Batman. He's always been one of my favorite DC characters. Even though he doesn't have super-powers like Superman or Flash, or a mystic aid like Green Lantern, he manages to do his thing. Also, at least in the older comics, he used both his brains and his brawn to do his superhero thang 😀
In the old days, one thing that fascinated me about Batman was his utility belt. He'd pull out a host of gizmos and gadgets from the utility belt whenever he was in a bind. Stuck in shark infested water? No worries, he's got some bat-shark repellent pellets handy! Stuck at the bottom (or top) of a building with nowhere to go? Holy smokes, look! He's got a batarang that will do the job! And so on. (Most of the items he pulled from the belt were prefixed by bat- and I found that interesting, too – shows how young I was :p)
As I grew up, the image of Batman's utility belt always stayed with me. I always wanted something like that in my work. And I realized that I could have it. Since I'm not a crime-fighter, I didn't need smoke grenades, or batarangs, or handcuffs or any other such doodads. What I needed was my own utility belt of tools that I could use in my line of work.
Since I was into computers from as early as I could get my grubby paws on a computer, software seemed to be just the thing to add to my utility belt. In the early days, it was Norton Utilities and PC Tools and a few other things to troubleshoot and fix issues.
As I got more into development, the tools in my utility belt changed. And the tools have continued to change over the years as my area of interest and platform of choice changed. But the utility belt has remained :] I think every developer should have their own set of tools for their utility belt – either for day to day use, or to get them out of a bind once in a while.
So, I will cover some of the tools I've come to rely on in recent years in a series of blog posts over the next weeks (or months or years – years? Not quite sure about that. But we'll see …). Some of these might be well-known while others might not have seen the limelight as much. Either way, I hope some of these help somebody else become a better developer and helps you code faster or to get your job done more efficiently.
A few examples of the type of tools I'll be talking about are:
- Utilities which help iOS developers to check their project for unused resources, or for deprecated or obsolete API calls.
- Utilities which allow you to design a game level visually.
- Utilities which help you extract relevant images from a PSD file from individual layers.
Would using at least a few of these utilities increase your productivity?
What if you used many of these utilities in your daily workflow? How much more efficient would you be?
I'll go over those tools (and more) in upcoming blog posts. If any of this helps you, or you find a new tool to add to your own utility belt, do drop me a line and let me know :] Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me as well.