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How I Work: Coding

My primary development tool is none other than Sublime Text 2. It is my goto text editor for most everything. For programming, I use it exclusively. I have a PyCharm license my employer bought my team but I could never get into it. Aside from programming, I use Sublime Text for basically everything else as well, including taking notes, drafting letters, making on-the-spot todo lists, etc. I’m even writing this post in Sublime Text right now using the Markdown format.

Plugins I Use

I use several plugins for Sublime Text to work better. A few of my favorites are:

  • Package Control. Of course I have this. This allows for easily adding/removing plugins to Sublime Text. It’s the first thing you should add to a fresh Sublime installation.
  • Backbone.js. I’ve installed the Backbone.js plugin which has a lot of handy completions and snippets for writing Backbone.js code faster. Includes both JavaScript and CoffeeScript!
  • CoffeeScript. I really love CoffeeScript and so adding Coffee support to Sublime Text is a must-have item. Primarily I use it for the syntax highlighting and a small portion of the completions that I actually use.
  • CoffeeLint. For linting the aforementioned Coffee.
  • CSScomb. This handy gadget will “comb” your CSS (and also at least LESS, but probably SASS, too) files, reordering your style properties into a consistent ordering. I like to run this occasionally to keep things neat.
  • Djaneiro. This is a must-have for Django developers using Sublime. It adds a TON of completions, snippets, and syntaxes to Sublime. These make it really easy to rapidly write boilerplate Django things like model fields, form fields, and Django template tags/filters.
  • DocBlockr. DocBlockr makes it really easy to write JavaDoc-style documentation as comments for various languages. I’ve lately been fond of the lightweight Docco for generating JavaScript documentation (my primary language these days), but on occasion at work on legacy code I’ll use JSDoc format. DocBlockr is handy for that.
  • Emmet. Your HTML markup writing shotgun. Lets you rapidly generate HTML markup with minimal keystrokes. If you’re not using it you’re not productive.
  • Jasmine. I like writing tests for my JavaScript using Jasmine and this plugin just adds common completions to expedite the process of writing all the nested functions that Jasmine is known for.
  • LESS. I’m not particularly against SASS, but I’ve just always used LESS and so that’s what I prefer to write in since I’m familiar.
  • SublimeLinter. Probably the most important plugin I have. This helps identify bad/questionable code throughout a whole bunch of languages. You should never professionally develop software these days without a linter.

My Sublime workspace

I’m currently using the Spacegray theme for Sublime, which I really like quite a bit. I’m going through this minimalism phase lately and it’s quite pleasing to that end.

My window writing this post. Recursion?

My window writing this post. Recursion?

When I’m really in the zone and familiar with the codebase, I’ll hide the sidebar altogether and work with just the currently open file. Using Sublime’s awesome Goto Anything... feature you can easily hop between files in the codebase if you’re familiar enough. I like doing this as it’s faster than searching through the sidebar manually.

Published 20 Jan 2014

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