Tools to make you more productive as a developer?

What are your favorite tools that make you more productive as a developer? I’m partially asking because my current organization is doing a license buy, but also because I’m curious.

My own setup

  1. Vim (text editor) w/Janus plugin
  2. Git (version control)
  3. Thoughtbot dotfiles for git
  4. rvm (ruby version manager)
  5. DiffMerge (for merge conflicts) on Mac OSx, kdiff3 on Linux

Paid / licensed tools:

  1. Datagrip (for easy SQL query)
  2. Alfred - productivity hotkey/shortcut app for MacOSx
  3. Dash Dash for macOS - API Documentation Browser, Snippet Manager - Kapeli - easy to browse docs
  4. Prepros - front end code compilation -

Free tools:

  1. Wappalyzer (chrome plugin for tech stack analysis)
  2. Postman (API request tool)
  1. Vim & RubyMine for editors
  2. Git
  3. Meld (for merging file diffs)
  4. Linux for grepping and substitution (and more)
  5. RVM
  6. Guard (runs tests whenever any file changes)

Vim - (though currently exploring Spacemacs)
Rails (also looking into Phoenix & Elm)


Specific to Ruby development:

Vim (NeoVim w/ terminal emulation; syntastic plugin for ruby linting, fugitive, etc.)
Pow (using powder gem)

At least, that was what I was using this week…

  1. Atom
  2. Git
  3. Homebrew
  4. Terminal

I tried spacemacs a year or so a go. I even contributed a layer for purescript. I liked it, but it was sluggish compared to vim. I tried it again after I saw you post this and found it to be like an airplane dashboard. There are soooo many options now.


What’s really appealing right now is the Alchemist elixir integration. So many people rave about it so I want to give it a fair shot.

Currently I am actually using textmate2 because I am testing my new theme and also I currently need to do a lot of ‘find in files’, and Ack in Vim doesn’t always work very well :confused:

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Another must-have tool: offline documentation. Dash for the iOS and Mac. And Zeal for Windows and Linux. 150+ languages included.


I use


  1. Vim & NeoVim
  2. Git
  3. RVM
  4. Homebrew & iTerm2
  5. vim-http-client (postman alternative) & many useful vim plugins
  6. Rails


  1. Dash

All free:
Visual Studio Code (text editor) / vim
Git (version control)
SourceTree / GitHub Desktop
RVM (ruby version manager)
Homebrew & Oh My ZSH
Insomnia (API request tool: )
Sketch ( templating and design )


I have some additions that hold true to this subject.

  • Cargo — Rust’s tool for thorough, and most helpful, debugging messages. Which also manages project creation and publishing. This is the most helpful thing in my day to day work lately.
  • KeePass2 — A secure place to keep sensitive information. This has helped me save a lot of time with all my different domain services in being able to quickly know where to go and having the credentials to do so. Without it I’ve been asking the same questions to customer service over the years as well as Google.
  • duplicty — remote secure backup of my work and personal files. Encrypted Linux Backup with Google Drive and Duplicity
  • rsync — local backup. My preferred choice is with a mounted encrypted volume such as a USB.
  • Wire — the most convienient secure chat application that has all the bells and whistles you could hope for.
  • — It’s your secure identity for the web. But it also provides encrypted self/group Git repositories for your own projects.
  • Thunderbird — This email client & news feed aggregator has been one of the best tools for me for keeping my many emails centralized. Also supports PGP.
  • xChat IRC client — the fastest way to get input and feedback on any programming issue is in the channels where people write the same language. Ruby, Rust, and Crystal are all very helpful channels.
  • FishShell — Better command line integrating with project status and simpler scripting of tasks to perform.
  • TOR — Tor allows me to remote SSH into my home computer from anywhere in the world. I could also potentially host projects this way. But I mainly find this a nice alternative to VPNs or proxies.

And honestly I’ll have to give Pandora a shout out for being a great tool that helps me be more productive. Music really does help the mind.