10 Tools Web Developers should Learn in 2021 - Best of Lot

It's a popular saying that a craftsman is as good as his tools and the same goes for Web Developers. If you don't know your tools, you will struggle in your day-to-day job. At the same time, knowing your tool well can increase your productivity and help you become a star developer in your team. That's why I always in search of new tools which can make my developer life easy. Earlier, I have shared the best tools for Java developers and In this article, I am going to share some of the most essential tools for Web developers, both frontend and backend developers. These are the tools I use in my day-to-day life and there is a good chance that you may already be familiar with most of them, which is great.

The point here is to learn more about those tools so that you can use them effectively and take your Web development skills to the next level. There is also a lot of articles on the internet about web development tools and technology, but most of them are filled with non-practical information like JavaScript framework and libraries, which are not needed in day-to-day life.

In Today's world, we are really lucky to have these powerful tools which can save a lot of time while developing, testing, debugging, deploying, and even scaling your application. I have come from the time where "View Source" on IE and JavaScript alert() was our only source for browser-based debugging. Today, you have powerful tools like Chrome Developer Tool and Firebug for such things.

If you are looking to become a better Web Developer in 2021 and ready to level up your skill learning these tools will go a long way in improving both your skill and productivity. I have also shared the best resources and online courses to learn these tools and you can use them for further learning. 




12 Essential Tools for Frontend and Backend Developers

I have initially planned to share just 10 tools but the list has grown and I have added two more tools to the list. To be honest, there are a lot more tools and alternatives of each tool available but learning all of them is not possible, it's not practical at all, hence learning just one tool from each category like IDE, Testing tool, debugging tool, and containers are enough.

Anyway, if you come across any other handy tool which can really boost Web developer's productivity, feel free to share with us and I'll add that to this list. 

Without wasting any more of your time, here is my list of some of the most essential tools for frontend and backend developers to learn in 2021:




1. VS Code

This is the single most important tool for a Web developer in 2021. I have been doing web development for quite a long and have used many IDEs and Editors like Atom, Sublime, Eclipse, and IntelliJIDEA but VS Code is something else. It's both lightweight and powerful. Initially, it comes with a basic feature but you can customize it for your need by downloading extensions. 

There are so many VS extensions available ranging from debugging, connecting to git, deploying into the cloud, like Azure and AWS, and much more. There is a good chance that you already familiar with VS Code but if you don't I strongly suggest you learn VS Code in 2021 and if you need a tutorial or a course, I would suggest you check this Visual Studio Code Tutorial - Getting Started With VS Code course on Udemy for more details.




2. Postman

Modern Web development is all about APIs and Postman is a great tool to interact with those APIs. During development, if you want to get familiar with a third-party library, you can use Postman to interact with it like you can send GET and POST requests, set request headers, examine response headers, and other HTTP metadata. 

Postman is also very useful for REST API testing and that's why it's an essential tool for both frontend and backend developers. I strongly suggest you learn Postman in 2021 and if you need a resource, I would suggest checking this Postman: The Complete Guide - REST API Testing on Udemy by Valentine Despa. 






3. Docker

Containers are essential for modern web developers. Containers not only make development easier but also makes deployment smoother. Instead of deploying your application and its dependencies separately, you deploy a container, which is both easier to manage and scale. And, any discussion of containers is incomplete without talking about Docker. 

It is one of the most popular container platforms for developers and a must-know tool for Web Developers. Whether you are a frontend developer or a backend geek, I strongly suggest you learn Docker in 2021 and if you need resources this Docker & Kubernetes: The Practical Guide by Maximilian Schwarzmuller of AcadMind on Udemy is the best course to start with.





4. Kubernetes

When we talk about containers and Docker, Kubernetes also comes into the picture because it can help you in managing containers. It's easy to deploy one or two containers initially but when your application grows and more instances are required, it becomes difficult to manually deploy 100s of containers. 

It also becomes a headache to create new containers and take off unused ones, that's when Kubernetes comes to rescue you. It's a container management tool that can create, scale and manage containers for you. Along with Docker, I strongly suggest you learn Kubernetes and if you need a resource, I would recommend Stephen Grider's Docker and Kubernetes Complete guide course on Udemy.




5. GitBash

There are a lot of git clients available online, both GUI and command line but if you work in Windows and love to work in the command line then there is no better than Gitbash. 

Though VS Code and other IDEs already provide Github integration, sometimes you prefer to work in the command line, particularly if you are committing a large block of code or merging changes from different branches.

In Linux, it's easy to execute all those git commands but in Windows, it's a bit challenging and that's where Gitbash helps. If you want to learn more about Git and Github in general then you can also check out the new Git & Github Bootcamp course by none other than Colt Steele, one of my favorite instructors on Udemy. 





6. Chrome Developer Tools

This is another essential tool for Web Developers. It let you see what's going on in the browser. By using Chrome developer tools you can examine different HTML elements, can play with CSS, and also check JavaScript. 

It also lets you see a lot more details about downloaded scripts, network connections, and so on. It's a great tool for browser-based debugging, particularly for frontend developers and you should learn it in 2021. 

If you need a tutorial or course, check out this DevTools Course on Udemy to learn more. If you need an alternative, Firebox has firebug which is also a good tool for debugging web pages in the browser.




7. NPM (Node Package Manager)

NPM stands for Node Package manager, It's the most important tool for web developers. While working on a web development project, you need to use and import a lot of other JavaScript frameworks and libraries like React.js for UI, or Vue.js for frontend, Jest library for unit testing, and many more. NPM can do all that for you.

It puts modules in place so that nodes can find them, and manages dependency conflicts intelligently. Most commonly, it is used to publish, discover, install, and develop node programs. Run npm help to get a list of available commands.

If you want to learn more about NPM, you can also check out the Understanding NPM - Node.js Package Manager course by Bogdan Stashchuk on Udemy. It's a nice course to learn about NPM or Node package manager in detail. 





8. Webpack

Webpack is a build tool that puts all of your assets, including Javascript, images, fonts, and CSS, in a dependency graph. Webpack lets you use require() in your source code to point to local files, like images, and decide how they're processed in your final Javascript bundle, like replacing the path with a URL pointing to a CDN.

If you're building a complex frontend application with many non-code static assets such as CSS, images, fonts, etc, then yes, Webpack will give you great benefits. If you want to learn more then I suggest you check out Webpack 5: The Complete Guide For Beginners on 'Udemy. It's a great course to learn about WebPack, Bable, NPM, and Node. 




9. Jasmine

Jasmine is a user-behavior mimicker that allows you to perform test cases similar to user behavior on your website. Jasmine is useful for a testing frontend for visibility, click clarity as well as the responsiveness of the UI in different resolutions. 

Jasmine allows to automate user behavior with customs delays and wait time to simulate actual user behavior. If you want to learn more Check out this brilliant Unit testing your Javascript with Jasmine online course on Udemy. 




10. Jenkins

Today, there is hardly any company or organization which doesn't use DevOps and CI/CD for their software development life cycle (SDLC) process, and Jenkins is the King of CI/CD tools. 

As a Web developer, it's essential for you to get familiar with Jenkins and understand how the Jenkins pipeline works and how to set up one for your project. 

If you want to learn more about Jenkins and DevOps I suggest you take a look at this Jenkins, From Zero To Hero: Become a DevOps Jenkins Master course on Udemy. This is a great course for both web developers and DevOps Engineers who want to learn about Jenkins in depth. 




11. Cloud (AWS, Azure, or GCP)

Many of you already familiar with Cloud and Cloud computing platforms like AWS (Amazon Web Service), Microsoft's Azure, and GCP (Google Cloud Platform), if you are not, make sure you learn one of them. 

Ideally, you should learn the one which your company is adopting. For example, if you are company is investing in Microsoft Azure, you should learn that to excel in your team and company by pioneering in migrating your project into the cloud.

Similarly, if your company is migrating into GCP or Google Cloud platform then you should spend some time learning GCP. It's a great cloud platform, particularly for Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data companies. If your work has anything to do with Python Pandas, TensorFlow, neural network, etc, learn GCP.

If you are a freelancer or your company is not pushing for any cloud, learn AWS, it's the best general-purpose cloud platform and I believe, every web developer should learn it. If you need a resource, I suggest you check out the Introduction to Cloud Computing on Amazon AWS for Beginners course by Neal Davis on Udemy. 





12. Saas

We already have 10 tools right? Yes, we are done, but if you want to learn just one more tool, I would suggest making it SASS. Many of you don't know what are SAAS and some of you might be thinking that is it the same as "SaaS" (Software as a Service) like Microsoft 365? 

Well No, Sass is a CSS preprocessor, which adds special features such as variables, nested rules, and mixins (sometimes referred to as syntactic sugar) into regular CSS

We all know that writing CSS is messy. More so when reviewing the code which other people have written. I find SASS is the answer to that. It helps you to write clean code which is readable. 

I strongly encourage Web Designers and frontend developers to take a look at SAAS in 2021 and If you need a resource to learn Saas, I recommend Advanced CSS and Sass: Flexbox, Grid, Animations, and More! course by Jonas Schmedtmann on Udemy. 




That's all about some of the best tools every web developer can learn to improve their productivity and enjoy their web development journey. These tools not only make you more productive by offering connectivity and ease of doing but also help you to make the better web developer you always wanted to be. 

Remember, a craftsman is as good as their tools so always strive for learning better, more advanced tools so that you can deliver more in less time.

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

P. S. - If you want to become a frontend and backend developer in 2021, then you can also check out The Web Developer RoadMap, which also contains all the tech and resources you need to become a professional web developer.

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