10 Essentials Tools and Libraries for Software Developers
These ten tools and libraries are the basis for a developers' skills. Check out the list and where you can get started expanding your skills.
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Some of you may think ten tools are nothing, but, to be honest, if every programmer truly knows these well, he can accomplish a lot in his day to day job. Without further ado, let's see my list of ten tools every software developer should know and know well.
1. Git and GitHub
A good knowledge of a source control repository is mandatory for any programmer or software developer because you need to do check-in and checkout of code every day. To become a better developer, you should also know advanced concepts like branching and merging.
In today's world, Git and GitHub have become synonymous with source control repositories, and version control tool. This is the single most important tool for a programmer now, and that's why I suggest every programmer learn Git and GitHub truly well.
If you are a beginner or a programmer who wants to improve his Git knowledge, I suggest you go check out Git Complete: The definitive, step-by-step guide to Git course from Udemy, one of the best courses to learn Git in depth.
This is another essential tool or programming language every programmer should learn. SQL is actually Standard Query Language and used to work with the database. By using SQL, you can read, update, and delete data from tables.
Since we use databases everywhere in the real world, a programmer should have a good understanding of SQL.
Apart from knowing basic commands, e.g. SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE, a programmer should also know how to write complex queries using join, aggregate functions, subqueries, and other advanced functionalities.
If you are new to SQL or want to take your SQL skills to next level, then The Complete SQL Bootcamp is a good place to start.
You might be surprised that as a Java developer, I am suggesting every programmer learn Python. Well, there is a reason for it. Python is a powerful high-level, object-oriented programming language which is very versatile.
You can create big applications like you do in Java, and you can use Python to create useful scripts to automate stuff.
It also has numerous modules which make almost anything possible, from accessing the file system and developing web applications to machine learning.
I can't say more, but I'll show you this picture which clearly explains why every programmer should learn Python.
It also has simple, easy-to-use syntax, making it the perfect language for someone trying to learn computer programming for the first time. If you want to learn Python, then The Complete Python Bootcamp course is a great place to start.
Microsoft Excel is another essential tool for programmers and software developers. Don't mistake it just for a spreadsheet application - you can do a lot more using Excel than you can ever imagine.
The biggest reason to learn Microsoft Excel is that you will find it everywhere. Everybody uses it, starting from businesses to BA, QA, and project managers. You can use it generate reports, automate, and reconcile stuff, and a lot more.
If you want to go beyond just copy-pasting stuff into Excel to learn functions like VLOOKUP, I suggest you join the Microsoft Excel - Excel from Beginner to the Advanced course on Udemy.
One of the best course to learn Excel in depth.
Microsoft Word is not as popular as Microsoft Excel, but still, it's one of the essential tools for programmers and software engineers. As a developer, you often need to create documents, e.g. software design documents, requirement documents, etc and Microsoft Word is the best tool for that. It provides sophisticated formatting options to create really good-looking documentation.
If you are a beginner or an intermediate developer who wants to improve your knowledge of Microsoft Word, then I suggest you go through the Master Microsoft Word Beginner to the Advanced course on Udemy.
Along with Microsoft Excel and Word, PowerPoint forms the trilogy of essential office tools, and that's why they are also essential for software engineers and IT professionals, including developers, QA, BA, and project managers.
Microsoft PowerPoint is the most popular tool to create presentations, and as a programmer, you often need to do presentations, e.g. presenting your ideas to the business, your plans to managers, and doing many knowledge sharing sessions between teams, and that's why you just can't ignore PowerPoint.
If you want to learn PowerPoint or improve your knowledge, then the Master Powerpoint presentations course on Udemy is a good place to start.
7. Text Editors
Every programmer should know one text editor pretty well. Software developers do a lot of text processing jobs and knowing a text editor will always help. Apart from NotePad, which is a very good, omnipresent, basic text editor, I encourage programmers to learn some advanced text editors, e.g. Sublime or NotePad++.
They support regular expression search and replace and Macros which will help you a lot with your everyday work. If you want to learn more about a sublime text editor, Sublime Text for Rapid Web Development is a good place to start.
8. Linux Commands
Just like SQL, Linux commands are another essential tool for programmers. Every programmer has to work on UNIX sometime, and many of us spend most of our day on a Linux machine.
A good knowledge of Linux commands means you can find what you want, you can know what's going on with the machine, and you can troubleshoot any issues with your application running on Linux.
This is a must-have skill for every programmer, and if you are not comfortable with Linux commands, you must spend some time to learn it, especially if you have some exploring to do in Linux. For beginners, Linux Command Line Basics is a good place to start.
Even though Git has taken almost 70% market share in terms of version control systems, there are still projects where SVN (also known as subversion) is used, not just on the property, but also on open source. That's why knowing tortoise SVN is good for programmers.
It's the same tool; I started with SVN 12 years back and it's still around. If you are a beginner or someone who wants to improve his SVN knowledge and learn some advanced concepts like branching and merging in SVN, then Introduction to SVN by John Sonmez on Pluralsight is a good course to start with.
Once you've worked in Linux, you feel constrained while working in Windows, because there is nothing like Linux commands in Windows; PowerShell just solves that problem for once and all. Windows PowerShell is a shell developed by Microsoft for the purposes of task automation and configuration management.
This powerful shell is based on the .NET framework and includes a command-line shell and a scripting language so that you can automate stuff and create a script as you do in Linux.
If you want to start with PowerShell, then I suggest you look at the Learning Windows PowerShell course on Udemy. I bought it recently to improve my PowerShell skills.
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