Stuff I Use as a Web Developer

Here’s a curated list of things I use nearly everyday as a web developer.

Disclaimer: Some of the links are amazon affiliate links that will give me a commission if you choose to click the link and buy the product at no additional cost to you.

Hardware

From the MacBook Pro that lets me code to desks I use, I’ve specifically chosen this hardware below to help me focus on my work in a comfortable manner.

SteelCase Leap Office Chair

About 5 years ago, when I had just started freelancing, I was looking for an office chair that wouldn’t fall apart in less than a year. This was my first jump up from $50 IKEA chairs to something more substantial. I was originally looking at Herman Miller Aeron chairs, but the $1000 price was much higher than my budget, so I looked at Herman Miller Sayls, and eventually landed on a SteelCase Leap. I found mine on Craigslist for about $250.

2019 16″ MacBook Pro

2TB, 32GB, maxed out Graphics. You can gush over it on the apple website.

LG UltraFine 5K IPS LED Monitor

This monitor is the perfect companion for a 16″ MacBook pro. While the design is very un-Apple like, the screen is beautiful, and the it takes in a thunderbolt 3 connection, making it a very clean setup. Lastly, a huge plus of this monitor is the spring-loaded stand, which goes up to eye-level for me.

However, this is a VERY expensive monitor, clocking in at $1,300 new on apple.com I bought it for much cheaper on craigslist, but it was still very expensive. If you’re looking for someone less than half the price, but still retina-compatible, check out the 24″ Dell monitor below.

Dell Ultra HD 24″ 4k Monitor

Note: I use a 27″ 5k monitor now described above. However, monitor is a lot more bang for buck.

Unlike 27″ monitors, the 4k resolution at 24″ means it scales perfectly to stay within a Retina resolution.

Amazon Basics Monitor Arm

I’m using this Monitor arm as it allows me to adjust the monitor height, so I can keep the monitor at eye-level regardless of whether its in sit or stand position.

Code Keyboard

This was my first mechanical keyboard, and I still use is after a few years.

Apple Magic Mouse 2

This is the standard mouse I use when docked. I’ve been tempted to use the Logitech MX master, but the gestures this mouse allows, as well the as lightning cable charging port, allowing me to use the cables I already have. It also just works.

CalDigit Thunderbolt 3 Dock

This dock ties my whole workspace together It not only has multiple ports, but also a charging thunderbolt 3 pass through, eliminating the need for a separate charging cable.

WD My Cloud 8TB External Hard Drive

Allows me to store old projects, files form photography shoots and more on this drive. I also use it as a Time Machine backup. I’m planning on doing a post about my workflow for this later.

Headphones

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3

Outside of my MacBook Pro, this is probably my favorite piece of hardware that lets me be an efficient developer. Its perfect for working out of coffee shops or a busy open office space. The sound is superb, and it has a USB-C port, which allows for one less cable to have to deal with. The only drawback is that during phone calls through it, I’ve been it that my voice sounds like I’m calling through a car bluetooth. So if call-quality is more important to you than listening quality, I would recommend the Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700.

Apple BeatsX

I bought these before my Sony’s and still regularly use them when I workout or am on the go and don’t need total noise-cancellation.

Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Headphones

This $8 pair of earphones is better than any of the $30+ (Skull Candy, Sony, etc) earphones I’ve used. This is usually the one I have one when I’m listening to music and on Zoom with people as it’s hooked up to my audio interface.

Shure SM7B Mic

This mic is a tried-and-true way to. I use it for YouTube tutorials, video calls, leaving little to have to edit.

Red Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface

An audio interface converts an analog audio signal to a USB signal. The red Scarlett was the best option based on reviews and word-of-mouth.

dbx 286s Preamp and Audio Processor

Processes the audio to adding, adds features like eq adjustment, de-essing, voice boost, and has phantom power. Note: it only takes in a 1/4″ output so you’ll need to get a 1/4″ to XLR cable to send the signal to your interface.

Cloud Lifter Preamp

Cloud Lifter adds +25db to an outputted audio signal, which allows me not to have any additionally processing in post. This ties together the edit-free

Fujiflim XT-2 Camera

I originally got this camera when I was a freelance commercial photographer, and have a number of shoots under my belt with it. I now mainly use it as my webcam using the Elgato Cam link (link below). If I were to buy a camera right now, it would probably be the XT-3 as it allows for video auto-focus.

Fujifilm 23mm Lens

I use this lens when I’m using the camera as a web cam.

Elgato 4k Cam link

This connects the DSLR or mirrorless camera’s HDMI signal to usb. Its a little pricey at ~$100, but it nexts your video conferencing and recording to the next level.

Smith-Victor Ladybug500 LED Light

I have tow of these guys to light me when I’m recording or streaming video. I have one of them with a soft-box on pointed at me, and another without any diffusers pointed at the ceiling to add a little bit of fill light.

Pilot G2 Pens 1.0

Best Pen hands down. It writes super well. Not much else to be said.

Metropolitan Fountain Pen

The Metropolitan is a solid starter pen if you’re getting into fountain pens. It costs about $20, but it often goes down to $10, which is how much I bought it for.

Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Ruled Pages Notebook

This is my go-to notebook for scribbling ideas, knocking out to-do lists, and sketching out wireframes for anything I might need.

Software

Visual Studio Code

My Code editor of choice. It has a lot of features built-in.

Bartender

This app helps manage all my preview bar icons.

Little Ipsum

This is a handy lorem ipsum generator I use all the time.

Google Business Apps

iTerm (with Oh my Zsh)

Magnet

This is a nifty window management tool that lets you organize your windows with keyboard shortcuts. Between this and ⌘ + Shift, you really don’t need as many different monitors as you think. In fact, I’m as productive using just my laptop on the go as I am when its docked to my workstation with the Dell monitor listed above.

Focus

If you’re prone to opening Youtube or Twitter every other second, this app will come in handy. It blocks all the major time-block apps (Facebook, twitter, IG, gmail, etc.) by default and lets you customize the list.

Local by Flywheel

Every once in a while, I’ll develop a WordPress site, and being a front-end developer, I loathe database management. This app lets me easily pull and push databases between remote and local.

ScreenFlow

Screencast lets me easily record my screen. With my video and audio equipment above, I I use it as my main tutorial video editing software as well.