13 Helpful Tools for Software Developers

Since there are so many tools for developers out there, it might be difficult to choose the best ones. That’s why we decided to create this curated list of the best tools, organized in different categories. Here are the essential tools software developers need in their daily work to stay productive, motivated, and efficient.

Project management tools

A software developer’s work happens mostly in a development team. Teams use specialized project management tools to increase their productivity, avoid time-consuming meetings, and streamline the process of updating one another about their task status.

1. Trello

Trello works great for project management in all kinds of projects. But it’s especially valuable for teams that use approaches such as Kanban or Scrum methodologies. Trello offers a rich array of customizability options and it’s very easy to manage. It wasn’t designed to become a tool for software developers, but many development teams out there use it. It’s simple, sleek, and comes with a user-friendly visual design that requires no training at all to get started.

2. Jira

One of the most popular project management and issue tracking tools on the market, Jira is a great pick for agile software teams. It features functionalities that support the Scrum framework and the Kanban approach. There’s no denying that Jira can be a little intimidating at first.
It features a ton of functionalities that can be extended with special add-on available on the Atlassian Marketplace (Atlassian is the company behind Jira and many other developer tools such as Bitbucket). However, Jira works pretty well out-of-the-box, and you get used to it quickly. Customizable Scrum and Kanban boards are the highlights of Jira’s offer for software developers.

3. Toggl

While the other tools focus on project management, Toggl is more about time tracking. It comes in handy for software developers who want to understand how they spend their time and track it within a project easily. Toggl offers a detailed overview of how you’re actually spending your time on the job. It’s easy to use and integrates with many different tools, including Trello and Jira.

project management tools


IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

Another set of tools software developers needed are solutions that help in writing code – Integrated Development Environment tools.

4. Xcode

This is an integrated development environment for the iOS operating system found in Apple devices. It includes a suite of software development tools provided by Apple that are useful for building software for macOS and iOS devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets but also the operating systems of Apple TV and Apple Watch.
The tool is especially appreciated by beginners because it offers visual settings and drag-and-drop options that come in handy if you’re building only the frontend user interface. Moreover, Xcode offers a wealth of features that help developers to avoid making errors in their code.

5. Atom

This one is a favorite among text editors for software developers. It’s free and open-source – and offers great customization options. Moreover, Atom includes a flexible autocomplete feature, which makes coding even faster. You can easily share your workspace with your team members – Atom enables teams to write and edit code together in real time.

6. Microsoft Visual Studio

This tool is actually a collection of services that include the Visual Studio IDE. It’s a fully-featured and integrated development environment for iOS, macOS, Android, as well as the cloud. Its versatility is pretty impressive, and developers use it to build and ship software to many different platforms.


Source control

One of the most important aspects of working in a development team is having full control over different code versions. This is where these code repositories come in.

7. GitHub

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know what GitHub is. It’s a web-based repository that allows developers to easily manage projects, review code, and build software. Today, GitHub serves as the largest and most popular code repository in the world. Just take a look at it, and you’ll find many popular open-source projects.
Software developers use GitHub because it offers a great number of features on an intuitive interface. All the public repositories are hosted for free. If you’d like to get a private one, expect to pay a small monthly fee.

8. Bitbucket

A strong competitor of GitHub, Bitbucket is another tool from Atlassian, the company behind Jira and many other useful developer tools. This web-based hosting service for repositories also uses the Git version control system.
The main advantage of Bitbucket lies in its extensive integration with other Atlassian products such as Jira. As a result, it helps software development teams to collaborate easily. Bitbucket is available in an on-premise version (Bitbucket Server) and a cloud version.

9. CloudForge

CloudForge is a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service platform with application development tools and services ranging from issue tracker and hosting to application lifecycle management. Given its complexity, it’s a common choice for enterprises involved in large-scale software development projects. However, if you’re a software developer looking to score a job at a large company, it’s good to get to know CloudForge and its many functionalities.


Productivity tools

Writing code requires a lot of focus. Fortunately, developers can take advantage of many different tools that help to get back on track whenever they get distracted.

10. Cold Turkey

If you have a tendency to get lost in the vortex of social media after telling yourself that you’re only taking a short break, you’ll benefit from Cold Turkey. It was designed for software developers in mind, but it’s so good that workers in many different disciplines use it as well.

With Cold Turkey, you can restrict access to specific desktop applications, websites, or even access to the internet in general. Set your own schedule and daily limits for access to eliminate the things that tend to distract you most. You can pair the tool with Rescue Time to audit your major areas of distraction and learn more about how you spend time on the job.

11. Oh My Zsh

This is a handy framework that can be of great help to those working in the command line environment. It’s a great solution for developers who are new to the command line, while also supporting the pros. Oh My Zsh includes 200+ plugins that cover all of the major technologies out there, as well as more than 140 themes to help you find the look that helps you focus. Moreover, Oh My Zsh comes with an auto-update tool, which makes it easy to keep up with the latest updates from the community. 

12. The Silver Searcher

This tool is an excellent pick for those who often struggle to find a specific line of code within a document. The Silver Searcher can become a game-changer if you’re working on a huge document with thousands of lines of code. The tool makes it easy to find any specific line of code. It ranks among the top productivity tools for software developers because it helps them to save so much time.

13. CSS guidelines

This tool is particularly valuable to frontend developers who might find keeping up with the latest CSS best practices challenging. This is an excellent resource and reference point for CSS syntax, and formatting best practices that you can be sure will always validate properly.



We hope that this collection of tools helps you in your day-to-day job as a software developer and allows you to become a productive team member. It only takes some practice to become an expert user of these tools, and the time you invest in learning how they work will never be a time lost. Need more advice on how to become a better software developer? Keep a close eye on our blog. We published a lot of helpful content from our trainers and industry experts about skills development and career advancement in the tech industry.