Years ago I used to prioritize cost when it came to developer tools. I’d resist paying for anything if I could find an open source alternative that worked reasonably well. These days I prioritize my effectiveness and am much more likely to pay for the right tool. A great example of this is my search for a database IDE. I started using Sequel Pro (when I was on a mac) for MySQL and SQuirreL for everything else. Sequel Pro was great - it was smooth, responsive, and felt optimized for MySQL. SQuirreL, on the other hand, was designed to support nearly all databases which made it worse across all of them.

A coworker turned me on to DataGrip and I haven’t looked elsewhere since. It has everything I enjoyed in Sequel Pro expanded to a variety of other database engines (somehow even Mongo support). My current usage only scratches the surface of what’s possible and it’s always interesting discovering a new trick - the most recent example is the ability to compare schemas across multiple databases.


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