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March 7, 2022

5 Free Tools Every Wanna-Be Programmer Needs to Know About

Marta Aguilar - Head of Social Media

Like every job, programming requires various tools for you to code effectively. Tools help you to work smarter instead of harder. Using the right tools will simplify your work and boost your productivity.

As a new programmer, you’ll come across so many programming tools. If you learn how to use them, you’ll add more credit to your resume. But then, you don’t have to know every programming tool available. Some are more important and used more frequently than others.

Below are five of the best programming tools that every programmer should know. The best thing about them is that they’re all free.

1. Figma

Figma is among the best web-based tools for user interface design. It’s a perfect alternative to other design tools like Photoshop. What makes it more outstanding is that it allows live collaboration by a team of developers. All you need to access Figma is a web browser. Plus, you can access it from any operating system.

A team of designers can log in and make changes simultaneously. And if your team members aren’t present in real-time, you can communicate with them through a chat feature on the platform. Moreover, they can always stay up-to-date with the latest changes since everything is in the cloud. So there’s no need to share files with each member.

With Figma, you can work for a client from any location—and your client can also log in to see the progress. And if they suggest that you make some changes, you can make them in real-time as they observe. This allows you to work with the client until the design becomes what they want.

Figma allows you to design graphics for web development, create prototyping design, and mobile app interface. It also helps generate CSS codes, SVG, android, and iOS codes.

2. Docker

Docker is a perfect replacement for virtual machines. Virtual machines allow you to run different operating systems on the same server. It does this through hardware virtualization. That means allocating each operating system a section of the computer hardware. This ability eliminates the need to buy several computers for each operating system you want to run.

Docker also allows you to run multiple operating systems on the same computer. But instead of using hardware virtualization, it uses operating system virtualization. It does this by creating containers that help to isolate computer processes. You can have many containers sharing the same resources, but each operating independently.

Previously, developers could face problems with app compatibility. For instance, they could make an app on one computer, but it could fail to work when taken to a different computer. Docker solves that problem. Now, you can use Docker to create an app with everything it needs to run in different environments.

This tool is free for personal and non-commercial uses. And unlike virtual machines, Dockers are lightweight, fast, and flexible.

3. Postman

Postman is a free web development tool used to test API. Application programming interface (API) is a code that allows two applications to communicate with each other. API takes requests from the client to the server and delivers the results. Every software needs an API to interact with other programs.

One role you’ll often have to perform as a developer is testing your applications. Testing helps detect and remove bugs before the software goes into live operation. Postman is one of the best API testing platforms used by leading companies. You can download it to your windows, Linux, or Mac computer.

Postman is highly useful in web development as it helps test web APIs. It has a request builder section that allows you to type your HTTP requests and customize them as you want. Then the response section helps you see the results of your request. You can test different parameters and authentication methods, including headers and cookies. If the coding has a problem, you can correct it early in the development process.

4. Git

In coding, developers make changes every time to improve the application. Git is free, open-source software that helps store these changes in a place called a repository. Git is the most used distributed version control system. It comes in handy when coding involves a collaborative effort.

A centralized version control system runs the risk of disruption if the central server fails. But in a distributed system, each developer has a copy of the project on their computer. Plus, they can make changes to the project. Then these changes are synchronized with those made by each team member.

Git helps to track all the changes made to a program. If the software encounters errors, you can go back and identify the changes that caused the bug. Then you can restore to the previous version as you work on the bug.

Git version control system is an essential tool if you’re working as a team of members from different locations. It helps to ensure that each member is working on the latest version.

5. Dash

Dash is a Mac OS desktop app used for API documentation and managing code snippet. Code documentation is a description of how a code works. It helps in code maintenance by reminding the developer how the code works.

Being a desktop app, Dash can help with the offline search of over 200 API documentation sets. It’s compatible with android, python, JavaScript, iOS, and many other platforms. Moreover, it can search for over 100 cheat sheets. It also allows you to create your Docsets or download them from third parties.

A docset is a folder that contains HTML documentation, including an index that helps you search for files in the database.

Learn with Experts

The above programming tools are available for free. Some come with two versions, a free one and a paid one. And even the free versions have a lot to offer in non-commercial coding. As a programmer, you need to learn how to use them. Most working environments involve the use of such tools. And you’re more likely to be hired when you have these skills.

If you’d like an experienced trainer to guide you on using these tools, Ironhack is here to help you. Our professional trainers will take you through these tools and many others to give you a head start in programming. We have a variety of programming courses and flexible study modes. Come and learn with the experts to become a pro.

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