Not only knowledge and experience are the basis for a good job performance. The main driving force behind the developers’ work are the tools they use. With the right tools, you can increase the efficiency of your activities and facilitate work while coding. The times when we used only one text editor are long overdue. It’s hard to imagine working without proper software development tools.
When choosing the proper ones for work, you should consider their popularity and usefulness. Most common programs are characterized by the fact that they are constantly relying on development, support, and updates for the needs of people using them. Programs can be divided into those that are the basis for use and the helpful ones.
Source code editors
Text editors are programs designed specifically to create and edit the source code of the application. These are the ones in which developers spend the most time. Of course, we can create the code in a simple text editor, but newer programs of text editors consist of additional functions, including suggesting better language syntax or color code for better visibility.
They are an important tool for detecting and finding logical errors in the created software. This is nothing more than tracking the execution of the program step by step, line by line. Just like instruction manuals.
Code optimizers (Assemblers, compilers, linkers and interpreters).
Such software is used to optimize and translate the code into one that will be understood and run by the computer. It is important that it runs faster and uses fewer resources on each computer.
Version control systems
Their task is to track changes made to the source code. The version control system tracks all changes made to a file (or files) and allows you to recall any previous version, reconstruct the entire project, compare the changes, find out who recently modified the part of the project causing problems, and who and at what time introduced the modification.
Continuous Integration is used to continually and automatically check the correctness of edited or added code to our repository. This happens thanks to running automated tests that check the correctness of the code logic in connection with the rest of the system. Let’s consider an example. A programming team that aims to develop a product, works simultaneously on two new functionalities. Two people working on two equal functionalities must make changes to the same files. Using just the capabilities of the code repository, they can track and account for changes made to the code by other team members.
Under defined conditions, you automatically build a test/production version of the application and then deliver it to the target group with a specific distribution channel. Continuous Deployment is a very helpful system because it allows you to quickly pick up in which places the software most often faces errors and determine where the developers should look for them if such errors appear.
There is no software without errors. To limit the possibility of them occurring, developers create more and more new tools to detect and prevent errors in a short time. Code analysis tools can be dynamic or static. In both cases, the task is to eliminate potentially dangerous constructions and obvious programming mistakes.
Below is a list of useful tools that are worth using at work.
In addition to the coding itself, there is also a need to design and create architecture. The concept of UML- Unified Modeling Language Tools is extremely important. UML is the language of modeling used in the analysis and design of computer systems. It facilitates the exchange of information among future system users, managers, analysts, designers, programmers and testers.
We should also keep in mind that every system has a graphical interface. A lot of work, especially at the initial stage, is based on a visual design by graphic designers and developers’ effort to export assets that then are embed in the created application.
Let’s not forget that there are programs that have many tools implemented. These are called integrated development environments.
GIT is often placed first. Currently, it is considered the largest version control system, and therefore a tool for managing the history of the source code. Its history began in 2005 when it was made available by Junio Hamano and Linus Torvalds. GIT, apart from being used for controlled changes in the project, also creates a history for the folder with our application and allows to manage its versions. With GIT many people can work on one project both online and offline thanks to a copy of the repository.
Slack debuted in 2014 and since then it has become one of the most popular tools for communication. Thanks to intuitiveness and simplicity in use, it gained the favor of many people and global giants, including Apple, Sony, Spotify, and Microsoft. Slack is not just a simple messenger, but above all, a tool to improve teamwork. We can create a channel dedicated to a single project or a group of all employees, where every person registered for it will be able to speak freely on a given topic. Slack is equipped with a search engine. Thanks to a wide range of filters you can easily find the message you are looking for. But there’s the icing on the cake! Slack offers snippets making sharing code snippets a lot simpler, and all of them are saved in Slack in a separate place.
Trello is an application for managing multi-stage projects using intuitive cards. It allows you to update information, exchange files from various sources (eg Google Drive, Onedrive or Dropbox) and collaborate with other people.
A tool that has gained many of its supporters around the world among programmers. Thanks to CodeClimate, we can perform static code analysis and thus detect any repetitions and identify complex methods and classes. It works for several languages, including Java, CSS or Python and can be easily used when browsing and adding new code to the repository. While checking whether the indicator increases or decreases, we receive quick information if the code being added improves or worsens the current base. CodeClimate is free for Open Source projects. Its automatic code verification for GitHub and GitHub Enterprise helps you send better software faster.
GitHub is a web hosting service for programming projects using the Git version control system. Creating an account is free if you want to hide our repository and store your projects there. This is a kind of social media portal in the form of a repository for open-source projects. In addition, GitHub also has its service called GitHub Pages, used for quick creation of websites whose code is published as part of the Git repositories on the site.
Software from Microsoft. A comprehensive set of resources for you and your team to create, implement and manage great applications. Includes access to Microsoft’s core server software, Azure credits for creating and testing code in the cloud, technical training, and other benefits.
Of course, for every technology and software language, a set of useful tools will be different. In most cases, we are limited to choosing the tools that have already been picked before. What matters is the size of the project we are working on, because if we only work on a certain part of the project, the toolkit can be limited. The situation is the quite different when working in a small company employing 2-3 IT developers. All in all, the key is to select the tools that are complementary and will serve their purpose right.