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Top 20 Dev Tools for 2019

There are a lot of challenges when it comes to building great software. Every year, more and more software products come on the market, which means it’s becoming increasingly important to work efficiently. If you’re not the first-to-market, the cheapest, or the best, your software product isn’t going to hack it in this competitive market.

As a company, Axosoft has been building software products that increase developer productivity since 2002. We were founded on a Scrum project management software by the same name. In my nearly five years with the company, we’ve developed two more products: GitKraken, a cross-platform Git client, and Glo Boards, a task and issue tracking system.

We dogfood our own products while building them, and we use a lot of other amazing software to help us release quicker and with fewer bugs. We could have put together our own list of the best development tools, but for the last two years, we’ve asked our community instead.

In keeping with tradition, we asked software engineers from elite organizations across the world to tweet their top 5 developer tools using #MustHaveDevTools. After meticulously aggregating the data from over 1,000 tweets, I’m happy to share the 20 best developer tools with you—ranked in order of most votes.

Top Pick:

GitKraken: The legendary Git GUI client for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

#1️⃣  in votes for 3 years in a row

We reached over one million users in 2018, and we’re honored to have received the most votes for the third year in a row!

Let’s dive into which other developer tools have grown in popularity year-over-year, which are new to the scene, and which have fallen from the ranks. The Golden Kraken Awards acknowledge the other three highest-voted tools. This year, we congratulate a newcomer and two veteran tools!

🏆✨The Golden Kraken Awards go to…

2. Visual Studio Code: A code editor for building and debugging web and cloud apps.

        #2️⃣  for 2 years in a row. 🌟 VSCode isn’t going anywhere. 

3. Docker: A platform used to build, test, and deploy applications quickly using containers.

         ⬆️  7 spots from last year.  🚢 All aboard this ship!

4. Git: A free and open source distributed version control system.

        #4️⃣  for 3 years in a row.  🗂 Git is now the most widely used version control system.

Top 5-20 Dev Tools

5. Postman: A powerful GUI platform to make your API development faster & easier.

⬆️  4 spots from last year, and 8 spots in the last 2 years. 👀 It’s one to watch!

6. Visual Studio: Developer tools and services for any platform with any language.

⬆️  7 spots from last year, and tied with Docker for the largest year-over-year gain.

7. Chrome DevTools: A set of web authoring and debugging tools built into Google Chrome.

⬇️  2 spots from last year.

8. GitLab: Git repository management, code reviews, issue tracking, activity feeds, and wikis.

⬆️  4 spots from last year. 🦊 Watch out GitHub!

9. Sublime Text: A sophisticated text editor for code, markup, and prose.

⬇️  2 spots from last year.

10. IntelliJ IDEA: A Java IDE from JetBrains.

⬆️  1 spot from last year.

11. GitHub: A web-based Git repository hosting service.

⬇️  8 spots from last year. GitHub had the largest drop in rankings year-over-year.

12. Slack: Real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern teams.

⬇️  4 spots from last year.

13. Atom: A free and open source code editor.

⬇️  7 spots from last year.

14. Azure: A cloud computing platform and services, created by Microsoft.

*️⃣  New to the list, and coming in hot! 🔥

15. Trello: A web-based project management application.

*️⃣  New to the list. Have you seen how Glo Boards compares to Trello?

16: Google: Internet-related services including a search engine, cloud computing, and software.

*️⃣  New to the list. 🔍 Google knocked tools like Stack Overflow off the list.

17: Android Studio: The official IDE for Android platform development.

*️⃣  New to the list; making a comeback since its appearance in our 2017 list at #17.

18. Xcode: An IDE for macOS/and iOS development.

*️⃣  New to the list; making a comeback since its appearance in our 2017 list at #19.

19. Eclipse IDE: Tools for Java developers creating Java EE and web applications.

⬆️  1 spot from last year.

20. Linux: Open source software operating systems built around the Linux kernel.

*️⃣  New to the list. 🐧

Year-over-year trends

  • Docker is the tool to watch! Now in the number 3 position, this rising star increased in popularity by 7 spots in 1 year.
  • Visual Studio tied with Docker for the largest year-over-year gain in popularity—rising 7 spots from number 13 to number 6.
  • Four new tools made the list for 2019: Azure, Trello, Google and Linux.
  • A task tracking tool made the list for the first time. Now imagine if it was inside your other favorite tools like VSCode and Atom… See how Glo outshines Trello for developers!
  • Two tools resurfaced from our 2017 list: Android Studio and Xcode.
  • Postman continues to climb the ranks, moving up 8 spots in the last 2 years. It’s another one to watch!
  • Six of last year’s top developer tools didn’t make the cut this year: PhpStorm, ZSH, Node.js, Firefox Developer Tools, Stack Overflow, and iTerm2.
  • GitLab is giving GitHub a run for its money! GitLab climbed the ranks 4 spots and overtook GitHub for the first year. While GitHub had the most significant drop in rankings from number 3 to number 11 year-over-year.
  • Git held onto the number 4 position for the third year in a row—solidifying the trend that most organizations are migrating to Git for version control.
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