I’ve started thinking about self-portability seriously. Software engineers, including me, should be able to work anywhere in the world. In other words, we should be mobile.

If you’re using super customized Vim or Emacs, you’re not mobile. Because you won’t be able to work on a computer of your friend. If you’re using customized physical keyboard, such as Kinesis, you’re not mobile either. I guess I don’t need to explicitly explain the reason why.

In my opinion, we should not customize tools drastically. It’d reduce your portability. You just need to choose tools which have the “best default” settings. I’m comfortable using MacBook and Magic Trackpad because they’re easy to use by default, without configuring anything. I don’t feel any difficulties using Atom editor. I’ve installed a few plugins for it, but I think I’m still portable because I can remember what packages are needed for my usage and the plugins are installable just by a few clicks.

Yes. Geeky, esoteric software/gadgets are attractive. But as a professional engineer, I don’t think they’re the right choice for your work. Again, choose tools that are best by default.