This post is part of a series where Behance developers talk about the various tools they use to get things done and make ideas happen.
1. Who are you, and what do you do at Behance?
Hey all, I’m Bryan Latten, and I’ve been a part of this team since mid-2008. My role at Behance is the Chief Software Architect. This involves ensuring that our development team can deliver clean, maintainable and scalable code. I have been the primary contributor to our own development framework which includes a system of libraries and tools that tie together best practices. These tools have forced consistency across a wide range of applications. I’ve had my hand in nearly everything Behance has built, or more accurately, rebuilt.
2. What hardware do you use?
As a pretty enthusiastic hardware fan, this limits my OS to Windows + Linux…and Android, on the phone side. I have two 24” Dell 2408’s attached to the work computer I built. I’ve recently grown comfortable with one monitor being vertical, maximizing my ability to scan through huge swaths of code. At home, I have a beastly old (and nearly unbreakable) Thinkpad T61 which I hope to soon replace with the Thinkpad X1 or even a -gasp- Macbook Air.
3. What software do you use?
Notepad++ is my absolute favorite editor. I’ve tried a million others: e (TextMate on Windows), Sublime Text, PSPad, UltraEdit, the list goes on…but none could match the speed, code folding, click-highlighting, intelligent search and replace (don’t get me started, Eclipse), and simplicity of N++. For everything else, there are the essentials: Filezilla, Putty, Tortoise SVN, Dropbox, Virtualbox (+ phpVirtualBox), Photoshop, Digsby. Then the browsers: Chrome as my choice for browsing and Firefox with Firebug + FirePHP for development.
4. What do you listen to while working?
After many many years of use, I’ve finally moved off internet radio stations. I somehow managed to use these services long enough to turn them into a painfully boring mix of bland. These days, I have a wildly varying mix of rock, rap, house, even classical music keeping me going. If I am working on a really complicated task, I’ll even throw on some white noise: water flowing, beach wind, thunderstorms…it really helps me maintain my concentration.
5. Out of all the equipment used, what piece of software/hardware do you feel is the most useful of all?
FirePHP has become my most indispensible tool while working on more complicated applications. It is an extension over the more-commonly used FireBug plugin, which allows me to see every query, cache call, and even cURL request. I could not have done any of my recent work, especially those with heavy two-way API requests, without FirePHP. It allows for more insight into a running application than any other tool via the browser.