Web Development Tools Every Programmer Should Know About

Web Development Tools Every Programmer Should Know About

Web development is very exciting as is always evolving and there are always new technologies coming out that makes the development very easy and efficient. There are many tools out there that web developers must use if they need to get the best results in an efficient way.

Code Editors

One of the first things that you need to have for development is a code editor. These are the applications that help you write code. A good code editor should increase the efficiency of development. The code editors help organize the code so that it makes it easier to read.

Code editors also color code the different elements of the code that also make it easier to read and write code efficiently. Syntax highlighting and automatic code indentation help write clean code. Most of the code editors will also have a tree view of the folder where the project is saved. There are code editor plugins for including version control, auto-complete that can further improve the speed and efficiency of development.

Two of the most popular and powerful code editors are Sublime Text and Atom. Both these code editors look the same at first look, but Atom has a simpler interface. These code editors let the programmers code with speed and efficiency. They also provide IDE-like features

Chrome Developer Tools

Developer tools built into Google Chrome help you edit the HTML and CSS in real-time, for mobile and desktop views. It helps test your website and make changes to see what works and improve your website. Its basic features include the DOM inspector, styles panel, and javascript inspector. Chrome developer tools are a lifesaver for debugging and troubleshooting. You can know what elements are used, what styles are used, what are the errors and how you can fix them. Also, you can change styles, make updates to the DOM, debug javascript, and many more features that can optimize your workflow.

Google developer tools are really easy to access. You can go to the page that you want to debug. From the webpage, you can access the developer tools by clicking on the three dots on the top right corner of the browser window and from the menu go to More tools > Developer tools. Or you can right-click on any element and click on Inspect.

Google developer tool a primary window and a CSS styles window. In the primary window, you have 9 menu which includes Elements, Console, Network, Performance, Memory, Application, Security, and Audits. The CSS style window you can play around with the style of the webpage. You can change the color just by clicking on the color picker, change the element size, margin or padding etc. You can also see the border, padding, and margin in the Computed section.

Front-end frameworks

Front-end frameworks can save a great deal of time and effort in front-end development. That’s the obvious and main advantage of using front-end framework. Using a front-end framework you don’t have to start developing from scratch also it helps maintain consistency among the team throughout the project. This will improve the efficiency of front-end development. Not only that you get responsiveness, cross-browser compatibility right out of the box to your application.

Two of the main HTML, CSS front-end development frameworks are Bootstrap and Foundation. Both frameworks are a great way to kickstart your project and the get the job done in time less than that it would have taken otherwise. Bootstrap is the most popular front-end development framework but each of the frameworks has pros and cons and one is better than other when we take into consideration each characteristic of the framework.

Node.js and npm

Node.js is a runtime environment built on top of Google V8 Javascript Engine. It allows using Javascript on the server and built server-side web applications. Node.js is an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that is lightweight and very efficient. Basically, Node.js allows you to use JavaScript on the server side without having to learn backend languages like Ruby, PHP, Python etc. Also, Node.js on the personal computer can be used as a development tool that helps to automate all kinds of tasks and save a lot of time.

Npm or Node Package Manager is a Node.js package manager that allows to install packages globally on the computer or locally for a particular project. All that is needed is to run the command and npm install then the name of the package to locate and install the latest version of any software package that is available to the public. npm is automatically installed along with Node.js and both are fully managed by the command line.

npm can also be used to install all the dependencies of a project by running just a command. All the dependencies of the project are maintained in the package.json file. When the project is installed in a new environment, running the command npm install will download the software packages given as dependency in the package.json file.

CSS Preprocessors

CSS preprocessors help developers write cleaner, organized CSS. Two of the widely used CSS preprocessors are SASS and LESS. Both of these CSS Preprocessors help optimize the development workflow as they allow you to write less code and achieve the same results with less code harnessing the power of variable and functions. This makes for a far more simple and readable code. It also helps in saving a ton of valuable time. CSS preprocessors make the code more modular making the code easier to work with.

Task Runners

Task runners help you automate repetitive tasks. During development, there are a lot of repetitive tasks which if automated can reduce a lot of effort and time. Tasks like JavaScript compression, optimization, minifying, file concatenation, copying files or directories, linting scripts and compiling CSS file, etc.

Two of the most popular javascript-based task runners are Grunt and Gulp. These task runners help save a ton of time for front-end developers by automating many time-consuming tasks like testing, compiling, etc.

Some other advantages of using task runners are that it reduces mistakes due to human error and improves the efficiency of work for front-end developers. For example, When you make changes in the code and want that changes reflected in the browser, without these automation tools, you will have to go refresh your browser everytime you make a change. But when using these task runners, the changes are reflected in the browser automatically every time the changes are saved.

Version Control Systems

When you work on a project and in an event such as your system crashing can make you lose all your work so far. This is where the Version Control Systems comes and saves the day. Version Control Systems are used to manage any changes that are made to the source code of a project.

WIth a Version Control System, you can see any changes that you have made or go back to any particular previous state or review all the changes that happened throughout the project. This makes it possible for developers to revert to an earlier version if they make any mistake. A version control system enables developers of the same project work simultaneously without any conflict based on codes.

Version Control System helps protect all the source code from potential disasters both natural and human-generated, that can cause destroy weeks and months of hard work. The most popular version control system today is GIT and is slowly becoming the industry standard.

GIT is what you call a distributed version control system. In a distributed version control system, the developer keeps a local repository which they update without the need for any network connection. The developers can update the main server with the changes in the local repository using a push operation and can make a copy of the repository on the main server to the local repository using a pull operation.

Wrapping Up

The web development technologies are rapidly changing for the better and making the development easier and efficient than ever. Every web developer should be proactive and always keen on learning new techniques and keep up with the ever-evolving technologies.


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