A lot of the everyday applications Zupa uses are purely web-based tools – covering the cycle from project management to code reviews and deployments. We know the benefits of staying within SaaS (everything from live roll-outs of updates, to easy scaling across teams) from our own products, including Caternet. Whether you’re starting out in your development career, or perhaps are a freelancer looking for best practice tips, read ahead for the five tools I use to produce future-ready software!
- Visual Studio Professional 2019 & Visual Studio Code
The Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is fairly standard when it comes to working within .NET environments. I like using it because of its range of features when writing and modifying code, searching for specific elements, and debugging. It also has a nice UI for working on Unit Testing. I tend to use this for all work pertaining to backend development.
- Google Chrome (free)
Aside from the sector-specific web-based tools, such as Github, Azure DevOps and Octopus, I also use Chrome because it has excellent integrated development function. Indeed, most browsers do but in my experience, Chrome is the go-to for the majority of developers. Out-of-the-box I can debug client-side code, check network activity and inspect the Document Object Model (DOM). For React.js I use a Chrome plugin that allows me to inspect and debug my React components as well as view a component state at a given point in time.
- Postman (freemium)
Postman is a tool that is used for making HTTP requests. It has an easy-to-use UI that allows you to build up your endpoints with any necessary additions, such as authentication tokens and/or JSON body data. These can then be saved so you can conveniently reuse them later. Postman is an essential, modern tool for testing web APIs!
Every developer has their favourite way of interacting with Source Control. There is no right or wrong solution. Personally, I like to use Sourcetree as I prefer to use a GUI tool over a command line for when I use Git. Sourcetree makes it easy for me to visually inspect the state of play for all branches I’ve checked out from origin, at the same time. This, along with a full history of the repository (at a glance) and lists for pushed branches, makes search processes incredibly easy.
An easy way to save time within Agile
- ScreenToGif (free)
Perhaps an unexpected addition, but within an Agile environment you’ll have the opportunity to present a lot of ideas whilst needing to generate clear instructions — therefore I make a lot of gifs! When raising PRs that include UI features, we have a convention to include these gifs within the description. This simple yet useful piece becomes a powerful way to provide other development or test teams with an instant context. ScreenToGif is a good, open source tool that is also completely free. You just drag a window to where you want to record, hit the red button and capture what you want on screen in a few seconds.
Now read Making sense of Microservices.