[Sublime + Python Setup] Don’t build “nag screen muscle memory”

Hey there,

Once I worked with a developer who refused to buy a registered copy of Sublime for months on end, even though he *loved* Sublime.

He used it as his main code editor every day and was very happy with it —

Except for that dang nag screen that would get him all worked up and angry because it "interrupted his work".

You might be familiar with this popup dialog in unlicensed copies of Sublime Text:

Image

Sublime’s free trial version has all the features of the paid version—but every couple of minutes it displays a nag screen as a reminder to upgrade to the full version.

That's a pretty fair model in my books (yes I grew up when “shareware” was still a thing).

Anyway, when I sat down for a pair programming session with this guy one day I was kind of dumbfounded by how he'd “tightly integrated” the nag screen with his coding workflow:

He’d made a habit out of typing some code, getting hit with the nag screen, groaning and letting out a curse under his breath, then smoothly dismissing the nag screen, and carrying on with this work.

And let me tell you, he’d gotten *good* at dismissing that popup… Watching him reminded me of a guitarist playing a well-rehearsed lick.

His precise and cat-like movements clearly showed that he had developed impeccable muscle memory for the task.

Now there would've been an easy fix to stop this distraction: Just shell out the $70 for a Sublime Text license and he'd been off to interruption-free programming bliss…But no, my coworker did not budge.

When I casually asked our CTO if we could get a team license for Sublime to stop this misery once and for all—he almost spat coffee all over his laptop.

Today I understand the complete look of astonishment on his face:

As an experienced developer, our CTO knew the toll those daily interruptions took on my colleague.

How they affected his creativity, his productivity… and how, by extension, they cost the company a lot of money. Much more than what a measly editor license key would cost.

We purchased a Sublime license the same afternoon.

In the end my colleague was happy to get a full version of Sublime without the nag screen. And for me a lightbulb went on and I witnessed my mindset shift…

Don't get me wrong—I *love* a frugal mindset, but sacrificing your own happiness by trying to save some money on a critical tool you use all day is always the wrong choice. Period.

Because, when you think about it, tools for developers are pretty cheap:

Other professions like architects or graphic designers have to put up with much higher software prices.

I just looked and AutoCAD costs $4,195 for a single-user license these days.

Adobe charges $899.88 for their Creative Suite per user—and that’s an annually recurring fee.

Most tools for software developers are ridiculously cheap by comparison…

And that makes them fantastic *investments*:

I found it always pays to invest in the tools that make you happy and more productive. These days I try to get the best tools I can afford to do my work.

And this strategy has served me well—both professionally and from a "developer happiness" perspective.

Remember how great it felt to automate away a task that got on your nerves for a month?

When you finally got rid of that roadblock or distraction in your workflow once and for all?

Every time I do that it feels awesome. I feel waves of joy and satisfaction rolling through my whole body. (Yes I know I’m a huge nerd.)

For Sublime Text there’s a quick way to get rid of kinks and roadblocks in your coding workflow —

You can turn it into a tool that’s going to make you smile every time you sit down at your computer to work. Get all the details in the link below:

>> Click here to make your Sublime Text experience even better

— Dan Bader

Older messages

[Sublime + Python Setup] why Atom can’t replace Sublime

Monday, July 12, 2021

Hey there, "In a nutshell, Atom is a Sublime Text editor that just got better." When I read this quote I got so worked up I nearly fell off my chair. Because every time I've tried Atom or

[PythonistaCafe] Q&A

Monday, July 12, 2021

Hey there, At this point you should have a pretty good idea of what PythonistaCafe is about and what makes it special. In this email I want to answer some common questions that I get asked about the

[Sublime + Python Setup] The Ctrl+s "Heisenbug"

Sunday, July 11, 2021

"What the **** is going on?!" I heard Keith yell. Returning from my lunch break and in a helpful mood I grabbed my coffee mug and shuffled over to my coworker's desk. "What's

[Python Dependency Pitfalls] The Iceberg

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Hey there, The other day I read this quote from a Python developer that made me stop and think: "As a noob with a little programming knowledge already, I've found setting up and installing

[PythonistaCafe] What's in PythonistaCafe for you?

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Hey there, A couple of years ago I'd become quite interested in martial arts. Hours upon hours of watching "The Karate Kid" growing up must've taken their toll on me... And so, I

Kotlin Weekly #261

Sunday, August 1, 2021

ISSUE #261 1st of August 2021 Hi Kotliners. Jetpack Compose 1.0.0 is out there, and we have already seen a boom in content just after a few days. Expect more Compose in the near future - and if you

[Sublime + Python Setup] The Ctrl+s "Heisenbug"

Sunday, August 1, 2021

"What the **** is going on?!" I heard Keith yell. Returning from my lunch break and in a helpful mood I grabbed my coffee mug and shuffled over to my coworker's desk. "What's

[PythonistaCafe] Why PythonistaCafe exists

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Hey there, In one of my last emails I talked about how some online communities in the tech space devolve over time and turn into cesspools of negativity. This relates directly to how and why I started

Show HN: Static.wiki – read-only Wikipedia using a 43GB SQLite file — and Hosting SQLite Databases on GitHub Pages

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Issue #481 — Top 20 stories of August 01, 2021 Issue #481 — August 01, 2021 You receive this email because you are subscribed to Hacker News Digest. You can open it in the browser if you prefer. 1 Show

Weekend Reading — Working with real data

Saturday, July 31, 2021

This week we Kanban our job search, change our strategy vision to fix a bug, ride the bike, and mind the duck! Weekend Reading — Working with real data By Assaf Arkin – 31 Jul 2021 – View online → 🪑

Charted | 1.6 Billion Disposable Masks Entered Our Oceans in 2020 😷

Saturday, July 31, 2021

The entire world has relied on disposable face masks to contain the spread of COVID-19, but over a billion of them are now in our oceans. FEATURED STORY 1.6 Billion Disposable Masks Entered Our Oceans

Daily Coding Problem: Problem #481 [Hard]

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Daily Coding Problem Good morning! Here's a solution to yesterday's problem. This is your coding interview problem for today. This problem was asked by Jane Street. Given an arithmetic

Week in Review - The metaverse reversal

Saturday, July 31, 2021

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch logo Week in Review logo Saturday, July 31, 2021 • By Lucas Matney Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review! Last week, I talked about the specter of an “eco-

Startups Weekly - Unicorns are ready for a haircut

Saturday, July 31, 2021

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch logo Startups Weekly logo Saturday, July 31, 2021 • By Natasha Mascarenhas The digitization of your haircut may not have been on your 2020 bucket list, but 2021 has an

[Sublime + Python Setup] How to become a happier & more productive Python dev

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Hey there, I really struggled with setting up an effective development environment as a new Python developer. It was difficult to build the right habits and to find a set of tools I enjoyed to use.