Whether you are a web developer working on someone else’s projects or you run a business yourself, utilizing the right tools of the trade is essential.
The market of software development tools is an ever-changing one and increasingly competitive. It’s very easy to let things fall through the cracks if you take your finger off this field’s pulse for a second.
This is where we come to the rescue!
In this article, we have compiled a list of 11 best software development tools and utilities. They all belong to a range of diverse industries and profiles. We have done a little bit of full-scope research and came up with the definitive collection of programs that will make your work easier and way more productive.
Not only will using these add more value to your business and/or projects…
…but you will stay well ahead of competitors who may be too scooped up to keep up with the most recent trends.
Read on for the full breakdown of the best tools that software development experts use in their work in 2020.
What Are the Tools Used in Software Development?
Simply put – any utilities or computer programs that focus on a certain aspect of software development work and facilitate the conception and realization of a final product.
A bewildering variety of these tools that have hit the market this year point to one thing only: the rise of demand for more versatile solutions depending on business requirements, processes and deployment.
These programs will debug apps, maintain code, test frameworks and databases, engineer best co-op practices…and everything in-between! And they’re all out there with a single purpose: to give their users and, subsequently, clients a technological advantage over all others.
In other words, with optimal usage – they will bring multiple benefits to your business, too!
So, without further ado…on to software development tool list that defined businesses in 2020!
The Top Software Development Tools for Cloud Storage & Web
1. Microsoft Azure
The IT giant Microsoft has a long-standing history of being at the vanguard of software development.
Their pivotal tool for building and managing apps, Azure, can be downloaded for free from their official website. It’s a fairly simple utility that makes developing of web application quick and reliable.
It is held in very high regard by developers and app designers for its ability to detect threats on the go, thus preventing potential fatal outcomes even before the testing phase begins.
Very complex and yet user-friendly in nature, Microsoft Azure supports plethora of programming languages and operating systems. Its database is being constantly updated with latest additions in the world of mobile devices.
Users can upgrade from free to a full-fledged version of the tool at any point. The upgrade itself comes with extra perks and numerous add-ons such as Windows and Linux Virtual Machines, Managed Disks and so on. However, it is useful to note that over 25 Azure services are always free.
In a nutshell, the list of things developers can do with free account is as follows:
- Testing and deploying enterprise apps
- Creating custom mobile experiences
- Getting insightful data for better decision-making
A formerly open-source development environment, Cloud9 justifies its name by making a software development tool market breakthrough in some style. Acquired by Amazon Web Services in 2016, this cloud-based program is every language programmer’s dream.
One major obstacles most developers face when creating software environment is alternating between remote and local testing and getting authentic results. Cloud9 clears that hurdle out of the way via serverless applications that make this a very reachable reality.
Other most notable benefits of using Cloud9 are:
- You only need your browser to code: no need to install and maintain a local IDE (integrated development environment). Step-through debugging and and code-hinting are incuded with Cloud9 browser code editor
- Collaborative coding in real time made easy: sharing IDE with team members and even seeing others as they type and program the code is made easy!
- Easy building of serverless applications
- New projects are easily started
A versatile open-source text editor, Atom’s stylish appearance and interface is completely free to download. Software tool developers love it due to its flexible character and the fact that it can be easily modified to suit everyone’s needs (as in it’s hackable).
Atom is available for all operating systems including Windows, Linux and OS X. It takes certain pride in that its config file doesn’t even need to be altered in order to adjust the user interface.
Much like the previous item in our list, it lets developers finish their pieces of code quickly and easily through autocomplete featurette.
One particularly useful trait Atom boasts is that it can have its panel split in two. That way, developers can keep track and compare (and edit) code as they are writing it.
Users can even:
- Open entire projects in one single window
- Find and replace text either in a single file or in multiple projects
- Share a workspace and edit in real-time
- Customize Atom with themes and packages
The Top Software Development Tools For Project Management
Although going it alone is never strictly ruled out, the honest trade of software development yields best results in collaborations. However, due to obvious human-factor reasons, that isn’t always easy to attain.
But there’s at least one project management tool that makes group effort…well, effortless!
GitHub is an open-source development platform that users can utilize to review and manage their code and entire projects. Building software with a 40 million strong base of developers has turned from mere fantasy into reality.
This handy tool has the bragging rights of being used by over 2.1 million business organizations.
Some of the key perks that arise from using GitHub are:
- Enterprise cloud and server hosting that devs can easily use to deploy their environment
- Bringing teams together in order to solve issues more effectively
- Project management boards right beside the code
- GitHub Marketplace with a wide array of tools that can be purchased
- Integrations with other projects through easy-to-use API
- Documentation can be hosted by developers in their repositories
One of the success factors that is constantly on everyone’s minds is: productivity. Zend is a tool designed specifically to boost this particular aspect of one’s work.
This PHP-based IDE is one of the very best software development tools to come out this year used by programmers, designers and devs worldwide to code, test, debug and test their creations in desktop and mobile environments.
There is substance behind creators’ bold claim that Zend is “the fastest way to enterprise PHP”. Built for scalability as well as security, it points out to these key abilities:
- Increased agility and productivity through Continuous Integration/Delivery
- High-levels of compliance and security
- Reliability, scalability and performance of PHP apps
- Deep diagnostics that provide clarity and visibility
…Zend works in unison with Xdebug, Z-Ray and other tools enhancing debugging capabilities. It can even work with GitHub’s GitFlow and other development tools for which it has support capabilities. Likewise, Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS can deploy PHP apps made with Zend.
Depending on one’s (or team’s) needs, Zend comes in two variants: Developer Edition and Production Edition. Their portfolio of clients boasts over 40,000 internationally recognized names across various industries.
Trello is commonly used by software development teams because of its ability to make workflow easier.
It offers boards, lists and cards that allow you to organize yourself and your team in a flexible way. Among its features, there are also adding comments, setting due dates and uploading attachments that make collaboration between team members smooth.
This tool also makes it possible to prioritize actions and monitor progress while boosting software developers’ productivity.
- Detailed overviews of Front/Back Cards
- Information backup
- Individual and group task management
- Voting options
- Developer API
- Automated email notifications
- Deadline alerts and notifications
What’s great about Trello is that it integrates with several online platforms such as GitHub, Google Drive, JIRA Cloud, Slack and Bitbucket.
The Top Software Development Tools for E-Commerce
If there is one branch of web-based industry that can look forward to a bright and shiny future, it is e-commerce. Shopping will never go out of style or become superfluous, and e-shopping is its 21st century facet.
With online shops popping up left and right, it’s vital for developers to equip themselves with e-commerce development tools. They need to meet the standards of building responsive, light-weight, effective and secure shops.
One such tool is X-Cart – an open-source coding high-hitter of a program that has given Magento a run for its money. X-Cart can integrate seamlessly with WordPress, but it really ups its game when used with their own hosting service.
Exceptionally user-friendly, this shopping cart software is ideal for shops with hefty product catalogs. Another reason developers flock to it quite willingly is that it’s been on the market since 2001, which is something of a seal of approval.
Take a closer look at X-Cart and you’ll notice that it also has:
- Great, ready-to-use design templates
- Low cost (users only pay a one-time license fee)
- Open-source PHP code-hinting, giving developers full control of the tool
- Security AND velocity
- Integration with top global payment methods
- A thriving community of experts and users who are there to assist each other
The Top Software Development Tools For Planning and Releases
Part of the widely recognized Atlassian Suite, Jira Software has two main purposes: planning and managing projects and tracking of issues. And for both reasons, it is much loved in the software development community and its agile teams.
Jira’s main use is for planning, tracking and releasing software that is ready to take on the world from the get to. It can help developers create stories on issues and delegate tasks across the entire team. It also makes for a visible environment in which the entire team’s work gets fully contextualized. That way, it’s much easier to discuss and prioritize tasks.
Ensuring complete privacy, data encryption and compliance, this up-and-coming development tool knows its safety ABCs. It can also be further expanded with countless apps and other Atlassian-native services. Potential users are presented with three distinctive cloud-hosted plans: Starter, Standard and Premium.
Jira has many fortes, but the most distinguished ones are:
- Ability to pull report presented in real-time visual data
- Creating a unique workflow or picking one from existing templates
- Integration with tools already in use by the developer or a team (Confluence, Bitbucket etc.)
- Security and scalability of Jira throughout entire organizations.
- Compatibility with Windows and Linux
- High level of customization
2. Perforce Helix Core
Perforce is a company that specializes in streamlining software developer teams’ processes. Through their many products, they demonstrate deep understanding of multi-faceted nature and complexity of bringing apps to reality.
One of their cornerstone products that stands out from the crowd in 2020 is Helix Core. This super-capable tool protects users most valuable assets, can scale work at great lengths and enables effortless collaboration.
In a nutshell:
Helix Core keeps track of changes in source code and helps you manage them. This, in turn, makes your teamwork much faster, no matter the complexity of the project. It’s robust and built to endure: this tool can contain thousands and thousands of users and software developers, millions of transactions on a daily basis and huge quantities of data.
You’ll be overjoyed to be able to focus on delivering valuable user-experience instead of focusing on tools and processes – that’s what Helix Core is for!
It will automate workflows, integrate with your toolset and deliver continuous high performances.
HelixCore can come with a suite of Helix products that include:
The Top Software Development Tool for QA Testing
1. qTest Manager
Quality assurance testing is a must for any self-respecting enterprise that wishes to keep its integrity and spare themselves blushes. In that regard, qTest Manager secures a robust, reliable and lightning-fast interface.
This software development tool enables its users to organize their tests in a facile manner thanks to its flexible configuration and real-time tracking of executions.
Its creators take some pride in that qTest Manager is:
- Seamless integration with multiple third-party tools, such as Jira
- A highly qualified customer success team that can help users with interface
- Reliability and scalability
Regarding organization of test cases, one major point with qTest Manager is its ability to centralize them in time-efficient manner. These test cases can be imported from Excel files and multiple versions can be created for future use.
This awesome software development tool’s real-time QA metrics and reporting can deliver data necessary for improving a team’s productivity rate. It can also increase visibility through simple and complex reports. A multitude of filtering options can be used to custom-tailor the report right to measure.
The Top Software Development Tool for Cybersecurity
Finally, as a proverbial icing on a cake, comes the question of safety and security. There can’t be enough talk of this when it comes to software development. There is just too many rogue individuals and organizations just waiting for you to make that final slip up.
Thankfully, there’s strength in numbers – and expertise! Hundreds if not thousands of brands out there are working diligently on coming up with security tools so we don’t lose any of that precious sleep.
One such do-good company is the one behind ModSecurity, an open-source program that uses firewall applicable on dozens of different servers.
Due to being cross-platform in its core, this web application firewall (WAF, also semi-jokingly known as the “Swiss Army Knife”) makes all HTTP(s) traffic entirely visible.
What it then does is:
- Provide power rules language and API
- Enforce advanced protections
- Passive security assessment
- Selective narrowing down of HTTP features you’re willing to accept
ModSecurity’s creators like to point out the four guiding principles they are basing their brainchild on:
- Flexibility (through a mighty rule language)
- Passiveness (the tool will never interact with a transaction unless told to do so)
- Quality over quantity (putting limited resources to the best use possible and keeping some ideas for later versions)
To recap, there are some truly inventive software development tools breaking through to the mainstream public. Some of the talking points presented above are:
- The advent of storage tools that operate on cloud servers, such as Azure, Cloud9 and Atom
- The redefining of project management through tools that facilitate teamwork and collaboration (GitHub, Zend, Basecamp)
- The expansion of programs for planning and release of software products (Jira, Helix Core)
cybersecurity is a VERY big deal – still!
It’s of vital importance for businesses, their executive decisionmakers and managers to recognize and define their need for a certain product and reach out to its respective parent company. Having a clear idea about your business’ direction and putting these software development tools to that use can make all the difference.
Luckily, we can help there, too!
Browse through our site’s directory of top software development companies to find the exact match for your needs! And in order to capitalize on software projects by making them as successful as possible, you can skim through these either according to the industry they cover or, if preferable, their expertise and particular know-how.