Common software development tools used

Throughout the process of software development, there are many tools used. Thanks to modern technology and the advancement of software itself, there are more tools than ever at the disposal of developers across the planet.

Each development team will have tools they prefer and use more often than others. There will also be a variation of tools available for each tool type, all of which upgrade and change frequently. Overall, this means that the world of software development tools is pretty vast.

In this blog, we are going to discuss some of the most common and popular software development tools you will see within this vast range.

Text editors

A text editor is a computer program in which developers can create, change, edit, open and view plain text and sometimes code files.

Text (or code) editors are an important and commonly used developer tool, frequently used to create computer programmes, edit HTML, and build and design web pages.

Some commonly used text editors include:

  • Notepad++
  • Sublime Text
  • Atom

Text editors have appeared on our desktops for decades, but the ones used by developers now are more complex and powerful than the original versions. In a software development project, text editors are an essential tool.  For larger projects, developers will use IDE software to edit and compile code.


Integrated development environment software

IDE software allows developers to build applications using developer tools on a single graphical user interface. This includes tools such as a source code editor, local build automation, and a debugger. These essential tools come together to build one worthwhile and multi-purpose tool. Having these tools in one place allows developers to programme new applications quickly and efficiently, which is a benefit to both the development team and the clients they are working for.

Common IDEs include Visual Studio, Eclipse, Android Studio, VS Code, Xcode, PhpStorm, AWS Cloud9, and more.

Cloud platforms

Cloud platforms offer software developers the opportunity to build software and use developer tools without needing to build their own physical infrastructure. Third-party cloud vendors offer developers the services they need to develop in an accessible and speedy way as well as taking care of backup and recovery, alongside rapid deployment and automated integration.

Cloud platforms are a modern alternative to traditional “on premise” servers and infrastructure. Examples of the main cloud platforms used are Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft Azure. Benefits of developers using these platforms include guaranteed “up time”, lowered costs as they usually operate a “pay for what you use” model and a choice of data centre regions worldwide.


Low-code platforms

Low-code platforms allow application software to be developed through a graphical user interface. It is an accessible platform that allows contributions to development from outside simply just the development team. It is a popular tool used in multidisciplinary projects. 

Low-code development platforms make software development easy and accessible by providing visual and graphic tools that replace typical methods of coding and programming. People outside of typical software developers can work with development using an easy-to-navigate graphical user interface (GUI).

Programs can be created intuitively with pre-defined templates and drag-and-drop modules in a way that is accessible and beginner-friendly. For those without traditional backgrounds in development, they offer a new world of possibilities.

Low-code platforms are also used by software developers to aid non-development business partners and clients in their development process. As opposed to no-code platforms, minimal coding can be used in low-code platforms to improve and grow what has been made with the system already. This approach allows business partners and developers to work hand in hand on projects. 

Software analytics platforms

Software analytics platforms are multipurpose tools that help with data and web application analysis. They help developers, analysts, and others within a software team work with critical data in projects. Analysing data allows the software development team to make informed decisions throughout the entire project and produce successful results for their specific client. 

Data is key in software development and it is essential that this data is dealt with appropriately. Using the right kind of software analytics platform can make a big difference between the success and failure of a project. 

Other features of analytics include error monitoring. This is an interface that shows teams if users are experiencing errors being returned from their APIs frequently, and a breakdown of user statistics, e.g. how many users visit each page, on what devices, and where the users are based as well as typical user journeys.  This can help teams to identify what is important to users and make changes to their site to make the information more accessible if necessary.  An example of such a tool would be DataDog.


Source code management tools

There are many people working on any one aspect of a development project at any given time. Teams need to collaborate on and work with source code in a simultaneous and seamless way. Source code management tools allow this to take place.

Source code management tools offer version control, which allows members of a development team to make changes to code without conflicts and merging problems. It hosts the project’s code resources and allows teams to work using feature and branching strategies, enabling project work to flow smoothly. Commonly used source code management tools include Github, GitLab, Apache Subversion, Bazaar, Monotone, and so on.


Open-source frameworks

Open-source projects are designed by networks of developers who allow them to be used for free by the public to assist development. Rather than being a system of their own, open-source frameworks contain a set of tools that allow developers to develop and create software of their own, without cost or stipulation. These can be very helpful in allowing developers to learn and fine-tune their own skills by contributing to open-source projects with community support as well as saving developers time when they can make use of libraries already created by others. 

Ready to accelerate your technology project?

Chat to our team of experts and let's see how we can help you.