5 Must-Have Dev Tools

There is no doubt that professionals need the best tools, and this is no different for front end developers. These devs need specific tools for handing the software development life cycle, from generating code to performing builds, and deploying apps.

In this rapidly changing profession new tools often pop up, which may become a hot trend, while at other times, the tried-and-true tools are still the best for the job. As a front end dev, it is paramount to know what to put in your toolbox to be the most effective developer. Knowing which tools to focus on will allow you to focus on mastering your craft while reducing its learning curve. This is undoubtedly an overwhelming topic so in this article we will cover five tools that we think are must-haves to improve workflow and increase productivity. So let’s take a look at some key tools and frameworks that front end developers can use with equal rigor and ease.

Cycle

Creating containers for deployable units of an application has become an industry standard. Front end developers are no different in their need to deploy applications and websites using containers. However, from solo projects to enterprise applications, containers can be an overwhelming task to manage, and that isn’t taking into consideration the complexity of deploying multi-cloud solutions.

Cycle Screenshot

That is where Cycle comes in, bringing powerful container orchestration, lightning-fast deployment pipelines, and a wealth of other important features like DNS, SDN, and TLS, to complete a full-featured, DevOps platform designed for developers and engineers. Furthermore, Cycle provides a set of public APIs, the ability to easily import images from any registry, infrastructure management, and a user-friendly UI. What else can a development team ask for when they are in need to focus more on writing their code rather than stressing over infrastructure. Get a free Cycle account and see how it can instantly improve your DevOps process.

Git

Git is a free and open source version control system for all types of code. It follows a distributed model that allows it to keep repositories at different staging areas. For large development teams, it is easy to maintain different versions of code in different staging areas and integrate only what is necessary. Workflows are flexible and support easy branching and merging mechanisms. Another big benefit of git is their repos which allow code to be forked, which gives devs a chance to peek under the hood of other well-built applications. Popular options for git are GitHub or GitLab, to name a few, which could be used from the terminal or with an application such as Github Desktop, GitHub CLI, or Git Kraken.

TypeScript

interface User {
  id: number
  firstName: string
  lastName: string
  role: string
}

function updateUser(id: number, update: Partial<User>) {
  const user = getUser(id)
  const newUser = {...user, ...update}
  saveUser(id, newUser)
}

TypeScript is more than just JavaScript. In fact, it is a superset of JavaScript with strict, structured, and well-defined “types”. It brings the world of front end development closer to object-oriented programming. This makes it easy to learn, easy to implement, and easy to maintain. Debugging and isolating bugs in TypeScript is far easier and faster. It does bring along the complexity of compiling and strict type conformance. Many companies are adopting TypeScript, for example, here at Cycle, we have fully adopted TS to work in conjunction with React. Learn more about TypeScript and try it out in your next project.

Visual Studio Code

VS Code Screenshot

In simple words, Visual Studio Code is a lightweight code development editor that can support almost every programming language. It comes with IntelliSense, which is more than autocompletion, it also performs a syntax check for the developer irrespective of the programming language. With a vast user base, it supports all popular operating systems. Another major benefit is Visual Code’s packages and extensions which improve workflow and bring some needed advanced features and automation to the table. Visual Code is free to use, so try it out by going to Visual Code’s Website.

Snowpack

Snowpack is a special category of tool that is a dream-come-true for all front end developers on the web. It is a modern build tool for JavaScript-based web applications that runs during the post-install phase. It differs significantly from similar build tools in the way it produces its output. It produces unbundled files in the web application. It means that the contents are not minified and concatenated together in a file. This makes it easy to perform hot replacement of modules in all kinds of deployment environments. Install snowpack npm install snowpack and try it out.

Conclusion

As the tools evolve along with the technology stack, it is important to use the best-in-the-breed tools for predictable and sustainable growth. These are five must-have front end development tools, but there are many more, for example, CI tools and JavaScript frameworks. Be sure to try these tools out, adding them to your tech stack will be game-changing, and level up your development skills.