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Helpful Tools for Software Developers

Sep 27, 2009, 00:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Martin Streicher)

"When software developers get together, chatter quickly turns to shop talk. Developers regale one another with tales of hair-pulling bugs, demanding clients, cheap hardware, and fantastic hacks. Conversation includes esoteric debates, too: the advantages of one processor versus another, or the aesthetics of indentation. There's even proselytizing: Emacs or vi? Mac or not Mac? RMS: angel or devil? And of course, no professional gathering would be complete without a discussion or three about the tools of the trade. Indeed, of late, there seems to be a veritable explosion of great tools for developers. The ubiquity of the Web has democratized the marketplace for such tools, but Web application development is sufficiently refined that propping up a new product online is quite tractable and inexpensive. Moreover, leasing an online service such as Github is cheap compared to purchasing licenses, installing software, and maintaining internal servers. And, in a boon for developers, the cost of switching from one online service to another is relatively slight. All things combined, these are heady days for software developers.

"This week, I list some of my favorite software development tools. There are the usual suspects: an editor and a debugger, but I also highlight some tools that are far less technical but no less vital to the job."

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