The web is constantly changing. While this can bring with it new and exciting challenges for a web developer, it can also be a negative thing if you are not prepared with the necessary tools for web development. Whether you are a front end, back end or full stack developer, the following 10 tools, which are listed by category, will help you become more productive and better at your job.
This versatile and feature rich library helps with easy to perform tasks such as event handling and manipulating HTML documents. Its API makes it perfect for working on different browsers.
With D3.js, you can manipulate data and achieve powerful visualization without being limited by proprietary framework.
Other tools in the same category that will help you to build interactive websites include jQuery UI, D3.js, Moment.js, Underscore.js, Lodash, among others.
Imagine for a moment, if every time you have to build a website, you have to start all your planning from scratch. That is how your world as a developer would be if frameworks did not exist.
The rationale behind frameworks is that since websites have great similarities in their structure, you can reuse your code, and save a lot of time on each job.
Frameworks can either be front end, or back end.
Front end frameworks
Considered to be the most popular and widest used framework today, this open-source framework has the following features:
- You can use its compiled CSS or build on its source code
- You can scale the same code base for desktop and mobile.
- HTML, CSS and jQuery components and elements and plugins
Foundation works with SASS and CSS and has a grid structure that will allow you to code prototypes that are stylish, customizable and responsive on any device. It has the following features:
- Achieve clean markup without compromising on effectiveness and speed
- Build for mobile or larger devices
- Customize by adding or removing elements
- Training and support services.
Other front end frameworks that are worth trying include Semantic UI, Uikit, Modulr.css, Material Framework, among others.
Back end frameworks
With Angular.js, you can extend your application’s HTML vocabulary, thus develop code faster within your environment and achieve greater readability. Angular.js also addresses some of the shortcomings that are inherent within HTML, making it possible to design dynamic views. Furthermore, you can customize it to suit your workflow and adapt it to suit other libraries.
This open source framework has been used on applications and sites such as GitHub, Basecamp, Shopify and Zendesk, among others.
The framework’s 9-pillar rails doctrine emphasizes creativity, making it ideal for any developer who’s interested in out-of-the-box thinking. Each component of the MVC pattern used on rails is responsible for handling different parts of your application such as templates, domains and HTTP requests and responses.
Other examples of back end frameworks include Symphony, Django, Ember.js, Zend and others.
Git Clients/ version control tools
Git services ensure that code does not break and affect your website if changes are made in a testing environment.
7. Source code
Source code is recommended for both beginners and experts. It has a simple interface that allows a developer to visualize changes to code.
More examples include GitLab, Gogs, GitHub Client, Tower 2 and GitKraken.
Web pages that load faster get favourable SEO rankings, offer better user experience and have lower bounce rates. As you develop a website, use the following tools to ensure it will deliver great speeds:
By simply uploading a page in HTML to Pingdom, the testing process will mimic the performance of an entire website, to show you uptime and downtime.
Other examples of speed testing tools include GTmetrix, pagespeed by google, and webpagetest for Internet Explorer and Chrome.
This category is all about task automation and is perhaps one of the most important categories of tools for any developer. Automation saves time, increases productivity, ensures consistency and reduces errors.
With gulp, you can simplify your coding process, reduce complexity of tasks and have a smoother workflow. It’s simple to install and its ever-growing community makes interaction, collaboration and support easy.
As a developer, you need to ask for opinions and help from time to time, hence we cannot finish this list without touching on collaboration tools.
This is a great tool if working as part of a team as it will help you to streamline workflow, communicate and track results.
Other important collaboration tools you could try out for messaging, video conferencing or calendar management include slack, Trello, Jira, and glip.
There are hundreds of tools for web development. Though this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope it will help you to narrow down on some tools that will get you started in your web development career.