioned tech page.

This page was last updated on 17 June, 2024