I had a CS6 trial that expired. After seeing the Creative Cloud offer (for $30/mo) I decided to sign up for it.
I signed up, but my Photoshop CS6 would still say the “Your Trial has Expired” and ask for me to “License This Software”.
It was licensed!
After clicking “License This Software” I’d log in with my Adobe Creative Cloud account, and be asked for a serial number. Despite many internet searches I couldn’t find a way to get a serial number (you can’t, Creative Cloud doesn’t work that way).
Who wouldn’t want this?
Not being an artist or designer by default (I do some design by usually by applying formulas — I find a completely deterministic experince, a happier experience), I attempted to learn more about all those pretty graphics we see out there these days.
I grew up in Photoshop, and have recently been “seeing the light” of Adobe Illustrator. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used Illustrator for quite a while, but I’m just now learning all the various tools that I need to know.
See the icon in this article? I made it. All by myself. Of course with the aid of an excellent tutorial:
Adobe Photoshop is an amazing tool for web development, and image processing in general. I remember my first experience with Photoshop when I was back in Massapequa High School. There was an after school program that brought a local web designer in to help the kids work with websites and such.
My first creation was a series of boxes swirled. It looked cool, and was so easy to do.
Now Photoshop places a large role in our everyday computer usage. Everyone has a digital camera nowadays, and those with digital cameras should know how to use Photoshop to process those photos (deleting that annoying beach guy in the background who doesn’t understand you shouldn’t wear a “sweater” to the beach, or just to balance out colors).
If you go the Photoshop route, check out this post at Six Revisions — 35 Basic Tutorials to Get You Started with Photoshop.
Sometimes when you start out doing something on computers, it seems so hard until you get the tools that everyone else uses.
In this post I’m asking everyone else for feedback, what do you like to use? Go ahead and comment it in there, I’ll add it to the article as I see em.
Below are some of my favorite pieces of software for web development, some will be very obvious (Flash, Photoshop, etc.) … some maybe not so much:
I love textpad for basic text changes from everything PHP, to HTML, to writing notes. It’s great to have multiple documents, line numbers, quick global / file / local search and replaces etc. I use this when I’m working with source files, XML definition files, CSS files, to CFM or other formats. I love it.
Those of you who know homesite, will know it’s pretty much gone nowadays. The heyday was many years ago. The direct FTP editing was amazingly useful. It has some features that I still go back to now and then. Mostly search and replace functionality, FTP based editing (right on ther server … mostly), document formatting (code sweeper), and other utilitarian functions.
Working on the web, we all are in constant use of FTP (more so than we should be). Cute FTP has always been a staple of my software toolbox. It’s so easy to launch connections to all the FTP servers you use throughout the day, keep them open for jumping between projects. The number of protocols it supports is flexible (FTP, FTP w/ SSL, SFTP, HTTP, HTTPS, etc.), and it always seem to be able to connect. The speeds and setting are highly configurable. It’s nice having 50 simultaneous downloads going at a time.
Whoever isn’t using SVN, should be using SVN (or CVS or whatever other version control system you can think of). Tortoise SVN is an essential windows interface enhancement to integrate SVN into the file browser. For those of you who use CVS, there’s a Tortoise CVS as well. It is easy to look at version histories, compare files based on modification dates, and to pull down new updates.
Source control is underutilized in my experience. So many sites aren’t run with source control. Think of the advantages: automatic source control, automatic offsite backup (if you use an external host — which I would love to recommend svnrepository.com, a very cheap hosted SVN repository). Read about it, get used to it, it will save a project.
You were waiting for me to say it weren’t you? An open source IDE. Technically it started as a Java IDE (most Java developers should be intimately familiar with this). Thanks to add-ons developed by the community, it supports, quite adeptly, PHP and other web development technologies. It has built in SVN support, supports deployment scripts… its amazing. Try it, explore the community around it. Check out the Subclipse add-on, as well as the Web Developer Tools, and Eclipse XML Editors and Tools.
Adobe Photoshop (Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium)
Another obvious one. Photoshop is a requirements for all web development. No, you shouldn’t be doing web design work as a developer. However, there is always the need to look at colors, size things, cut up images, process original artwork, the list goes on forever. I really recommend the Adobe Creative Suite, we use almost all of the software anyway.
Microsoft Word (Microsoft Office)
You will always need this (or another decent word processor). Yes, you can get by without it. However the sheer amount of things Word can handle: Estimates, Proposals, Letterheads, Envelopes, Labels, the list goes on and on.. you will wish you had it someday.
Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Office)
Another one that you don’t always think about, but excel makes writing estimates so much easier. You can update your entire estimate based upon a new discount, manage hours, track changes. I’ve used Google’s online spreadsheets before – they are great. But they aren’t fully able to replace excel yet.
Microsoft PowerPoint (Microsoft Office)
Those proposals are much better with an accompanying presentation. Tell your clients what you do, what they need, in a way that can impact people in a conference room. Everyone yawns when it comes to yet ANOTHER powerpoint presentation, but you look unprofessional without one in most cases.
Normally this is on a hosted platform, but you need a database to do the cooler web development projects. MySQL is cheap, but if you want you can substitute in Microsoft SQL Server, or even Oracle. In my experience if you know why you want MS or Oracle, you can pay for them. If you don’t know why you want either of those, just go with MySQL.
PHP MY Admin
Administration software is just as important as the backend engine, at least for development. It lets you manage a database online, easily, and export simply. If you haven’t used it, try it.
SQL Server Management Studio
Another tool for development on SQL servers. Same as PHP My Admin, arguably much more helpful, but it is a client app. If you’re working with Oracle, or prefer these desktop applications to the PHPMyAdmin web interface — check out Aqua Data Studio.
There are really dozens more tools I consider very useful. Not exluding:
– Versions of all browsers
– VPN Connectivity software
– Remote Desktop
– VNC Client
– pcAnywhere (not so much anymore)
– Outlook / Email Client
Last but not least, is Google. It is the best tool you will have when working in web development.