Brian Stewart

Brian Stewart has a passion for crafting great developer experiences through tools and engineering, enabling the rapid iteration, innovation, and creativity that lead to developer happiness. Outside of work, Brian is low-tech, working with his family to grow food forests and cultivate traditional skills. Pursuing the art of simplicity and creativity unifies two worlds.



The Developer's Productivity Toolbox


Beyond just writing code there is a craft: the developer’s personal toolbox that enables productive (and fun!) coding. Let’s dig into the fundamentals: using developer tools, and creating our own, to craft code at the speed of thought. See what is possible, and leave with a full toolbox of ideas.


Each craft has its own dedicated set of tools, from general to custom, and crafting software is no different. This talk will cover the personal craft of software engineering, highlight the role of both general and custom-built tools for personal productivity, then get very specific detailing some of the best tools for a software developer’s toolbox, including terminal hacks, tmux, vim, dotfiles, shell aliases, git, and more. This talk is for anyone who writes code. Everyone from beginning coder to seasoned engineer will leave with something they can put into action to hone their personal craft.

I’ve been working as a software engineer at top tech companies for 10+ years, doing everything from full stack development, DevOps engineering, system administration, AWS cloud-native engineering, Kubernetes admin, and more. In recent years I have focused developer productivity engineering, recently speaking at a national conference on the subject.

While developer productivity and developer experience could cover a wide range of topics, this talk focuses in on one that is often-overlooked: enhancing the developer’s personal skillset with the basic tools of the craft. These tools and techniques are not generally taught and are instead must be gleaned over years of experience. This talk will broaden the horizons of anyone who writes code, expanding awareness of available tools, building custom tools, and to think more deeply about their personal craft as software engineers.

The talk will include some high-level overview on the philosophy, the “why?” behind expanding your personal developer toolbox, as well as a live coding demo, itemized ideas to implement, and links to get started with each.

Unfortunately, this session has been cancelled.