Products (and Tools) I've Bought

In the world of open-source software you can find a free alternative to almost any software. But sometimes software is worth paying for.

Sorry Stallman.

Sublime Text 2 - This text editor is amazing, I've been using it for a few years. I've tried Atom and use it on my Windows desktop but where Sublime shines in on my MacBook Pro, truly beautiful piece of software.

Photoshop CS5 - CS5 and CS6 are both great software, try and avoid anything newer than CS6 as Adobe has moved to Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud), a subscription based software.

Visual Studio - One of my favorite IDEs, it's hard to find a competitor for Windows based development, it also supports a ton of other languages besides C# with the help of addons.

Spotify Premium - I listen to a lot of music and Spotify if great, if you half qualms with "you don't own the music!" then you might want to avoid Spotify but for those of us who want easy access to music with mobile streaming Spotify is it.

Steam - While technically free Steam is a gateway drug, if you like PC gaming (don't be a peasant!) then you need Steam.


What I've Learned: BoilerSell

Two weeks ago I had an idea, fellow students of mine needed a marketplace to sell books, tickets, and other things online to other students within the university. I set out to build a website to accomplish just that.

I had built websites before but I wanted this to be built (relatively) from scratch, the only two things I did not code myself was the beginning CSS and the basic HTML layout of the page, everything else was raw code.

I started off wanting to use a fancy framework like AngularJS to make my site "current" but I realized that time was a factor in this website and I had to scrap that idea and build the website with HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP.

Therein lies the issue, I had no Javascript experience, and little PHP experience. So I had to learn how to use those, mainly PHP as Javascript is still 100% new to me.

When starting off from scratch and going farther into build an "web app" than I have ever ventured I needed the right tools from the job.

  • Sublime Text 2 - for all of my coding, its easy to use and has great tools. Maybe switching to Atom.

  • Filezilla - To push all of my code to the test server (as there is no production server yet)

    • GitHub Private Repo for version control of all of my code (has saved me more than once)

Overall as the project progressed and grew I realized that I what I wanted to do and what was feasible did not match up. I did not want to spend three months build an awesome website only to have it flop. I need to get a product out there and then support it as it grows. I also learned the importance of version control with GitHub. Overall the project is still in the "pre-launch" stage but I plan on launching by the end of the month.