Ren Stanforth

Software Engineer

Ren Stanforth

Software Engineer

Blog Post

My Daily Tools as a Programmer in 2022

March 19, 2022 Journal
My Daily Tools as a Programmer in 2022

In any job, one should have their daily tools. As simple as a pen and paper for an author, or as complex as the large hadron collider for a scientist.

The following that I am about to enumerate are software applications or websites that I use when working on projects on a daily basis. You’re probably here because you’d like to get some recommendations on what to use, or you’re just exploring around. Here are my important daily tools while working!

Coding Daily Tool: Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) takes the number 1 spot for the daily tools I use. It is a code editor that mainly helps me with creating and modifying project files. This editor supports many programming languages that many programmers use and it has intelli-sense. Intelli-sense means it detects code in a file if it is incomplete or has warnings/errors.

This editor has hundreds of themes available in the application’s marketplace. And you can even program your own theme if you’re up for the challenge.

Theme results in Visual Studio Code Editor Daily Tool

There is more to this software than just themes. You can also integrate this editor with useful extensions to make your project development easier. Some honorable mentions for extensions: GitLens, PHP Extension Pack, and Path Intellisense.

There are plenty of editors to choose from as an alternative like Vim, Notepad++, Sublime Text, and Atom, just to name a few.

VS Code, Sublime Text, and Atom are similar. I have used the other two previously and I can recall a few incidents where the application crashed while using them, which I haven’t experienced with VS Code yet. They are customizable and those editors can be tweaked for your preferences as well.

I’ve been using VS Code for years now because of personal preferences in terms of usage, visual comfortability, and I haven’t experienced application crashes.

Knowledge-based Tool: Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a knowledge sharing platform that assists me while I code. Errors or warnings sometimes appear while developing a site or an application. And Stack Overflow is a database or a huge library of answers from users who experienced warnings/errors before. If not all, majority of the chosen answers have good explanations on why this occurred, and how to fix it step-by-step.

This website has collaboration features that enables other users or moderators to modify answers to correct it and provide a deeper explanation. Keep in mind that not all answers are correct fixes of the errors that’s why the community has the power to upvote or downvote the answers.

Like any other website that allows users to post anything, there are rules to follow for easy moderation. Better read the guidelines first before posting a question. Your question might be flagged as duplicate of an existing one, or be removed.

Stack Overflow Profile

I’ve been a member since 2013, and at some point I was active in answering questions. I spend a few hours weekly during the first year looking for new questions, and gave answers (to the best of my abilities) as quickly as possible.

For the past few years, what I usually do is upvote useful and deserving questions and answers, and vote for the yearly community moderator elections. Having a reach of approximately 25k brings a little bit of pride because my answers helped a lot of people. And I know how it feels to be stuck on something, being helpless, and get stressed because of an error that’s not been fixed yet.

Stack Overflow has helped me through the years, and I thank the community for countless times of them saving my a**.

Project Management Tool: ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab is a tool for solving project management needs. Similar software that some of you might know are Jira, and Trello. I’ve been using ActiveCollab for months now and I prefer this than the others.

For those of you who don’t know, ActiveCollab offers organizing projects that can be split into tasks and subtasks, and set due dates. There are many features that ActiveCollab offers but what I really like about it is that it has its own time tracker for tasks, lets me know my daily and weekly hours, and the user interface (UI) is friendly for me.

It is not too overwhelming like Jira, and not as plain as Trello.

Project Repository Tool: GitLab

GitLab is a platform mainly for source code management. It is a place for users to maintain, monitor, and secure projects.

Similar to this are GitHub and Bitbucket.

GitHub was once my daily tool, but as you can see in my GitHub profile, I haven’t contributed there as much as before. For now, I am using a GitLab private server therefore making it my number 1.


There are a few tools that I haven’t mentioned here because I don’t use it everyday. I might create a separate blog for a complete list some other time.

My daily tools might differ from yours because of our personal preferences. This article is not about invalidating your preferred tools, but rather an appreciation article for the software/application developers and the community for making my daily life as a programmer comfortable and as convenient as ever.

Happy coding!

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