At the beginning of 2015, I documented a list of the technologies (physical products, mobile apps, and services) I was using at the time. I thought it would be a good time to revisit this and reflect on what is still on my list, what’s new, and what I’ve forgotten about.

Shameless plug, I figured I might as well put down some referral codes as well if any of these things sounds appealing and you want to sign up.

The Physical Things I Use

  • Black iPhone 6s - I’m pretty sold into the Apple ecosystem at this point. Only not here is that I try to be mindful not to put a lot of stuff on my phone as I don’t want to always be looking down. I try to limit my number of apps so that they can fit on a single screen and I purposefully don’t have Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat installed
  • MacBook Pro 15”/Macbook Air 13” - laptop issued from work/personal laptop respectively; both are slightly older models that still have USB ports and the Escape buttons. Like I said, pretty ingrained into the ecosystem, couldn’t see myself not using a Macbook
  • ESV Value Thinline Bible - same one as 2015! Some of the pages are wrinkled and coffee stained, but it’s nice sticking with the same Bible from cover to cover. I’m usually annotating inline, and it’s nice to come back to passages and see what God had shown me through the text. I’m still pretty bullish about print over digital, at least when it comes to the Bible
  • A notebook - For a while now, note taking has been an important way to keep myself engaged with what I’m doing/the day. Since the start of the year, I’ve had a system going where every day gets a page minimum - and I’ll write down notes from my Bible reading, TODO items, and notes from work all in the same place. Notebooks last around 6 months
  • Brooks Ghost 9 - there’s an unfortunate story behind this and how I don’t run in Brooks Adrenaline GTS’s anymore. A few months and half marathons with the Adrenaline shoes I mentioned in the 2015 post, I got a stress fracture in my right foot during a race. I went through a few different shoes before ending up with a pair of Ghosts, which I’ve really enjoyed so far. I’ve only worn Brooks for the past 6 or so years (and they are a local company, based in Fremont), but I would be willing to go back to Asics.
  • Garmin Forerunner 15 GPS Watch - same watch as 2015! It recently had an OS update that made it more like a fitness tracker, which I am not really interested in - really just wanted a running watch
  • Samsung 2016 TV - Since my team was working on TV apps, I ended up with one of these. Youtube and Netflix get used a lot
  • MagicForce compact mechanical keyboard, brown switches - Kelvin got me this for my birthday :) Along with some blank keycaps, which I had wanted for several years. I have a Das keyboard with blue switches at work, but I actually really enjoy the brown ones
  • A physical alarm clock - Same as 2015!

The Services I Use

  • Facebook - Likely due to using Workplace at work, I have bought into the idea that a lot of communication problems can be solved with FB (especially when compared to email). Groups get used a lot - Suzi and I have a group, my house has a group, my small group has a group. Additionally, I tend to post small updates to a small group of friends (about 20 people) and also tend to post things like TODO lists or generic weekly notes to myself only (like I’ll have a post for “the week of 10/29” and I’ll comment interesting things as they occur)
  • Messenger - protip: > the chatting system within
  • Quip (Mac App, Website) - used at work, pretty sufficient replacement for Evernote (which at the time was restricting the number of devices you could access notes from)
  • Rainier Health and Fitness Gym - like a 5 minute walk from our house; we have a whole crew of friends who work out - at the peak, it was 2-3 times a week every week. Due to traveling and busy-ness, we’ve been pretty inconsistent lately though
  • Alfred (Mac App) - Keyboard shortcuts for Mac
  • Spectacle (Mac App) - window tiling manager for Mac
  • Spotify - got a family premium plan, also great for offline use. They’ve really improved their UX and serendipitous discovery recently, and their curated playlists are typically pretty good
  • Pandora - still better serendipitous discovery than Spotify, though, and nice for when you don’t really want to make a hard decision about what to listen to. Also, I have a chillstep radio station that has been tuned over at least several months of listening
  • Dropbox/Google Drive
  • Amazon Prime
  • Lyft/Uber - Both of these are pretty good. Uber definitely has stepped on a lot of people’s toes lately though and gotten a ton of bad PR
    • Lyft referral code: DAVID3986
    • Uber referral code: davidc5596
  • LimeBike/Spin - I’m really excited about bikesharing becoming a thing in Seattle. Limebike had set up a promo with Facebook so that I got all rides free within the first month and a half or so of usage. It was significantly faster and more reliable to jump on a Limebike from Westlake to the office (10 minutes) rather than waiting for a bus or shuttle (up to 30 minutes, worst case). I like Spin’s physical bikes better, but LimeBike just seemed to have better inventory; I use both though depending on what bike is around, they’re both priced the same ($1 = 30 minutes)
    • LimeBike referral code: RSTQPTL
    • Spin referral code: DAVIDCH

The Services I Use (Chrome extensions)

  • LastPass (+ two factor auth wherever I can) - password managers seem pretty important. Prevents me from reusing passwords and is just convenient for remembering passwords. I had been using 1password in 2015, but switched to LastPass as FB gave us enterprise accounts
  • an Ad Blocker
  • Open Screenshot - takes screenshots of web pages
  • Hide Youtube Comments - removes the comments from Youtube links
  • Momentum - a lot of other developers I know use this - it’s just an image of somewhere scenic that tells you the time and tells you “Good evening, David” or “Good morning, David”

The Things I Use When Programming

  • Atom/Nuclide - this has replaced Sublime Text 2, mostly because there was a ton of FB specific integrations hacked onto Nuclide (version control, code review comments, unit testing, etc)
  • Google Chrome - I’ve used Chrome for several years now, but both Chrome and Firefox are doing a great job pushing the web forward for developers
  • React, Redux, and Reselect - this is becoming more and more of a canonical stack. I’ve certainly heard great things about others like Preact and Vue, but React has gotten me so far, and I’m still at the point where I just want to build without constantly chasing the latest library. Redux is good enough too, not a lot of magic. And Reselect prevents Redux from getting out of control. I typically just use Redux-thunk instead of something like sagas
  • Prettier - the idea is that there’s real cognitive overhead to writing and reviewing code if you have to worry about coding style. Prettier handles coding style for you and can run on saves in Atom. It’s helped significantly more than it’s hurt
  • Bitbucket/Github - Bitbucket allows you to have unlimited private repositories, so I end up using Bitbucket whenever I want to work on something private. Other than that, though, Github has some nice integrations with devops tooling and is becoming more and more like a resume for companies. Notable that Github Pages is what powers mosh - keeps your ssh sessions alive, even if you turn your computer off or lose network
  • Heroku/MongoLab - side projects usually end up using Heroku and MongoLab unless I want dedicated servers up
  • DigitalOcean/AWS - still store all of my assets in S3, but use DigitalOcean whenever I actually need a dedicated server (which is rare). AWS Lambda sounds really cool, but haven’t played with it at all
  • Namecheap - I buy domain names here (though only extremely rarely)
  • Exponent/React Native - Though I only mess with mobile development sporadically, React Native makes mobile development accessible, and Exponent makes React Native accessible. Tooling is first class, developer experience deserves an award

The Mobile Apps I Use

(considered ubiquitous: Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome)

  • ESV Bible - pretty simple, well designed app
  • OneBusAway - know when the bus will come
  • Venmo - money transactions
  • Nintype - one of those swipe keyboards
  • 1 Second Everyday - you take a video every day and it stitches a second from each day together into a single video
  • Apply Pay - not really a mobile app, but I started using this recently and just find it to be a very pleasant experience

How I Consume Content

  • HackerNews
  • TechCrunch
  • LetsRun/Flotrack
  • ESPN
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • r/smashbros