Sass, Sublime Text, Github, and Changing my Development Workflow

When I left the full time freelancing world 2.5ish years ago, I had a very specific way I did things and I enjoyed it; however, admittedly, it wasn’t the best. I was using Coda, not making local copies, not using any form of version control, and my frameworks were becoming stale. I’ve been going to lots of WordCamps lately, talking to a lot of coders, listening to a lot of podcasts, and I came to the conclusion that the way I did things when I left the freelance world, the things I still do today, are not only outdated, they are slowing me down, and are dangerous (in the case of data loss). I decided to change  that.

The first thing I decided to do was work out a One Month Learning Plan to help me freshen up my skills. I decided to shake it up a little bit and change the order to jump into Sass first because I was starting a new design project and learning Sass was more convenient. I picked up Sass for Web Designers (which I already read through once), bought CodeKit, and started hacking away. I spent all day Superbowl Sunday creating my first pure Sass project, and man was it great! I’ve been seriously missing out. One of the things I did was write a loop to automate heading sizes. It’s simple (and I’ll definitely improve it), but here’s the first pass over at CodePen.

I also decided to ditch Coda in favor of something that gave me local copies/backups, and some more features. I’ve been hearing a lot of Sublime Text so I downloaded version 3(the beta) and am working my way through it; so far I like it but I know I’m not using it to it’s full potential. I’ll have to take some time to mess around. That’s part 1 of this one-two-[three] punch.

Part two is massive integration of Github in my workflow. I’ve moved all of my current projects to my Box.net account (where I have 50GB of space thanks to the new iPhone app) and I create Github repos for each project. This allows my to sync between computers without committing to Github while being able to commit at anytime on any computer. I also have MAMP running on both of my machines so I can do local development. The only thing I need to do is sync the two local databases. Perhaps I’ll build something cool to do that 🙂

I have a few private repos I’m working with and I’m still working through a better automated process of getting the files to my server; right now that’s the slowest part of my workflow. Everything else has improved how I do things and I can iterate faster thanks to it!

Finally, I want to mention that I’ve open sources a little project I worked on for my book- a shortlink generator. It’s pretty barebones right now (doesn’t even have CSS) but it’s a good starting point and I might make some improvements. You can download it from Github.

What’s your workflow like? Do you have any great Sublime Text tips? Let me know in the comments!

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