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Alex Omeyer
Alex Omeyer

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10 JetBrains Extensions to Fight Technical Debt🥷

My last article on 10 VS Code Extensions to Fight Technical Debt got over 50.000 views and 500 reactions🔥

It doesn't surprise me as today I see many Engineering teams under a huge pressure to build fast and often lacking time to fix and clean up their codebase.

In such situations, technical debt quickly builds up, and Engineers are looking for ways to keep their codebase healthy while shipping fast.

Editor extensions are our great friends in adding a process for managing tech debt to our existing workflow, so let's take a look at the best extensions to fight tech debt for JetBrains!

Refactoring & tech debt tools

1. RefactorInsight

RefactorInsight enhances IDE representation of code changes with refactoring information that supports Java and Kotlin.

  • Identify refactorings in Pull Requests
  • Label the commits that contain refactorings
  • See refactorings at any specific commit selected in the Git Log tab
  • Look at the refactoring history for classes, methods, and fields

Language support: Java and Kotlin

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2. Stepsize Issue Tracker in IDE

Stepsize is the first issue tracker for Engineers. It helps Engineers not only create better TODOs and code comments, but also prioritise technical debt, refactoring work, and more:

  • Create & view code issues directly in your editor
  • See issues affecting the features you’re working on
  • Add issues to your sprints with Jira, Asana, Linear, and Azure DevOps, and GitHub integrations

Language support: any language

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3. New Relic CodeStream

New Relic CodeStream is a developer collaboration platform for code discussions and reviews.

It supports pull requests from GitHub, BitBucket and GitLab, issue management from Jira, Trello, Asana and 9 others, and provides code discussion that ties it all together.

• Create, review and merge GitHub pull requests
• Get feedback on work-in-progress with pre-PR code reviews
• Have discussions with your teammates about your code

Language support: any language

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TODOs and comments

4. Comments Highlighter

This plugin allows creating custom highlighting for commented lines and language keyword. Plugin has possibility to define custom user tokens for commented line highlighting.

Language support: Commented lines highlighting is supported for any language, highlighting of language keywords supports Java, Kotlin, PHP, C/C++/ObjectiveC and C#

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5. Better Comments

The Better Comments extension will help you create more human-friendly comments in your code. With this extension, you will be able to categorise your annotations into:

  • Alerts
  • Queries
  • TODOs
  • Highlights

Language support: any language

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Bugs and Security Vulnerabilities

6. SonarLint

SonarLint lets you fix coding issues before they exist: like a spell checker, SonarLint highlights Bugs and Security Vulnerabilities as you write code, with clear remediation guidance so you can fix them before the code is even committed.

Language support: C, C++, Java, JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, C#, Kotlin, Ruby, HTML & PHP

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7. SpotBugs

IntelliJ SpotBugs plugin provides static byte code analysis to look for bugs in Java code from within IntelliJ IDEA.

SpotBugs is a defect detection tool for Java that uses static analysis to look for more than 400 bug patterns, such as null pointer dereferences, infinite recursive loops, bad uses of the Java libraries and deadlocks.

SpotBugs can identify hundreds of serious defects in large applications (typically about 1 defect per 1000-2000 lines of non-commenting source statements).

Language support: Java

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8. Snyk Vulnerability Scanner

Snyk’s Vulnerability Scanner helps you find and fix security vulnerabilities and code quality issues in your projects.

• Find and fix security issues
• See a list of different types of issues, bucketed into categories,
• Get an actionable fix advice

Language support: any language

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9. Zero Width Characters locator

Inspired by a question on Stack Overflow - this plugin adds an inspection that prevents some hard to find bugs related to invisible zero width characters in source code and resources. Usage - make sure that the "Zero width unicode character" inspection is enabled.

Language support: any language

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10. CodeMR

CodeMR is a software quality and static code analysis tool that helps software companies for developing better code, better quality products.

CodeMR visualizes code metrics and high level quality attributes (coupling, complexity, cohesion and size) in different views, such as Package Structure, TreeMap, Sunburst, Dependency and Graph Views.

Language support: Java, Kotlin and Scala

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