Developers Toolkit Cheat Sheet

These are a director’s notes on my talk “The Developer’s Toolkit”, you can also watch the video here.

It has sources for all the tools mentioned in the talk, and a little commentary that didn’t quite fit in. Hope this is helpful:

General References





  • You need to remember them in the moment or they aren’t valuable.
  • They are not available when you remote access a different server
  • If you use something like Oh My Zsh, it can be hard to remember where all your aliases are defined, making the system opaque.

That said, I use a lot of aliases. I also define a lot of aliases that I forget about.

Here’s how I try to mitigate the issues with aliases.

  • I try to make the names memorable by not getting caught up in how short they are. I make aliases to reduce the need to memorize details, not to reduce the number of characters I type.
  • I sometimes use a snippets package like Alfred or TextExpander for some commands to make them available when I am logged into a remote server.
  • I have no answer for this one, but I do try to limit aliases to things I use myself.

Bash History

Jump and Find



For my nickel, you have at least two editors — Atom and Visual Studio Code that are both free, quite solid, extendable, basically conforming to general UI norms, and have text-only sharing options that don’t depend on screen share (as tmux replacements).

A couple of other links.

The Atom regular expression tool is called regex-railroad-diagram. Sadly, it hasn’t been updated for a while and doesn’t seem to have been ported to any other editor. That’s too bad, because it’s pretty useful.

You can get more details on Solargraph at, including links to Atom and VS Code support. My experience here is that the VS Code tool works great but occasionally refuses to load for some reason, and that the Atom support is a little flakier. Still, if you are the kind of person that loves autocomplete, it does improve the experience for Ruby code.

Autocomplete is great. If you are in Atom, you should enable the autocomplete-plus extension, which gives you the ability to autocomplete off of tokens in any open file. The related extension in VS Code is called All Autocomplete. VS Code also has a Path Autocomplete extension that works on files, and it’s quite useful.

Emmet is a great tool that I never remember that I have, the plugins work in Haml or HTML and there’s more functionality than I showed in the clip, including some more powerful shortcuts, some CSS shortcuts, and a shortcut to increment or decrement a number that your cursor is over. Emmet integrates seamlessly with autocomplete in VSCode

You can get full instructions for Fira Code at the GitHub repo, including anything you need to do to get it to work with your editor, it also has some links to other fonts that use ligatures. I recommend trying it once to see if you like it. I find it does make code easier to read.


The Pro Git book is a few years old now, but it’s still a really great way to understand Git. Here’s a shorter Medium post on the same topic. I would also keep an eye on James Coglan’s Building Git, which isn’t out yet, but should be a good information source.

The Pro Git book has a chapter on hooks. There’s also a more specific website at

There are a metric infinity of Git GUI tools. Both Atom and VS Code have perfectly lovely integrations. In terms of the specifically useful, both editors make it quite easy to see who has last worked on a file using Git Blame, and too see the current Git branch and SHA in the editor. They also both have really nice diff tools that allow you to both see changes and resolve conflicts in the editor.

Outside the editor, I’ve started using Fork, since it is both free (for now) and has a reasonably decent UI. (Some of these tools are a bit hard for me to read). A big plus of Fork is that it allows you to do interactive rebases. One down side is that it’s conflict resolver isn’t as good as the ones in Atom or VS Code

GitHub has some comprehensive documentation, here’s a decent, if somewhat out of date cheat sheet of GitHub tips.

You can get information on Hub at There’s also some usage docs.

Web Sites

Mac Things

I don’t use Keyboard Maestro as much, but it’s a very comprehensive tool for controlling and customizing your Mac.

Both Keyboard Maestro and Alfred can run as clipboard managers, and I really recommend using something to store and reuse things you save to the Mac clipboard. There are many, many options for this.

I use Better Touch Tool more, you can get it at There’s also a community site at that has a bunch of replacements for the standard Touch Bar and other things. BTT is also really good at mapping custom touch pad swipes — I mapped, for example, a three finger swipe to move the current window to the next monitor.

Dash, which is admittedly kind of pricey, sounds like the most pointless thing ever, it’s basically just a browser window that aggregates documentation for all kinds of programming languages and libraries. What makes it valuable is that the search is really good and it integrates with a lot of editors to make look up directly from the editor easy.

The Window manager I show is Mosaic. It’s also a little pricey, but you can also get it via Setapp. If you want something that does most of the same stuff for only a buck, try Magnet. There are a bunch of other apps that have various kinds of functionality along these lines, try a few and see if you like them.

Finally, Transmit is just a very nicely done Mac app, and it’s worth checking out.

One app that I don’t use, but that a lot of Mac automation people swear by is Hazel, which lets you set up automated reactions to files and directories.



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Noel Rappin

Noel Rappin is an Engineering Manager II at Root Insurance. He is the author of Modern Front-Front End Development For Rails. Find him @noelrap.