Saturday, June 16, 2018

10 Tools Every Software Developer/Programmer should know

Every trade has their tools and software development is no different. A good programmer or software developer generally know their tools better than others and also have access to more powerful and advanced tools than a average programmer, but there are certain tools which you expect every software developer should know and this list is all about such tools. In this list, I am going to share 10 essential tools, which I believe every programmer or software developer should know and know well.

The main problem I have seen with programmers is that even though they heard about these basic tools they never really spend a good time to learn them well, thinking they are an everyday tool and hence they often remain in-efficient on using these tools.

On contrary, good software developer invests time, effort and money to learn basic tool well and that's why you will generally find the accomplishing more in less time.

As a software developer, I always look to learn new tools but at the same time, I also look back and improve my knowledge of tools which I almost use every day e.g. Git, Microsoft Excel, and Linux commands.

I have seen many programmers claiming to know Git doesn't even remember basic git commands, same goes with software developers claiming to know Microsoft Excel, many of them don't even know how to do VLOOKUP. Same goes with developer claiming to know Linux commands.

To be honest, instead of learning a new framework like React or Angular, one should spend some time to learn and improve core skills because they go a long way in serving you each and every day on whatever you do in your programming job.



10 Tools Every Programmer Should Know

Some of you may think 10 tools are nothing but, to be honest, if every programmer knows these truly well, he can accomplish a lot in his day to day job. Anyway, without further ado, let's see my list of 10 tools every software developer should know and know well.

1. Git and Github

A good knowledge of source control repository is mandatory for any programmer or software developer because you need to do check-in, checkout of code every day. And, to become a better developer you should also know advanced concepts like branching and merging.

In today's world, Git and Github have become synonymous with source control repository and version control tool. This is the single most important tool for a programmer now and that's why I suggest every programmer learn Git and Github truly well.
10 Tools Every Software Developer should know


If you are a beginner or a programmer who wants to improve his Git knowledge, I suggest you to go check out Git Complete: The definitive, step-by-step guide to Git course from Udemy. One of the best course to learn Git in depth.


2. SQL

This is another essential tool or programming language every programmer should learn. SQL is actually standards Standard Query language and used to work with the database. By using SQL you can read, update, and delete data from tables.

Since we use database everywhere in the real world, a programmer should have a good understanding of SQL.

Apart from knowing basic commands e.g. SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE, a programmer should also know how to write complex queries using join, aggregate functions, subqueries and other advanced functionalities.

Essential Tools for Software developers
If you are new to SQL or want to take your SQL skills to next level then The Complete SQL Bootcamp is a good place to start with.



3. Python

You might be surprised that as a Java developer, why I am suggesting every programmer learn Python? Well, there is a reason for it. Python is a powerful high-level, object-oriented programming language which is very versatile.

You can create big applications like you do in Java as well you can use Python to create useful scripts to automate stuff. 

It also has numerous modules which make almost anything possible, starting from accessing the file system,  developing web applications to machine learning. 

I can't say more but to show you this picture which clearly explains why every programmer should learn Python.

why every programmer should learn python


It also has simple easy-to-use syntax, making it the perfect language for someone trying to learn computer programming for the first time. If you want to learn Python then The Complete Python Bootcamp course is a great place to start with.


4. Excel

The Microsoft Excel is another essential tool for programmers and software developers. Don't mistake it just for a spreadsheet application, you can do a lot more using Excel then you can ever imagine.

The biggest reason to learn Microsoft Excel is that you will find it everywhere. Everybody uses it, starting from business to BA, QA and project managers. You can use it generate reports, automate and reconcile stuff and a lot more.

tools every IT professional should know


If you want to go beyond just copy pasting stuff into excel to learn functions like VLOOKUP, I suggest you join the Microsoft Excel - Excel from Beginner to the Advanced course on Udemy.
One of the best course to learn Excel in depth.


5. Word

Microsoft Word is not as popular as Microsoft Excel but still its one of the essential tool for programmers and software engineers. As a developer, you often need to create documents e.g. software design documents, requirement documents etc and Microsoft Word is the best tool for that. It provides sophisticated formatting options to create really good looking documentation.

best tools for software programmer

If you are a beginner or an intermediate developer who wants to improve your knowledge of Microsoft world then I suggest you go through Master Microsoft Word Beginner to the Advanced course on Udemy.


6. PowerPoint

Along with Microsoft Excel and Word, Powerpoint forms the trilogy of essential office tools and that's why they are also essential for Software engineers and IT professionals including developer, QA, BA, and project manager.

Microsoft PowerPoint is the most popular tool to create presentations and as a programmer, many times you need to do presentations e.g. presenting your ideas to business, your plans to managers and doing many knowledge sharing sessions between teams and that's why you just can't ignore powerpoint.

tools every programmer should know

If you want to learn Powerpoint or improve your knowledge then Master Powerpoint presentations course on Udemy is a good place to start with.


7. Text Editors

Every programmer should know one text editor pretty well. Software developer do a lot of text processing job and knowing a text editor will always help. Apart from NotePad, which is a very good, omnipresent basic text editor, I encourage the programmer to learn some advanced text editors e.g. Submlime or NotePad++.

top tools for programmers


They support regular expression search and replace and Macros which will help you a lot with your everyday work. If you want to learn more about a sublime text editor, Sublime Text for Rapid Web Development is a good place to start with.


8. Linux commands

Just like SQL, Linux commands is another essential tool for programmers. Every programmer has to work on UNIX sometime and many of us spend most of our day on Linux machine.

A good knowledge of Linux commands means you can find what you want, you can know what's going on with the machine and you can troubleshoot any issues with your application running on Linux.

essential tools for programmers

This is a must-have skill for every programmer and if you are not comfortable with Linux commands you must spend some time to learn it, especially if you have some exploring to Linux. For beginners, Linux Command Line Basics is a good place to start with.


9. SVN

Even though Git has taken almost 70% market share in terms of version control system, there are still projects where SVN (also known as subversion) is used. Not just on the property but also on open source and that's why knowing tortoise SVN is good for programmers.

It's the same tool, I have started with SVN 12 years back and it's still around. If you are a beginner or someone who want to improve his SVN knowledge and learn some advanced concepts like branching and merging in SVN then Introduction to SVN by John Sonmez on Pluarlsight is a good course to start with.



10. Powershell

Once you worked in Linux, you feel constraint while working in Windows because there is nothing like Linux commands in Windows and Powershell just solves that problem for once and all. Windows PowerShell is a shell developed by Microsoft for the purposes of task automation and configuration management.

This powerful shell is based on the .NET framework and it includes a command-line shell and a scripting language so that you can automate stuff and create a script as you do in Linux.

If you want to start with PowerShell then I suggest you look at Learning Windows PowerShell course on Udemy, I have bought it recently to improve my Powershell skills.

10 Tools Every Programmer should know


That's all about essential tools for every programmer. These are some of the basic tools which everyone need be it a web developer working in JavaScript, a Java developer working on server-side code, or a mobile developer working on Android or iOS apps. A good knowledge of these tools goes a long way in your software development career because you will use these tools each and every day and appreciate the time and effort you put initially to learn them.

Other Programming Resources You may like
10 Books Every Programmer Must Read
10 Tips to Improve Your Programming skill
10 Object-Oriented Design Principle Every Programmer should know
Top 10 Programming languages to Learn
10 Articles Every Programmer Should Read
10 Framework and Library Java and Web Developer Should Learn

Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like these tools then please share with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback then please drop a note. 

7 comments :

scott gardner said...

This is a very microsoft centric list and does not apply to most programming projects, and specifically does not apply to those working in open source oriented projects.

You might classify word,excel,power point as generic skills every one should have, but they are not key skills for developers. And knowing an open version of an office suite is just as good.

But power shell?? Even the people I know who work in Windows shops are hit or miss on it. Deployment script for Windows are almost always written as .bat scripts. If you need a shell script, load Cygwin or equivalent and write in bash. Power shell is another microsoft skill that doesn't transfer.

Text editors is a bit vague. Developers should have basic competence in vi plus one other. My second is Sublime, but it really doesnt matter. Vi is everywhere.

Python is also a maybe. Some shops it will be critical, but in most it won't matter. I can read Python and do very simple things, could do as well without.

Knowing syn is probably unnecessary. If you know git, you know the concepts and very few projects still use it. To me it is like knowing Cobol. I know it but I would rather not see it again.

I think you missed a critical skill: build tools. In the JVM world, you have to know mavens plus if your project uses another like, SBT,Leiningen, or gradle. I have not used make for a while, but every couple of years i have to dive back in.

Also the basic commands for interacting with the network are critical. netstat, ifconfig, ssh, curl, etc will tell you what is going on when you cannot figure out why your program is not talking to anyone.

Javin Paul said...

Hello scott, VI is definitely a big plus and I could have included that in text editor but when I meant VI when I say programmer should have basic Linux skills including commands and editors like VI.

Regarding your comment on Microsoft tools e.g. Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, yes you can do with open source version e.g. open office, but they are just everywhere and that's the main reason you should know them.

Cygwin is also a good alternative of power shell.

scott gardner said...

As a developer, I do not need to know any of the office tools other than a word processor. And even that is only at a superficial level.

Anonymous said...

Very useful information and its very true . ALL the tools are must and I also would like to add the most important "IDE" as well to the above list!

dbnex B said...

O boy, word, Excel, ppt.
All you need is notepad

Anonymous said...

Really? Office? What about markdown? This is incitement to bad practice, no developer should still use these tools anymore

Uldis Segliņš said...

Haha!! Who paid you to add all the Microsoft stuff in here? No programmer needs to know anything Excel, Powerpoint or Word related. Not even Powershell! When you have tried any Linux shell, you will see Powershell does not and can not provide same functionality. It tries hard, but it just can't. And if my manager would suggest me writing any documentation in Word ... I would use an hour to wash his brain out of such nonsense and open up some new world for him, how documenting should be done. Excel is with so narrow use case band, that basically only adheres to housewives. No programmer with any bit of self esteem and dignity would use these tools for his work, as there are much better ones invented. The same can be said, that a hammer is good for any work, like applying sealant or making paper airplanes. You can try, but you will not have the best results and you will never enjoy your work.

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