Having some spare time before starting a new job at Ubisoft in Montreal, I want to give a try of my old 2009 Products I Can't Leave Without post.
This is the tool used to publish this blog. I use WordPress in other projects. WP has definitely a larger feature set, without counting its amazing plugin list (commercial and free). However, Blogger is just fine for the type of edition I conduct here.
Google declines the Chrome browser in 4 versions, and Chrome Canary is its most bleeding-edge version. I still use Firefox for most of the Internet browsing, but I now use Chrome for my development related tasks: Webapp debugging on the desktop, remote debugging on a tablet, device emulation (iPad, Nexus, etc.). As the vast majority of mobile browsers are WebKit based as Chrome, it's definitely a must-have development tool.
When Google Reader disappeared, I tried Feedly. It's not a great tool, but it does the job: I can continue to easily read the continuous new stream from the Internet ;)
Having been a Web application developer for a long time, I adopted Firefox (then know as Firebird) in 2003. With the introduction of the Firebug extension (in 2005), it became with primary browser and it had never lost this status. Its early integration of Google search was also a serious advantage. These days, with the faviconize extension and Firefox ability to start with the previous configuration, my browser always starts with: iGoogle, GMail, Google Calendar.
I never the budget and training for Adobe Photoshop. So I started using Gimp. If you can pass over its weird interface (too many windows, IMO), Gimp offer tons of features for Web application developers: to adjust pictures, to generate textures, to resize images, etc. And there are plenty of free tutorials on the Web.
As a developer, I always want to put my code into a source control system. It is not just because I am afraid that my laptop crashes, then wasting hours of work. It is mainly because I want to keep track of the update history. At work, over the years, I used ClearCase, CVS, and Subversion. For my personal development, I used Subversion a lot and now I use Git.
When I started working, I dealt with many machines and I hated having to start one just to look at a specific inbox. With GMail, my account is available anywhere. When I read Turn Gmail Into Your Personal Nerve Center, I started to use GMail as my knowledge database.
Google App Engine
My first job in Montréal, Canada, was with a small company named Steltor (bought few years later by Oracle). The core business was the development of a distributed calendar system (servers in cluster, native clients, web client, mobile client, etc.). Since then, I am used to tracking my work with an electronic calendar. Google Calendar and its ability to mix many agendas is excellent.
Google Search is an amazing tool: recently, I was trying to find a solution to a tough technical problem and I found it thanks to Google Search which pointed toward a blog post written the same day, just few hours before, in Europe! Incredible... When I give a conference into universities, I often say: “If I asked a question today and you have no clue about the response, that's fine. If you still have no clue tomorrow, you're in trouble...”
KeePassX is an open source Password Safe, an multi-platform extension of KeePass. I use it in conjunction with Dropbox so my precious list of account coordinates are available on all my devices (desktops, tablets, and phones).
As a developer, I much prefer using command line tools like maven, git, and other ant and Python scripts. Git is a really powerful tool but I worked with team members having some difficulties to deal with the branches, cherry-picking, and stashing for example. The freeware SourceTree offers a neat interface on the top of git. I'm more a command line user than a GUI one. Hoever
For my own company AnotherSocialEconomy.com, I only developed native applications for Android. As a software architect at Electronic Arts, in the (now defunct) Play Mantis franchise lab in Montréal, I worked with Unity developers. I then learned its cross-platform capabilities, it's physics engine, and it's powerful C# library. Since then, I've created few project with Unity and I think it's a powerful ecosystem.
Developing software requires sometimes specific configurations. Testing them requires always specific configurations (at least to replay always the same test cases every time the source control system, like Git, is updated). There are the famous VMWare products (Workstation, Player, ESX) and Microsoft VirtualPC. VirtualBox is an open source product provided by SUN Microsystems, and it has nice features while being powerful.
YouTube is famous because of fun videos. But it also hosts technical videos.
I hope it helps,