The Essential Tools for Programmers

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Published in: Code - Toolbox

This is a list of essential tools and services from my coding workflow that I think should be part of every web programmer’s toolkit. Whether you a building a simple “Hello World” app or a complex web application, these tools should make your coding easier and increase productivity.

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The Web Developer’s Toolkit

1. devdocs.io — API documentation for all popular programming languages and frameworks. Includes instant search and works offline too.

2. glitch.com — create your own web apps in the browser, import GitHub repos, use any NPM package or build on any popular frameworks and directly deploy to Firebase.

3. bundlephobia.com — quickly find the import cost (download size) of any package in the NPM registry. Or upload your package.json file to scan all dependencies in your project.

4. babeljs.io/repl — Write your code in modern JavaScript and let Babel transform your code into JavaScript that is compatible with even older browsers.

5. codeply.com — quickly build frontend responsive layouts with frameworks like Bootstrap, Materialize CSS and SemanticUI.

6. httpie.org — a command-line tool that is useful for making HTTP requests to web servers and RESTful APIs. Almost as powerful as CURL and Wget but simpler.

7. regexr.com — A good tool for testing your regular expressions in the browser.

8. jex.im/regulex — Write any regular expression into the editor and get a visual representation of how the pieces work.

9. buildregex.com — Construct regular expressions visually.

Also see: The Most Useful Websites on the Internet

10. explainshell.com — Type any Unix command and get a visual explanation of each flag and argument in the command.

11. tldr.ostera.io — Unix man pages are long and complex. This site offers practical examples for all popular Unix command without you having to dive into the man pages.

12. mockaroo.com — quickly generate dummy test data in the browser in CSV, JSON, SQL and other export formats.

13. jsdelivr.com — Serve any GitHub file or WordPress plugin through a CDN. Combine multiple files in a single URL, add “.min” to any JS/CSS file to get a minified version automatically. Also see unpkg.com.

14. carbon.now.sh — create beautiful screenshots of your source code. Offers syntax highlighting for all popular languages.

15. wakatime.com — know exactly how long you spend coding with detailed metrics per file and even language. Integrates with VS Code, Sublime text, and all popular code editors.

16. astexplorer.net — paste your JavaScript code into the editor and generate the Abstract Syntax Tree that will help you understand how the JavaScript parser works.

17. hyper.is — A better alternative to the command line terminal and also iTerm. Use with the Oh My Zsh shell and add superpowers to your terminal.

18. curlbuilder.com — make your own CURL requests in the browser.

19. htaccess.madewithlove.be — easily test the redirect and rewrite rules in the .htaccess file of your Apache server. See useful .htaccess snippets.

Also see: The Best Places to Download HTML Templates

20. trackjs.com — monitor errors in your JavaScript based web projects and get instant email notifications when a new error is detected.

21. ngrok.com — Start a local web server, fire up ngrok, point to the port where the localhost is running and get a public URL of your tunnel.

22. codeshare.io — An online code editor for pair programming, live interviews with video conferences or for teaching code to students remotely.

23. webhooks.site — Easily inspect the payloads and debug HTTP webhooks in the browser. All HTTP requests are logged in real-time. Another good alternative is RequestBin.

24. surge.sh — the easiest way to deploy web pages and other static content from the command line. Supports custom domains and SSL. Also see Zeit Now.

25. visbug — A must-have add-on for web developers that brings useful web design tools right in your browser. Available for Google Chrome and Firefox.

26. puppeteersandbox.com — Puppeteer is a Node.js framework for automating Google Chrome. Use the sandbox to quickly test your scripts in the browser. Also see try-puppeteer.com.

27. prettier.io/playground — Beautify your JavaScript and TypeScript code using Prettier, the favorite code formatter of programmers.

28. json.parser.online.fr — The only JSON parser you’ll ever need to analyze and beautify your complex JSON strings.

29. scrimba.com — Create your own programming screencasts in the browser or watch other developers code.code.

30. katacoda.com — A training platform for software developers where anyone can create their own dedicated and interactive training environments.

31. codesandbox.io — A full-featured online IDE where you can create web applications in all popular languages including vanilla JavaScript, React, TypeScript, Vue and Angular. Also see StackBlitz.com and Repl.it.

32. apify.com — Write your own web scrapers using JavaScript and schedule your scrapers to run at specific intervals automatically.

33. vim-adventures.com — The Vim text editor is hugely popular among programmers. The site will help you master the various key commands through a game.

34. insomnia.rest — A desktop based REST client that lets you create HTTP requests and view response details all in a easy-to-use interface. Advanced users may consider Postman.

Also see: The Most Awesome Teachers for Learning Web Development

Published in: Code - Toolbox

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Web Geek, Tech Columnist
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Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in GSuite and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory

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