Making PHPStorm act more like my Vim

I've been using Vim for years, and I have built up a lot of muscle memory. I also have a few Vim plugins I feel like I can not live without, which also have their key bindings. From time to time, I will play with another editor but only if it offers Vim bindings in some form or fashion, typically it comes in the way of a plugin. Usually, these are lacking a great deal, and it's not long before I am back in native Vim.

One exception to this rule has been PHPStorm. The Ideavim plugin was very complete. That, coupled with a ton of built-in features and a few other plugins like Relative Line Numbers and AceJump I found myself able to get the PHPStorm IDE very close to my native Vim.

This is mainly due to Ideavim's approach which mimics the .vimrc file. Ideavim has the .ideavimrc file which allows you to map custom mappings just like .vimrc but does have some limitations.

In my .ideavimrc file, you will notice several mappings that take advantage of an :action command. The 'action' is a command gives you access to any command within PHPStorm, including commands added by other plugins. With this, I can mimic several commands from my regular .vimrc file that use plugins such as the mappings I have for Fugitive.

It's not a seamless replacement for native Vim, there are a few things that annoy me, and I will switch back to native Vim for development from time to time, but Ideavim gets PHPStorm closer than any other tool and makes working in PHPStorm relatively easy.

My Current .ideavimrc file can be found in my dot_files repo on Github at

Here it is below as well:

What time is it?!?!

When you heard that phrase in the 80's, you knew things were about to get funky. However, in the coding world, dealing with dates and time can be a real pain. I did a presentation for our Laravel User Group about a package that I enjoy called Carbon which makes working with dates and times a ton easier.

Check it out.

San Diego / Tijuana Tech Industry

Just wanted to post a link to a really good article on Tech Companies in San Diego and leveraging talent across the border in Tijuana.

I worked for a group that had a very similar business model, it was a little different as the majority of its clients were also based throughout Mexico. I worked with them in their San Diego office with a group of very talented developers, ops, and office staff from both sides of the border.

We did manufacturing in Mexico, a little deeper than Tijuana, and I have to agree with the article in that one of the biggest advantages was being able to quickly iterate through design and components. There is something to be said about being able to travel to manufacturing, discuss with the different teams involved, and pivot if needed.

I would also travel to Tijuana to meet with my tech team who managed IT systems in our Tijuana offices where customer support and designers worked. As I mentioned, in our San Diego office we had developers, graphic artist, office staff, and operation team members who made the journey across the border every day. All very talented people.

I think Baja California is positioned to become one of the next strong draws of IT talent. The skills sets and IT culture south of the border is growing stronger and stronger as the IT generation there are maturing and finding themselves in the workforce. I am hoping as more Tech companies realize this, they also decide to make San Diego their US home.

Here is that link I promised you to the article:

Tech companies thriving in San Diego–Tijuana border zone

New #SDPHP  sign I had made by a local artist. Letters are made up from signs around San Diego. 

New #SDPHP  sign I had made by a local artist. Letters are made up from signs around San Diego.


2014-06-07 14.16.37


Letters are from:

S - Kensington
D - The Boulevard
P - Ocean Beach Pier
H - Normal Heights
P - North Park

Percona Toolkit (for MySQL): It’s Basically Magic

Good presentation at the last #SDPHP  North County Meetup

May 28, 2014   Robert Swisher, CTO of, presented Percona Toolkit (for MySQL): It's Basically Magic. The talk covered some of the most used tools in the Percona Toolkit, however th...

I do enjoy going on rides with my daughters. This is an older one that Google put together in a story…

I do enjoy going on rides with my daughters. This is an older one that Google put together in a story line. Most of the photos were taken by my daughter on the back on the bike.