Open Source Software
In high school a Czech exchange student introduced me to the idea of open source software. It reasonnated with my DIY ethics and frustration of growing up with software that had annoying restrictions. Ever since, I have been relying on free and open source software to do most of my work.
Here are some of the tools I love.
xubuntu + openbox
In 2015 you could order free CDs from canonical, it was kind of magical. After a few years I settled with xubuntu and the openbox desktop environment. It provides a blazing fast and highly customizable minimal desktop experience.
PD was one of my first programming experiences back in 2008 and it is still a important part of my workflow for live performances. I have done all sorts of projects with PD over the years, including live network traffic sonification and temps!reel, a kinetic sculpture. My current use of PD is mostly to handle midi controllers to etxend their capabilties and map them to OSC messages for Freeliner.
In the future I would like to use a live codeable language to handle this instead of patching tiny boxes together, or a hybrid of the two like Praxis Live. I would probably still use PD to whip up quick UI's for whatever im doing.
I learnt to program using Processing, mostly by pushing my project Freeliner forward for 3 years during my studies.
A patching environment wher the nodes are written using Java/Processing and can be live coded (and much much more). As a Processing enthusiast its been lots of fun! I use it mostly for VJing when I want to use something other then Freeliner.
I started with LibreCAD, a nice 2D drafting software, it got me through quite a few projects. I now use FreeCAD and KiCad for most of my projects.