Whether you are a software developer working on someone else’s projects or you run a business yourself, utilizing the right tools of the trade is essential.
The market of software development tools is an ever-changing one and increasingly competitive. It’s a tough task to decide which one is best suited for you.
In this article, we will review some of the best developer tools, ranging from software development and project management to continuous delivery/integrity, designing, testing, etc.
GitHub is a code version control system and a project management system. It is a social network platform for developers.
- Provides a platform to code, build, test, debug and deploy.
- Link pull requests and issues to track project updates.
- Collaborate and review on open source and private projects.
- Provides a fast and easy way to develop projects in versions/branches. You may also roll back (revert) to previous versions easily.
- Easy merging process by collaborating with multiple team members.
- Easy to identify all contributors in a project as all are tracked.
- Unresolved merge conflicts are a bit hard to push.
- Have to be very careful with merge operations; a bad merge can be painful to reverse.
- Hard to migrate repositories to other services.
Bitbucket is a Git repository management solution. It gives a central platform to manage git repositories and collaborate on code.
- Code access control.
- In-line commenting with pull requests for collaboration on code review.
- File storage services, Wikis, tracking of issues, integrations, and add-ons.
- Integration with JIRA for full development traceability.
- Unlimited free and private repositories for teachers and students.
- Faster and powerful search mechanism.
- Provides easy-to-use integration for Trello.
- The dev community is relatively smaller compared to GitHub’s.
- A bit rough code management UI.
- Lacks a simplified PR management tools like other competitors.
Jira is a software management tool by Atlassian. It is a versatile issue tracking tool that helps teams manage, plan, and report on their work and the software development process.
- Various Jira versions are available depending on usage: Jira Software, Jira Core, and Jira Service Desk.
- Feature to plan agile work from project backlog to sprints.
- Feature to estimate time for issues.
- Feature to bring information from version control tools.
- Reports – burnup charts, burndown charts, pie charts, and more.
- Automation of tasks and processes.
- Easy task tracking.
- Fully customizable Scrum and Kanban boards.
- Useful extensions for using applications like Outlook for sending mails.
- Complex integration and migration from other ALM (application lifecycle management) systems.
- Limited file size upload.
- Cannot download graphical reports as images.
Trello is a collaboration tool. It gives you a lot of information in just one go like your project’s progress, the status of your tasks, your teammates’ responsibilities, and more
- Detailed & Quick Overviews of Front/Back Cards.
- File Attachment option is provided.
- Provides Alerts and Notifications for Deadlines.
- Automated Email Notifications.
- Group/Individual Task Assignment.
- Ability to collaborate.
- Easy to use with Drag-and-Drop.
- Easy for uploads (Dropbox, Local Devices, Google Drive, etc).
- Easy Organization with Tags, Labeling, and Comments.
- Less complex pricing structure.
- Lower storage limit.
- No calendar integration.
- No visualization tool like Gantt charts to visualize the project.
- Clunky manual setup.
It is an IDE(Integrated Development Environment) developed and maintained by JetBrains for software and application development written in Java. It is certainly among one of the top development apps because of its rich set of features and coding tools.
- Support for multiple languages.
- Integrated Version Control.
- Smart auto and chain completion.
- Intelligent text editor for HTML,CSS,Java.
- Provides tools for Deployment and debugging for most application servers.
- Test Runner UI.
- Code Coverage.
- Cross-language re-factoring.
- A lot of available plugins.
- There’s a steep learning curve.
- Heavy installation size and slow start.
- The ultimate version is priced at $500/year; which makes it more expensive than other similar solutions.
It is a comprehensive and powerful IDE from Microsoft. It is a collection of a variety of services and helps in the development of many kinds of applications, including websites, computer software, cloud applications, web apps, web services, mobile apps, etc. Many developers consider this tool as one of the best tools for web designing as it has everything that a code editor should have along with some additional and useful features.
- Support for multiple languages, technologies, and frameworks.
- Integration with version control systems.
- Ability to structure and organize large or enterprise-level software.
- Rich toolset for interface design.
- Great collaboration support with live debugging and code editing.
- Tools for performance, manual, and automated testing.
- Excellent integration with the Azure apps.
- Great online community support.
- Uses a lot of memory and resources.
- Licensing is a bit costly.
- There’s a steep learning curve.
- Might lag at times.
Jenkins is an automation tool that provides continuous integration and delivery environments for any number of languages and source code repositories.
- Self-contained, Java-based program, platform-agnostic, ready to run with packages for various popular operating systems.
- Multiple plugins are available to integrate other tools in the CI/CD toolchain.
- Work is distributed across multiple machines for faster builds, tests, and deployments.
- Community support.
- Flexibility of creating jobs in pipeline or freestyle.
- Cluster support to increase build performance.
- It can be difficult to configure.
- Not cloud-based.
- No analytics on the end-to-end deployment cycle.
Figma is a cloud-based designing tool with real-time collaboration for digital projects. It provides supports in the entire design process from end to end. It provides you with all the tools you may need for the project’s design phase, like vector tools capable of fully-fledged illustration, along with code generation and prototyping capabilities.
- A pretty modern pen tool that allows you to draw freely.
- Automated tasks via plugins for repeated elements.
- Auto adjustments for spacing, organizing, and arrangement.
- Drag and drop accessible libraries.
- Smart animations for connecting objects and transitions.
- Embedded commenting.
- Easy export feature with a live link.
- One central platform for everything from design to prototype.
- Shared design spaces for teams to edit together in real-time.
- Quick and easy file sharing.
- No feature to track iterations through timestamp.
- Global colors are absent.
- Search is not available within local components.
TestRail is a powerful web-based test management platform used by many testers, developers, and other stakeholders to track, manage, and organize software testing.
It follows a centralized test management concept that enables easy communication and rapid task development across the QA team and various other stakeholders.
- Manage test cases, plans, and runs.
- Capture the results of test runs.
- Bug reports can be pushed to Jira and link the Jira issue IDs.
- Equipped with a powerful range of testing tools and integrations.
- A simple and easy UI that provides teams with an intuitive and fast web experience.
- Utilize issue trackers like FogBugz or Bug-tracker to report bugs or issues obtained from monitoring each test case’s usability and functionality.
- Automatically run test cases of any complexity.
- Provides support for the management of comprehensive test cases.
- Difficult to keep sync in automated tests and manual test cases.
- Manual test cases need to be designed and implemented.
Development Tools should be selected based on your unique project needs. Since no particular tool can be termed as best for everyone, I have tried to put forward the major pros and cons that each tool has over others. I hope, these quick insights will help you choose the right tool for your requirement.