You probably enjoy one or more mental pursuits, such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, chess, and various card games. You may be among those of us who have discovered that developing software trumps all of those activities. Software development provides a similar mental stimulus, while providing the reward of a useful entity ó a piece of working software ó when you have finished.

As a hobbyist, you are a part-time developer, and you face special challenges in reaching for such rewards. This activity is inherently more difficult than full-time software development. Notably, unless you are blessed with an unusual memory, some necessary details tend to grow fuzzy in the intervals between software projects. The solution is to arm yourself with more and better tools than a full-time developer needs.

A really useful tool lets me find the answer to a question within 5 seconds. Benefits to me are two-fold: enhanced productivity and reduced frustration, particularly re. something I used to know in an instant. Chief among my tools meeting the 5-second criterion is Coderís Crib Sheet, which I created in the late 1990s to support my development of web software. The Crib Sheet remains my single most valuable tool today.

This is the era of open, free software. In the spirit of that movement, Iíll be sharing the Crib Sheet and other web-related tools on this website.