Web development has been named the best job in America, but it is not an easy one, given the current competition in the field. To be a successful developer, you need to be proficient in using the tools that help with the development process. These are made to streamline the development process and make it more efficient. If you don’t know how to use them or are not taking advantage of their full potential, your job as a developer will be all the more difficult.
Development tools are countless, and different ones are used in different scenarios, but here are the five most important ones that are a must-have for any developer, whether a beginner or a professional.
The first and the most important thing that any software developer needs to have in order to succeed is an Integrated Development Environment. IDEs are an integrated suite of various crucial software development tools. They eliminate the need for multiple programs to use these tools, all of which are necessary for any software development project.
An IDE typically offers support for the following:
- Authoring – The actual process of writing a software code. Good IDEs can support various languages.
- Proofreading – IDEs can proofread the code and highlight syntax errors.
- Auto-Completion – IDEs’ familiarity with the code can predict what the developer is going to write next, speeding up the coding process.
- Modifying – IDEs enable developers to modify the code, as plain text, at any stage of the development process.
- Compiling – Once the code is written, the IDE compiles it into machine code.
- Debugging – IDEs typically have built-in debugging tools that can save time and effort in the development process.
- Deploying – Once the code is ready, the IDE can deploy it so that the users can start interacting with it.
There are a lot of IDEs available on the market. You need to select the one that best suits your programming language and use case.
Cybersecurity is an important part of application development, and cybersecurity tools make it easier and more reliable to ensure a secure SDLC.
The first type of cybersecurity tool that you need to master is SCA tools, which analyze the open-source and third-party components used in software and make sure you are using only secure components.
Once the application enters the testing phase, testing tools can be used to ensure the application is as secure as it was designed to be. Here, static application security testing (SAST) and dynamic application security testing (DAST) tools are used to test the application and find out any flaws that it might have.
Mastering these tools is important as cybersecurity has become such an important concern in recent years.
These built-in browser dev tools are useful whether you are working on the front-end, backend, or just trying to troubleshoot a problem between the front and backend connection. Getting to know how to use these tools will make the web development process a whole lot easier and more streamlined.
The browser dev tools that are available in every browser include:
- DOM Inspector – It lets you delete a nod, edit the HTML code of the page, and copy content as HTML.
- CSS Editor – It lets you see the CSS rules applied to the currently highlighted/selected element.
Whether you work in web development or software development, you will need to do some web development work at some time, and that’s where CMSs can come in handy. Having command of a CMS can make things very easy whenever you have a web development task at hand. The best thing about CMSs is that they are intended to be do-it-yourself for anyone looking to develop a website, making them very easy to master for developers.
WordPress is the most commonly used CMS, and it is open-source. You can learn it for free and make it a part of your portfolio/skillset. This will help you with the current projects and clients, and you can also get new projects for WordPress alone as it is one of the most in-demand skills on freelance marketplaces.
The most important non-technical tool that any developer needs to have is an effective way of team communication. As a developer, you’ll often be working as a part of a large team, and communication is key to making any project successful. You can use WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to communicate with your team, but dedicated team communication tools make the whole process smoother.
Slack is an excellent example of a team communication tool. It lets you create different channels for different projects/clients you are working for, and you can add all the related people to the channel. All the messages sent and files shared by the team regarding that project will be saved in the respective channel.
It is possible to develop software and websites without the help of any tools, but it isn’t easy. Tools make the development process easier, smoother, and more reliable. The most important tools that any developer should master include a well-integrated development environment for efficient coding, comprehensive cybersecurity tools for developing secure applications, browser dev tools for efficient web development and testing, and content management systems for easy web development. Other than these technical tools, utilizing a team communication tool like Slack efficiently can make development easier when a whole team is working on a project.