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Tool recommendations for technical founders

Published by Felix Gurtler on
Tool recommendations for technical founders

These are the tools I use to develop Landen. That includes front-end dev, back-end dev, database management, product design and everything else. You don't need much these days to develop software. I use the cheapest MacBook Pro and a lot of free or relatively cheap software, but it could all be done on a $200 laptop with completely free software. Most of the software I pay for also offers a free trial or limited version.

Landen is not affiliated with any of these tools or companies and I get no money for my recommendations. I've included links for your convenience.

Visual Studio Code

Free

I've been using Sublime Code for the longest time, briefly tried Atom and finally found Visual Studio Code, which really got me excited. It's free, so if you haven't tried it yet, I absolutely recommend you do.

There's a healthy plugin ecosystem around VS Code, and I use a few fairly basic ones:

  • Go: absolutely wonderful for Go development
  • Import Cost: Display JavaScript import size in the editor
  • One Dark Pro: Color theme
  • Prettier: opinionated code formatter
  • Reactjs code snippets

VS Code Website

SQLEditor

$79 once - 30 day trial

This is an indispensable tool for planning and maintaining SQL data structures. It generates the SQL statements for you for PostgreSQL, MySQL and a bunch of other dialects. As my databases grow more complex it helps me see everything at a glance. SQLEditor Website

Postico

$40 once - free version available

Postico is a PostgreSQL client for macOS with a beautiful and simple interface. It supports filtering, automatically finds data with foreign keys, has an SQL editor with autocomplete and comes with dark mode. It's developed by a software developer duo in Austria. The value for money for this tool is amazing, they could easily charge 3x as much. Postico Website

Querious

$49 once

Querious is similar to Postico but for MySQL databases. It's even more powerful and also a bit more expensive but if you regularly work with MySQL databases, it's well worth the price. Querious Website

Quiver

$10 once

There are probably as many code snippet managers as there are programmers. Quiver has been reliable, easy to use and organize. It doesn't come with tons of bloat and you don't have to pay a recurring fee for it. Quiver Website

PostMan

Free to $18/mo

If you work with RESTful APIs this tool is great. It let's you send network requests with a simple graphical UI. You can also save and organize requests in groups and regularly test them automatically. Another noteworthy API tool for macOS is Paw ($50). PostMan Website

SVGO

Free & Open-Source

SVGO is a command-line tool for optimizing and minimizing SVG files. If you export SVG from a design program such as Sketch, it'll often contain lots of unnecessary data which can be safely removed before using it on the web. There's also a SVGOMG, a web UI for svgo. SVGO on GitHub

Sketch

$99 (one year of updates)

Sketch is a design tool. I used to design UIs in Adobe Photoshop and I'm very glad that's no longer the case. Sketch is much simpler and geared specifically towards UI design. There are also some other very modern and noteworthy design tools such as Figma, Framer and InVision studio (free). I simply use Sketch because my requirements are simple and that's what I'm used to. Sketch Website

Todoist Premium

$48 / year

This one's a to-do list app which hits right right balance between being powerful and simple. When you're a solo founder you don't need too many team features and especially no productivity apps that take more time to manage than they free up. Todoist has a free tier as well. Todoist Website.

Firefox

Free

Firefox has caught up with Chrome in most ways. I now work mostly with the FF development tools, and only go back to Chrome for a few things that FF doesn't offer yet. Firefox Website

TinyPNG

Free

This tool is like SVGO but for PNG and JPG files. Before you use any PNGs or JPGs on your website you should compress them to reduce their file size and make them load faster. TinyPNG does so easily and quite effectively, sometimes compressing image files by around 80%. TinyPNG website

ScreenFlow

$129

I use ScreenFlow to record GIFs and product videos. It's much easier to use than most pro video editors. It is to Adobe AfterEffects what Sketch is to Photoshop. Much less functionality, a lower learning curve, cheaper price and still everything you need for simple videos. ScreenFlow Website

MetaBase

Free & open-source

MetaBase is a handy tool for querying and visualizing your SQL database. You can run it on a server or on your local dev environment. The setup is super easy and even though it still has a couple of bugs, it's relatively easy to use. MetaBase Website

These are all the tools I can think of right now. If you have any recommendations or feedback, let know on twitter.com/felixgurtler.

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