On a daily basis, each one of us uses a set of tools to increase our productivity, from the OS we use to our browsers, IDEs and much more. Today I’m going to tell you about the 5 tools I install right after I get a new OS and I use on my day to day as a full stack developer.
IDEThis will be a controversial topic I’m sure, but it’s one where I have my mind pretty much set for Jetbrains IDEs. I know the downsides, sometimes can be a bit slow to open, it’s proprietary and you need to buy a license for it. But for me personally, the benefits outweigh those issues.
I’ve been using their IDEs, mainly Webstorm and PyCharm for many years now, and without regret, suggestions, and autocompletion are first class, there’s a huge plugin ecosystem for pretty much anything you can think of. I can really do everything from their UI, from running, visualizing, and debugging my code and tests, to great git integration, refactoring, etc. It even allows me to sync my settings and plugins across my devices. It just works amazingly for me.
To be fair, I have also tried other tools like Sublime, or VS Code, not very impressed by Sublime, VS Code I see how people love it so much, plus it’s free and open source, however, it does not work the same for me. If I would not have my Jetbrains IDEs I guess I would default back to VS Code, though it would be very painful, at least initially.
Would I recommend you to do the switch? Not necessarily, There are many great alternatives, many of which are even free. However, I do usually say to give Jetbrains a try, get the trial version, if then you think it’s worth it, buy it, no harm is done.
API ManagementAs a web developer, either full stack, front end, or back end, at some point you will have to test, debug or design APIs, and there are great tools to support you in the process. My favorite here is Postman , it allows me to have in one place all my API documentation, examples, preconfigured requests that I can share with my team. It really helps me daily. There are now some alternatives like insomnia , but I haven’t tried them yet, postman does it jobs really well and I haven’t heard of any good argument to do the switch.
Chrome Dev ToolsIf you do frontend work, Chrome Dev Tools is probably your best friend. DevTools has a lot of different uses, from inspecting HTML and CSS, analyzing the network activity for the page, performance analysis, debugger, source code inspection… There’s simply no competitor in this line and comes already built-in chromium based browsers.
TerminalIf you are a windows user, sorry but what I use here won’t probably matter. My default for the terminal is oh my zsh using the zsh shell no matter if I’m on mac or linux. When using linux I’m not very picky and I usually go for the terminal that comes with my OS, which for my daily drive I use Ubuntu, though from time to time you may see me using Arch. In the last few years, I’ve been using Mac at work, and for that I use iTerm2 . It’s great, and I love I can split the window into multiple sessions. (catch up with that gnome).
Music PlayerI know a music player is not technically a dev tool, but for me is a must. To stay focus from my surroundings (my kid singing or playing out loud, or the office background noise) I need music, and I love Spotify , I’ve been using it for years, has a great music collection, and I’m very happy it offers a client for linux.
Do you agree with my list? Reply with your top tools for web development in here, or twitter @bajcmartinez , I’d love to exchange ideas and tools with you.
Thanks for reading!