5 Tools to Help Make Programming Easier

Tech Insights for Professionals

Tech Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for IT pros

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Want to make your programming activities more effective? Here are five great tools you can use to make your life easier.


Working on application development projects can be a complex process. Everyone will have their own way of working and particular quirks that may make it tricky to collaborate, while keeping track of the status of long, complicated projects can be harder than the actual coding.

There's a lot more to application development than simply picking the right programming language. No project is a solo effort, so being able to share ideas, compare code and troubleshoot issues is important. Fortunately, there are a wide range of free and low-cost tools available to help support these activities.

Whether it's making sharing and reviewing code easier, staying on top of collaboration or just making sure you keep your skills sharp, there's something out there for you. Here are five online tools we think no IT department should be without.

1. Trello

Complex projects can quickly spiral out of control if people aren't sure of what they need to do, what stage particular elements are at, and what ideas are being taken forward. This is where Trello comes in. It's a lightweight, cloud-based project management app that helps organize your projects into easy-to-understand to-do lists, keep track of side projects and easily see where you stand at a glance.

2. Github

While there are many Git repository services available, Github is perhaps the largest and best-known, and its use isn't limited to app development. For collaborating on open-source projects, its one of the best ways to share content and track changes. The free service is fine if your project doesn't have any privacy concerns, but for more sensitive efforts, there are affordable paid-for options that offer more security.

3. Slack

Communication is a vital part of any collaborative application development project, so having a solution that allows you to do more than just chat is hugely useful. Slack is an easy-to-use instant messaging system that lets you chat individually or in groups, but also makes it simple to share files and other digital assets within the app. Importantly, it also saves discussions in a searchable database, so there's no confusion over what was agreed.

4. Code Climate

One of the more tedious aspects of any development cycle is reviewing code for mistakes and other untidy lines that can make your program buggy or unnecessarily complicated. Code Climate can help with this by analyzing your code. It can look for issues related to test coverage, complexity, duplication, security, style and more, letting you know where you can improve.

5. Codewars

Even the most experienced programmers need to keep their skills sharp and learn new tricks if they want to make their lives as easy as possible. One great way to do this is with Codewars, which offers hundreds of small challenges for all the most popular computer languages. Graded by difficulty, these challenges help coders brush up on their key skills and boost their familiarity with languages they have less experience in. You can also see the most highly-rated solutions after you submit your own, to test how your skills stack up against others.

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