First, here’s a little info on Atom:
Atom is described at atom.io as “a text editor that’s modern, approachable, yet hackable to the core—a tool you can customize to do anything but also use productively without ever touching a config file.”
It’s also open source, and integrates completely with GitHub. The breadth of community packages simplifies any developer’s workflow, and with the advent of Atom’s IDE packages it’s getting even easier. IDE packages are Integrated Development Environments; basically, they are a bunch of tools that make developing in a specific language much, much more convenient.
I asked my friend and fellow Fuse member Erin Schmidt to give me a rundown on the Atom packages she uses most and why she likes them.
Erin works at Wildland, right here at Fuse, SPC. From her bio at wild.land:
Erin is Wildland’s resident design systems evangelist. Passionate about application design, she joined Wildland in 2015 as an interface developer. Erin has always been an active community member participating in organizations such as CampFire USA, Boy Scouts of America, and Atomic Cooperative Market. Erin is currently on the board of Fuse Co-Working and supporting efforts for a new bicycle cooperative, Wheelhouse. Erin and her husband spend their free time with three busy teens and enjoy backpacking and bicycling around the Pacific Northwest. Erin has been tinkering with web work for over 15 years. She received her degree in Computer Science with an Art emphasis from Columbia Basin College in 2011 and has been professionally creating beautiful things ever since.
Erin Schmidt’s Top 5 Atom packages:
“Any tool that keeps me from having to leave Atom is useful. When I’m finessing a design, Pigments is such a useful tool. Allowing me to have visibility of what a hex code or SCSS color variable is at a glance within Atom is invaluable.”
“Atom-CSS-Unit-Converter allows me to quickly convert units (for example, converting pixels to rem) without having to leave the application to go to a browser to search for a conversion tool. It seems like such a small thing, but it really does save me a lot of time.”
3. Atom-Toolbar and File-Icons
“These two packages work together to help me navigate my work. I’m a visual person of course, and File-Icons help me quickly identify where the files are that I need to work with. Little mustaches appear next to my Handlebar templates and little Sass brands appear next to my style sheets. All of these little things save me time.”
“I don’t use the popular tool, Emmet—it overrides many hotkeys of other packages I use—but it seems like a great choice for many. For my personal workflow I use Atom-Bootstrap4, but your mileage may vary.
Atom-Bootstrap4 allows me to quickly template basic components out, with just a few keystrokes. Super fast, super easy. There are many tools that do this, and depending on your workflow you can probably find a specific one to help you.”
5. Sort-Sass and Atom-Beautify
“I’m cheating again, picking two packages for number 5, but these two really work together to keep my work pretty and organized.
Again, I’m a visual person, and I typically strive to keep things neat and pretty. I use Atom-Beautify to keep my code formatting on point, and I use Sort-Sass to keep my sass swole. You should use them too, and you can have sexy sass like me.”