5 Essential Tech Tools for New Developers

Free tools every developer should know about.

Photo by James McKinven on Unsplash

Tools can make your life as a developer a whole lot easier, but as a new developer, knowing which tools to use can be confusing. Until now, you’ve probably ended up sticking with tools you were introduced to early on in your coding journey, or ones recommended to you by other devs.

I want to tell you about 5 developer tools I use to improve my workflow, and the main tools I recommend all new developers try out.

Visual Studio Code

When you first start out, it’s really important to set yourself up with a good code editor to write your projects in. Visual Studio code is free to download and use, and supports a vide variety of programming languages. It also has thousands of community plugins for additional functionality, as well as integrated source control management, syntax highlighting, IntelliSense code completion, bracket-matching, auto-indentation and more. VS Code is incredibly customisable, completely open-source, and one of the most popular code editors around at the moment. I’m sure you’d struggle to find a developer who hasn’t heard of it or used it before.

Download Visual Studio Code

Browser Dev Tools

If you’re developing things for the web, the built-in browser dev tools are going to become your best friend. No matter what browser you’re using (yes, even Internet Explorer), there will be built-in developer tooling to help with website development, all you have to do is find them. With these tools, you can visibly edit the page you are viewing, access source files, utilise the JavaScript console, and browse the entire HTML DOM for that page. This can also be really useful when you’re trying to debug CSS issues, as you can make non-persistent changes to the CSS code to work out what’s going wrong.

Safari Dev Tools | Chrome Dev Tools | Firefox Dev Tools | Edge Dev Tools

Oh My Zsh

Oh My Zsh is an open-source framework for customising your terminal. Not only are there hundreds of cool looking themes to make you feel cooler every time you use your terminal, there are also a bunch of plugins and helpers to boost your productivity.

You can streamline your workflows and even keep track of your git status all from the terminal, to help you go from terrified of the terminal to a command prompt master in no time! I find the git integration to be a life-saver when I’m working on coding projects, as I can always keep track visually of what branch I’m on and if I have any non-committed changes.

Download Oh My Zsh!

Postman

If you do any development work with APIs, Postman will improve your productivity tenfold! Quickly and easily send REST, SOAP, and GraphQL requests directly within Postman’s API client with next-to no set up time.

Whether you’re creating your own API and need to test it, or learning how API requests work, Postman’s free tier provides everything you need for trying out APIs and API development, with no limit on the number of API calls you can make from the client.

Download Postman

Figma

This might not be for everyone, but I love creating my own designs before I start coding. If you’re like me, and you’re looking for a design tool to level up your digital designs, give Figma a try.

With Figma, you can quickly and easily design and prototype your projects before you write any code. Figma is also a cloud software that saves and stores all of your designs for you, so all you need to think about is making cool stuff! I love how much creativity Figma has brought into my development projects, and I recommend it to all fellow creative coders with an eye for design.

Download Figma (or use it in your browser)

There are so many different tools for developers looking to improve their development workflow, I can’t possibly include them all in one list, but I think I’ve done a good job covering my favourites.

What are your favourite dev tools? are there any tools you use that you couldn’t code without?

Software Engineer & Comp. Sci. graduate, writing about professional development, working in tech, and all things coding. https://www.elletownsend.co.uk

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