I’ve been using computers for a long time and programming for almost as long almost as long.
I used to try all kinds of programs very promiscuously, but am much more careful with what I allow on my system now. These days, I test anything I’m not sure about in a disposable, sand-boxed VM.
I prefer portable programs over installers because I like to know and have control over exactly what is changed or added to my system. Again, VMs come in very handy because you can do a differential-install and see what was added or changed, and then “portablize” the program yourself. (Installers are as passé and obsolete as splash-screens.)
In general, I prefer FOSS because not only is it free, but they also tend to be more actively developed and usually more responsive to user feedback (bug-reports, feature suggestions, etc.) than proprietary software. SourceForge is a great first-stop when looking for software.
I also write a lot of software myself. I mostly do library and utility programming, creating either libraries of functions for use in other programs, or small, specific tools to do something that needs to be done but for which no existing programs already exist. In fact, I can’t count the number of times that I’ve needed a program to do something, and finding no existing tools, had to resort to writing one myself.