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Code Smarter; Not Harder

Tips and tricks for developers and coders alike

*Disclaimer – this blog will likely only be understood by fellow coders, programmers and digital media managers. If you do not understand this blog, we don’t blame you. That’s why we hired Aaron. Reach out to NST today to utilize Aaron’s brain trust.

Whenever I work on a project, it’s important to remind myself not to reinvent the wheel. When a new project is scoped out and the development is set to begin, I like to look at the project from a bird’s eye view and identify modules, snippets, or scripts that I’ve used in previous projects that I can migrate over and adjust to work in the new project. This not only saves a bit of time, but it allows me to review the old code and improve upon it. Sometimes, we hit roadblocks or identify new modules that need to be built out. Here are some tips and tricks to be successful in your coding endeavors:

Seeking Knowledge

  • Stack Overflow

    • Wikipedia defines Stack Overflow as a “question and answer website for professional and enthusiast programmers that features questions and answers on a wide range of topics in computer programming.” The community at Stack Overflow is a huge resource to pose a question to or ask the network of developers to help solve any coding roadblocks you may come upon.

    CodePen

    • Like Stack Overflow, CodePen is a great resource and community to test and showcase different code snippets for use in various projects.

    Reeder

    • To stay on top of the latest trends it’s important to always be reading and learning. I subscribe to a handful of different developer blogs and news feeds. My favorite RSS tool for the Mac is the Reeder 5 for its clean and simple UX.

Productivity Tools

  • Alfred

    • Alfred is a useful tool that allows you to launch an application or easily find files on your Mac by using keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys. While the Mac’s built-in Spotlight search has greatly improved over the years, Alfred takes the system search much further.

    Craft

    • It’s important to have a clean and organized system for taking notes throughout your project. My favorite notetaking tool as of late is the Craft app. Craft makes note taking easy because it syncs across all your devices and is easy to use.

    Cleanmymac

    • It’s important to keep your system running lean and clean. One tool I use all the time to free up system junk and unused files on my machine is the CleanMyMac tool from MacPaw. It’s relatively affordable and does an amazing job at keeping your system running in an optimized fashion.

Developer Tools

  • Sublime Text

    • While there are no shortage of code editing tools, my preferred editor is Subllime Text 4. While Atom, PhpStorm, and Visual Studio Code are all great options, I much prefer the lightweight and speed of Sublime Text because it allows me to tailor the coding experience to my specific preferences.

    Local by flywheel

    • We host most of our websites at WP Engine and one tool that makes local development and code pushes very easy is the tool Local by Flywheel. Local makes pushing and pulling your site from your local machine to a staging or development environment a breeze.

    MAMP PRO

    • If you can’t use a local tool like Local by Flywheel or DevKinsta, then MAMP PRO is your next best bet when it comes to setting up and using a local environment for your site builds.

    GitHub Desktop

    • If you’re using Git in your web project and are looking for a nice GUI solution for making your commits outside of the command line interface, I highly recommend the desktop utility, GitHub Desktop. It makes managing your Git projects extremely simple.

Coding Tips and Tools

There are countless free online tools to help speed up your development process. A lot of these tools are code generators or CSS generators to help you get the code you need quickly and easily without having to reinvent the wheel every time. Some of my favorite tools are:

It’s important when starting a new project to remind yourself that the internet is your best friend. Whenever you find yourself stuck, lean on the online community to help you overcome obstacles and get back on track.

Looking for a creative PR agency that can also handle your web dev needs? NST is here to help. Let’s get a conversation started!

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