The Essential Tools for Programmers

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

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