Being BFFs with your text editor
I tapped out and took a break from web designing around the time HTML5 was being released.
(Tl;dr I released a screencast on how to use Sublime text effectively)
Wanted to focus on other aspects of software development at enterprise level. Like version control, release management, project management and system analysis.
Things got exciting in HTML land!
Font face. Media queries. CSS animations. Responsive web design shit hit the fan. Bootstrap was released and suddenly web designing was a whole lot more sexier.
I wanted to get back in the game.
So I started looking at conference videos and talks to catch up on everything I missed. I stumbled upon a developer workflow talk by Chris Coyier. Around the 26:46 mark, he talks about how you and your code editor should be BFFs.
Back then we didn’t have Brackets or Atom and I jumped straight into sublime text.
Learning curve for a text editor?
If you are busy shipping code, it’s really hard to find time to up your game on a text editor.
A text editor of all the things.
I didn’t even go anywhere close to Vim or emacs. I still find it hard to climb the learning curve on these editors. But with Sublime, I took the plunge and got myself acquainted with some of it’s features. To this day, these text editing skills have saved me several hours of drudgery and saved me from mundane tasks.
Last month, I had to work on data entry for a client project. 200 funds with 4 fields each. 800 text fields in all. To be entered into the CMS.
All the content was already there in a table in their existing website.
- Copy to sublime
- Do some regex
- Find and replace line breaks and convert content to JSON
- Use chrome dev tools and jQuery to loop through JSON and enter values into text fields
- Save and call it a day
What could have easily been 2–3 hours of mundane work ended in 20 minutes of challenging Regex brain activity. And excitement. Not to mention being saved from human errors.
Know your tool
I think it’s beneficial to dive deep into whatever editor you choose and learn everything it has to offer.
Today, I released a free screencast on some of the shortcuts you can use in sublime text. It was really exciting to create this screencast. I hope you find it useful to spend a few minutes and learn a thing or two you may not have already known.