With so many developer tools available, choosing which ones to choose could get very confusing. Your organization may already have standardized developer tools available to your teams. However, you might notice that some developers turn in their work faster and more elegantly than others. The tools below are our favorites at Zenpo Software Innovations.
- Atom. Notepad++ is good, but Atom is better. Atom, a free, open-source text editor, is steadily gaining traction among developers due to its rich suite of features. It works across different operating systems – Windows, Linux, and even OS X. If you are working on multiple, related projects, Atom lets you split the window into multiple frames so that you could compare and edit code. You can also use Atom’s powerful autocomplete function to write code faster and smarter.
- GitHub. According to its main website, “GitHub is a development platform inspired by the way you work. From open source to business, you can host and review code, manage projects, and build software alongside 50 million developers.” It is so popular (and useful) to developers that Microsoft bought it for $7.5 billion back in 2018. No matter how old or new your development team is, you must have source control. GitHub provides private code repositories with unlimited collaborators, free of charge. It has project management tools that allow teams to plan, manage, assign, and get tasks done properly. Lastly, it supports continuous integration/deliveries (CI/CD) so that your team can automate common app development activities such as creating builds
- Bootstrap. Bootstrap is an open-source toolkit that makes it very, very easy to create responsive page layouts using its “grid system”. If your team develops applications and websites with responsive pages, you should use Bootstrap. With Bootstrap, one-column layout, two-column layouts, multiple-column layouts, etc. (with different width specs) are easy-peasy
- NuGet. NuGet is a package manager for .NET that allows developers to add many different third-party libraries (DLL) into their projects. Not only can you download and install packages that can be useful for your projects, but you can also use it to package and distribute your custom-developed DLLs. Before NuGet, your only option as a developer is to “manually add” libraries to projects, which resulted in a whole host of problems such as broken dependencies on updates and upgrades. If your projects are .NET based, you must use NuGet.
- Postman. If you ever developed APIs, you want to test your endpoints before you turn them over to the web or user-interface guys. Unit testing is fine but there are things you also will want to test as a developer when building APIs, such security, response-times, payload size, and just having the ability to semantically inspect the API payloads. Postman allows API developers to test their stuff properly. Other teams who have dedicated QA/tester can even automate tests via saved requests in settings. Don’t be the guy who gave his API to the web developer without first testing it with Postman.
- Visual Studio Code. Visual Studio (next developer tool on the list) is as complete as a development IDE gets. Visual Studio Code is it’s “lightning-fast, lightweight sibling”. If you are mostly developing for front-end (web – HTML, CSS, JS), Code allows you to do all that with developer must-have features such as auto-complete (Intellisense), auto-indent, snippets, highlighting, etc. You can do some debugging with Code, it’s interactive enough that you can walkthrough line-by-line of code if you want to troubleshoot code. Code supports may languages (hundreds, according to this).
- Visual Studio Community. This is the free, full-featured IDE for Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, web, and cloud. Compared to its more expensive, paid editions, VS Community for the most part, gets the development job done. If you are a student, academic, or, you just want to experiment out with that cool idea that you have, start with this powerful, free, as-complete-as-it-gets IDE. Develop back-end. Develop front-end. Query databases. Integrate with your source control. Configure cloud settings in Azure or AWS. Move up to the higher editions of Visual Studio when your situation demands. Start with the free Community edition, then level-up to the VS Enterprise later if you wish to.