I owe everything I've learned to the web development community, through both personal connections and lots of reading StackOverflow and blog posts. I'm very aware of this and try to give back as much as I can as I slowly gain my own expertise. I write on my blog, have contributed to Smashing Magazine and have plans to do more extended writing in the near future.
I work on a 2013 Macbook Pro Retina 15" that I got a couple months ago after my last one finally died. I do prefer OSX for my development environment, but I chose a Mac as my work computer because it's invaluable to be able to run OSX, Windows, and Ubunto partitions and never have to worry about being without a native testing environment.
For mobile I use an iPhone 5 and iPad 3 for personal use, but because all of my work needs to be thoroughly browser tested, I try to keep as many other devices around as I can. It's pretty common to see an older HTC Evo or Hero on my desk to make sure I don't cut any corners.
After playing so many PC games as a kid, I have gotten used to using good gaming mice even for development. The Logitech G500 that I had for years finally gave out a few weeks ago, so I picked up a Razer DeathAdder and am a huge fan so far.
I have a couple Samsung monitors and a Logitech keyboard that I use as well when I need to be working at my desk.
For my development environment, I use:
- Sublime Text 2
- Adobe CS6
- MAMP Pro
I also use a lot of small utility apps that aren't specific to developers but still make a big impact on how I work. Some include:
I also use Chrome as my default browser, iMessage and Google Hangouts for communicating, Spotify for music, and the official Twitter OSX app for social.
Right now I'm doing the work that I love and I'll be happy if I can do this forever, but this is not to say that I've met the goals that I set for myself. I still have a lot to learn and accomplish, but my dream is to be able to do more writing and speaking and be the same influence and inspiration that people like Chris Coyier, Stephan Hay, and Nishant Kothary were for me when I first transitioned into web development.
Aside from the designers and developers that I've been following and learning from since I first started, I take a lot of inspiration from things completely unrelated to web development or computers.
I play music every single day and that will always be something that I separate from anything work related. One of the reasons I never really considered going into music as a profession was because I didn't want to lose that outlet. Music can influence you on such a deep level and I use it as inspiration in every part of my life.
I also read as much as I can. Books are much like music in that they are a great way to give your mind an escape while at the same time inspiring you long after you're done. They can completely change your perception of the world and make you rethink a lot of what you take for granted. The book I'm currently finishing up, Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, is a great example of this.
No matter how many hours I put in I always try to make sure I never cut time out of these activities, because I know both my work and quality of life will suffer for it.