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Conlin Durbin
Conlin Durbin

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What are your favorite developer tools?

Happy Friday!

We're getting new laptops at work, which means I have a good opportunity to re-evaluate my development setup. What lesser-known tools should I check out?

Top comments (32)

d1p profile image
Debashis Dip • Edited

Some of my must-have tools are the followings. With no specific order.

  1. Postman 🙃
  2. - browser-based offline documentation of your favorite language or libraries. 😍
  3. TablePlus - Lightweight yet does everything that I need to manage a database. 👊🏼
  4. Evernote - The note-sharing works really brilliantly. 🤓
  5. Github desktop - Sometimes it just helps 😅
irfaan008 profile image
Irfan Raza

Gitkraken is better alternative to github desktop offering vast variety of features. Its free too.

blackharold profile image
Evgeniy Gul

When i opened GitKraken for myself, I was surprised that the VCS can be simple & clear.

d1p profile image
Debashis Dip

I will check it, thanks for the suggestion 😇

estengrove profile image
Steven G. • Edited

Here's a few of mine:

Clip-Path Generator:
Box-Shadow Generator:
Palette Generator/Gradient Gnerator:
RegEx Playground:
Babel Playground:
DevDocs(works offline):
Cubiz-Bezier Generator for Animations:
Cross-Browser Generator:
Dev Hints/Tips:
CommandLine One LIners:
VMware ESXi VM Commands Cheatsheet:
JSON Editor and Formatter:
TLDR For CommandLine:

I've got more somewhere but can't remember where they've gone to. devdocs and devhints and regex101 and babel playground are my jams. Use them a lot

bbutlerfrog profile image
Ben Butler

It's certainly not lesser-known, but Visual Studio Code really can't be beat for any platform at this point. What may be lesser known (?) is that its remote tools (they really are just "wrappers" for well-known services like SSH, but they finally got integrated) are very evolved now and work very well on nearly any platform, and are "better" in many cases than third-party plugins (they put your workspaces and many of your plugins onto remote servers/local VM's/etc, which is very solid).

markel profile image
Markel F.

An the debugger is love 😊

ashleemboyer profile image
Ashlee (she/her)

I'm really loving the terminal setup Ali Spittel goes through in this post. I'm super new to Mac so being able to easily make my terminal work and look like my Ubuntu terminal made me feel right at home. 😊

cjbrooks12 profile image
Casey Brooks

Not exactly a "developer tool", but I've really been enjoying Coda for the past week or so. It's like a Google Doc, but you can embed mini databases within it (like more structured and more powerful spreadsheets). It was launched earlier this year, and I first heard about it from their announcement here on DEV:

Just this week, I thought about setting up a small SPA to help me with tracking a D&D campaign. But then I remembered Coda, tried it out, and have found it to be really nice for something like this. And now, I don't have to maintain a crappy app to have easy access to the data I want!

cjbrooks12 profile image
Casey Brooks

Here's the D&D tracker I've been working on, which might give you an idea of the kind of stuff you can do with Coda. And if anyone plays D&D, I'd love feedback on how to improve it, I'm trying to release it as a template in their Template Gallery.

george profile image
George Nance

I find it a bit off that they don't support Firefox

brandonskerritt profile image

Windows Subsystem is so great. It's Linux. Built into Windows. So amazing. I have all my favourite Linux tools - in Windows!

jacobi profile image
Jacobi Petrucciani

Docker - docker is love, docker is life
exa - ls replacement, written in rust
ripgrep - smarter+faster grep
entr - watch files, and run something when the files change
shellcheck - shell script linter
ngrok - tunnel your local ports out to the internet
bpython - amazing python REPL
blackbox - safely store secrets in version control
ranger - console file manager with some dope addons

tmux + tmuxp - terminal multiplexer, and a session manager
kitty - GPU accelerated terminal, supports ligatures
mailhog - modern mailcatcher
postman - API tester
metabase - Beautiful DB tool

if you use kubernetes a ton:
kubectx + kubens - easier management of many k8s clusters and namespaces
kubetail - stream logs from any number of pods in k8s

jessica_veit profile image
Jessica Veit

A total must have for me is some sort of clipboard manager.
Ditto for example is my favourite software for that at the moment.

bbutlerfrog profile image
Ben Butler

I've never used it for Java. They've just recently released a Java version of it, and like most open projects it's completely dependent on which plugins you install--it's FOSS and written in the Electron framework, and the root front-end is all TypeScript (see

If you install the right plugins, it's the best PHP IDE I've used, and there's a consensus that's it the best for JavaScript/TypeScript (for really obvious reasons). The plugin community is really why it has taken over.

stevenjeanneret profile image
Steven Jeanneret

Vs code is maybe the best code editor but it's not an IDE and if you make a project you need an IDE.
For PHP just try PhpStorm. After loosing 2 hours on a laravel project I switched to jetbrains software and now Vscode is only for markdown or code reading.

sajeetharan profile image

Fiddler - Web Debugging Proxy
Postman - Test, Document & Monitor APIs
JSON Formatter - Format and Beautify JSON data
Chrome Developer Tool - Web Debugging Tool
Clockify - Tracking the time you spend on various programming activities is vital

jhuebel profile image
Jason Huebel

On Windows, I use Cmdr (with git tools) as my terminal and Sublime Text for editing. On Linux, I use Gnome Terminal and Sublime Text.

I tried VS Code at one point, but I'm comfortable enough with Sublime Text that I didn't see a good reason to switch. My environment works for me. I don't change things just for change's sake.

drhyde profile image
David Cantrell

ack is a great upgrade from grep.

fzngagan profile image

Meld. It is a tool which shows you a visual comparsion of your text files, especially code files and directories. Super helpful.

also this one. not a native app but a web based tool to live edit serialized arrays.

supports yaml, php and json

kevsestrella profile image

Try lsd, a fast colorls alternative