Here are the list of tools that I use in my developer life 🔥🔥.
Almost all of the tools are free, or reasonably priced. We live in exciting times - a developer in a “developing country” can do business globally by using the most amazing tools that humankind has produced.
Note before you scroll -
- This will be a WIP post in perpetuity
- I am writing the post in mid 2020 and call it 2021 edition. If that does not convince you to stop reading, I am sure nothing can
- The list is focused on platforms and tools to make a developer’s life easier - I code mostly for the web (so YMMV)
- I consider programming platforms and languages “tools”, but they are covered at the very end so that you can rage quit this page after scrolling all the way down
- This is not an ad and I will gain little from you agreeing with me (maybe affiliate income to make me a millionaire by accumulating pennies - but those will be clearly suffixed with
afl, which stands for
- You may not share my love for these tools and that is ok. Don’t waste your precious time to review, comment and try to justify why Pluto is not a planet (it is)
Also - there is little of pretty pictures and marketing talk.
It is 2020 and there is no reason for anyone to use any other code editor - except, maybe, if you can’t download enough RAM.
I have nothing but gratitude for developers who created VSCode, and for the many many kind souls who created great extensions on it.
Code + version control + some basic actions to automate tasks + host.
Next on my list of admiration - Github has simplified my code version control + backup. And, since I am a lesser mortal - I still do not have an “all green” Github profile.
Hatchful was probably the first decent and easy enough logo creator that simply works. There are quite a few tools now but I still go back to Hatchful for every new product I create.
- Namecheap’s Logo Maker: the hipster variant
- Logodust: Open source logos
- LogoMakr: Want to be more flexible and create your own simple logos? Well, use this online logo maker tool to do the right mix of one or more of many available icons, your own images, and a few fonts. It costs money for anything worth downloading though.
- Create logo online using the Fiverr logo tool
- Avail logo creation services
- Material Icons: Because, you can’t live without them.. and you are not quite delighted with them.
- Material Design Icons: .. because there aren’t enough icons in this world.
- flaticon.com: You can now call me icon freak.
Generate icons in multitude of standard sizes.
What does a developer do with images?
Many many image sites
A few illustration sites
Whoever says no to illustrations.
Desktop Power Tools
Make peace with your OS
- Cmder: Saved me from searching from a dozen command line windows - now I can search with tabs instead. Slow to start than the new (in preview) Microsoft Terminal, but the features are far far too many for me to switch.
- WSL2: I was holding my breath for the May 2020 release since May 2019 - Linux on Windows, fast Docker.
- Ditto Clipboard Manager: Yes, you need that thing called clipboard manager.
Media & Presentation
VPS, Website Hosting and such
- Netlify: The greatest host that the world has seen - for static sites
- Hetzner: Cheap, reliable.
- Digital Ocean
aff: Location’s everything, and there’s certainly one near you. Link gets you $60 credits.
- Jelastic: Not in the mood to host? You should totally try out this PaaS.
Inexpensive Wordpress Hosts
- A2 hosting
Find domains and pricing -
The static site generator that is rumoured to have changed the speed of earth’s rotation also happens to be the best at its job.
And then God said - “let there be a SSG that is SPA”.
For those times when you need a website within 15 min flat.
I would have loved to query everything I admire, but that would have been the next Mahabharata. So, the list on programming languages (and platforms might I add) is focused on things I use at least six times an year.
There is little in the world that makes this much sense.
I would love to code everything in C# one day - but that day may never come.
- Python: Oh.. I wish I knew more about this beautiful thing.
- Go: Makes the world go round and round. Not quite, but it’s super cool
Application Development: Frontend
The framework that makes a lot of sense.
Still on the fence on this one, but I use it anyway.
The best styling library + Vue-based UI framework that there is - many, many useful components and utilities
Charts: echarts - Apache
You don’t need any other charting library.
Application Development: Backend
This is the only thing that made sense, and still does :). If there is one thing from this planet that you want to take with you in a H2G2 situation - I choose Node.
Fast development, many useful libraries, and easy deployments.
Node comes prepackaged with
npm, but you have to absolutely try -
Fast, light-weight, stable, and well-structured. The development is quite slow, and there is a smaller community - but this absolutely rocks the world (or whoever uses the framework).
Make service, not MVC.
Been using it since alpha, one of the best free CMS’s out there.
- Keystone: v5 has some great improvements, but I miss the template driven sites)
The low-overhead framework.
Not quite back-end alone. It is “blazing” its way forward, but I don’t use it enough to show more love.
Also - industry-standard for the next twenty years, or until the world ends in 2050.
Application Development: Supporting Tools
You didn’t expect this - did you?
I may cry about Chrome performance all day, but the fact is simple - my debugging has never been easier.
- Firefox (duh?)
Keep your webserver and databases organised - even when you don’t use Laravel. Just like XAMPP and cousins, but much more flexible.
- HeidiSQL: Small, fast, and invaluable DB client for MySQL. Works on Postgres as well - but with more meh.
- Insomnia: Test your APIs like there’s no tomorrow
Deserves a mention even though it is plugged into the code editor or linter. Has probably saved thousands of hours that would have otherwise been spent on aligning lines, brackets, and educating others on how to
tab (and why
space is a bad idea; and don’t even get me started on lazies who ignore semicolon).
“Regex is easy”, said no one.