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Saturday, December 31, 2022

10 Tools Every Software Developer/Programmer Should Learn in 2024 [UPDATED]

Every trade has its tools, and software development is no different. A good programmer or software developer generally knows their tools better than others and also has access to more powerful and advanced tools than an average programmer, but there are certain tools that 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. These tools will not only make you a better programmer but also you will be able to do a lot of your day to day tasks quickly and more confidently. Having these tools in your resume also acts like magnet and it will bring more calls from recruiters in 2024.

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 learning them well, thinking they are an everyday tool, and hence they often remain in-efficient in using these tools.

On the contrary, a good software developer invests time, effort, and money to learn basic tools well and that's why you will generally find 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 that I almost use every day like Git, Linux commands, SQL, and Microsoft Excel.

I have seen many programmers claiming to know Git doesn't even remembering basic git commands, the same goes with software developers claiming to know Microsoft Excel, many of them don't even know how to do VLOOKUP. The same goes with the 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 Software Developer Should Learn in 2024

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

Good knowledge of source control repository is mandatory for any programmer or software developer because you need to do the 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 the 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.

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

10 Tools Every Software Developer should know

2. Docker

Docker is another important tool that I think every programmer and software developer should learn. It makes your development easy as you don't need to install much separate application, just downloading a Docker image with the required software is enough. 

Docker is also becoming a standard tool for deployment as more and more teams are adopting Docker to deploy Microservices and other Cloud Native apps in a consistent manner. The main advantage of Docker is that you can deploy a Java Microservice or a C++ app in the same way because you actually deploy a Docker container. 

This simple thing also makes Scaling super easy as it's a lot easier to deploy containers than setting up servers with the necessary configuration and Kubernetes takes it to the next level by automatically deploying and managing Docker containers to scale up and down.

If you want to learn Docker and need a resource, I highly recommend Docker and Kubernetes: The Practical Guide by Maximillian Schwarzmuller on Udemy. A great hands-on and affordable course to learn both Docker and Kubernetes in 2024. 

essential tools for software developers to learn

3. 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 databases everywhere in the real world, a programmer should have a good understanding of SQL.

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

If you are new to SQL or want to take your SQL skills to the next level then The Complete SQL Bootcamp is a good place to start with. It's an online, bootcamp style course that will teach you everything a programmer should know about SQL.

Essential Tools for Software developers

4. 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 that 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 that 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. 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.

why every programmer should learn python

5. Linux commands

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

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.

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

essential tools for programmers

6. VS Code

Every programmer should know one text editor pretty well but what if you can learn something which is to only a great Text editor but also a more powerful IDE? Well, VS Code is that tool that every Software developer should learn in 2024. 

Software developers do a lot of text processing jobs 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 like Sublime or Notepad++, but if you know VS Code then you can do advanced text searching, replacement, and even run macros. 

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 the VS Code, the most popular editor among web developers and programmers then I highly recommend you to join the Learn Visual Studio Code 2024 course on Udemy. It's a great course to not only learn basic VS code but also advanced tips, tricks, and shortcuts to boost your productivity.  

best editor for programmers

7. Excel

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 to generate reports, automate and reconcile stuff, and a lot more.

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 courses to learn Excel in depth.

tools every IT professional should know

8. Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is not as popular as Microsoft Excel but still, it's one of the essential tools for programmers and software engineers.

As a developer, you often need to create documents like 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.

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.

best tools for software programmer

9.  JIRA

I have been doing programming and software development for close to 15 years now and in the last 10 years, I have hard work on a project which doesn't use JIRA for issue tracking, product planning, and project management. 

JIRA has become an indispensable tool for software development. It not only a good way to capture requirements, build documentation but also to manage timelines. It also goes well with Agile methodologies like Sprint and Scrum, which mostly rely on JIRA for their work. 

Learning JIRA is also a good way to progress in your career as you grow and become a team lead or tech lead, you will get more responsibilities with project management and JIRA can help you there. If you want to learn JIRA, I highly recommend Learn JIRA with real-world examples (+Confluence bonus) course on Udemy. 

best project management tool for software developers

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 the 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 needs 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. 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

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

P. S. - If you are looking to become a full-stack Java developer and wondering which skills you can learn to become a full-stack Java developer then you can also check out my post about 5 courses to become a full-stack Java developer in 2024.


Unknown 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.

Unknown 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!

Unknown 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

Unknown 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.

Kelten said...

@unknown. I guess you have never developed API's using info from simple Warehouse and Office people.

Kelten 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."

I wouldn't hire you because of that statement. What kind of developer are you?

Anonymous said...

I think you only need IDE as it contains most of the tool like Git for version control, debugger to debug program, Maven/Gradle to build your application and JUnit for testing. Rest of the tools are optional.

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