Tools of the Trade 2022

Last year, I catalogued the tools I use for software development. I have made numerous updates and changes so here is an updated list!


MacBook Pro 14-inch

I upgraded from my trusty 2015 MacBook Pro 13-inch to a 2021 MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro. I absolutely love this new device. It’s super fast and the display is gorgeous. I also like that I was able to skip every MacBook that didn’t have an SD card slot.

iPad Pro

I started drawing with an iPad Pro + Apple Pencil in 2017 and haven’t looked back. All of my digital art is done in Procreate. I was considering upgrading to a newer iPad, but I want to wait for an 11 inch Pro with some sort of local dimming (e.g. mini LED or OLED). I don’t use my iPad for any other function besides drawing, so it is not a priority.


I am no longer using an external keyboard with my laptop. It was fun to put together and looked great on my desk, but nothing beats the convenience of having your keyboard attached to your computer. Also, my new MacBook’s keyboard is quite good.



Despite attempting to break free of the yoke of VSCode several more times, I’m still using it.

VSCode Extensions

There are a few VSCode extensions I use all the time:

  1. Search Lights: My VSCode theme! It’s meant to be easy to look at for a long time. I spent a long time tooling the color relationships to be subtle and informative. I recently passed 10k downloads on it, which is exciting for me.
  2. VSCode Vim: I got used to Vim keybindings during a college CS class that required using Vim for all of the quizzes and assignments, and ever since I can’t function without it.
  3. GitHub Copilot I’ve been using Copilot for a while now, and it’s definitely useful. That said, I still don’t trust it to write more than a line or two for me. I’ve found that it’s best use is as a super powered Intellisense.


I love Vim as an editor, and NeoVim is even better. When it comes to command-line editors, look no further.


A minimalist terminal emulator that does everything I need it to, no more, no less. Definitely the cutest option, also! kitty also has a lot of interesting techniques to keep it running quickly, but all I know is it’s the only terminal emulator I’ve used that renders text exactly the way I want it to.


I use zsh with Starship as my prompt. My favorite extensions are fast-syntax-highlighting, history-substring-search, and zsh-autosuggestions. In order to get load times to be as fast as possible, I spent a while tooling my zinit config—now I get a usable prompt in about 20ms. That’s not quite imperceptible, but it’s close. Before, I was using PowerLevel10k’s instant prompt, which is aptly named and blazingly fast. The issue was that P10k was a little too bulky for me and it kept causing small issues to the point where I gave up and switched to Starship which is very light and straightforward.