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JRS86 builds durable brands

Useful people, projects, and tools

There's no way in hell I'd be anywhere near this level in my career, if it weren't for these inspirations


James Dinsdale—developer of Zulu, ZUnit and Phillip, as well as some other cool projects

Bastian Allgeier—founder and lead developer of Kirby CMS, the software behind this website

Fabio Sasso/Abduzeedo—I have followed Fabio's blog since it was, well, a blog. Now it's so much more


Kirby CMS—the software behind this website. I've personally owned a license for Kirby since... 2010 maybe? I don't know, it's been a LONG time. The developer (listed above) is on the cusp of releasing v3.0 of Kirby, which is really exciting. I plan to upgrade my license, and possibly even this site.

Ghost—a lightweight Node.js blog platform

Tools & Other Stuff

Atom—my code editor of choice. If you haven't used Atom, give it a shot. Probably the best and most full-featured editor on the Windows platform, along with it's near-infintely extensive community plugin database. I don't have too many installed, but a couple themes, a SASS compiler, a terminal utility (with obvious dependencies installed like Node, Vue, Netlify or any other fancy bullshit I might be tinkering with).

It's infinitely customizable well beyond the simple concepts I've pitched here, so if you're looking for that 'perfect editor' that you can literally customize to be EXACTLY what you want, then give this editor a shot. That, and it's free, it's AD-FREE (I can't speak for plugins here, but none I use have any sort of built-in advertising or monetization), it's fast, and it's extremely lightweight on your PC. It also looks great, even with the default set of themes.

Github for Windows—the desktop UI version of Github. Honestly, I just don't give a shit. I know a lot of 'purists' and whatever will bitch that I'm not a command line junkie, but I still use that enough as it is, and using the minimal-styled Github interface to get simple commits/pushes/merges done is FANTASTIC. hate me. more. more. MORE.

FileZilla, the free FTP solution—again, another one of those 'I don't give a shit' programs. Maybe it's because I'm in my 30s and have these sort of 'ticks' or old habits that I just haven't kicked.

Honestly though, sometimes you just hose up your server/website BIG TIME and maybe you're not an expert at Git and command line nonsense. Sometimes you just gotta crack the ribcage open, dig your hands in, and squeeze that heart back to life right there on the alcohol-soaked bar room floor. It's not pretty, but once you get everything connected up properly to your server, working on it is just like working in a normal folder-like workflow.

Yeah, you'll have to perform some fuckery to catch up your Git commits, but a quick serving of copypasta usually clears up those issues, so long as you're comfortable with the updates you're committing.

Myth CSS—a simple CSS preprocessor that allows for the use of native CSS variables. Basically, it's a really really REALLY simple version of SASS, in which you can call out simple variables and perform simple (but highly useful) functions like color manipulation.

It also has very minimal dependencies, and although it hasn't been updated in quite a long time, it still works just fine (probably due to it being such a simple utility).

SASS Language—a full-featured CSS preprocessor. I haven't used it on any live projects at the moment, but I'm taking my time transitioning into using SASS a lot more in my builds.

DigitalOcean—superior cloud-based hosting for devs, creators, and nerds. I've hosted random personal projects, experiments, and live sites on DO for the last 4 years, my current VPN setup being up for nearly 2 years now.

I can't ever think of a time I've ever had as much of a hiccup with them. Be warned, though; it took me nearly an entire DAY just to setup and completely configure a new droplet (basically, a dedicated server) for use as a web server... plus getting everything setup with the domain, the site itself, etc... Honestly though, it was a lot of fun, and a massive learning experience.