Published Nov 6, 2023 ⦁ 7 min read

Build Your Own Dev Toolkit


Having the optimal set of tools is crucial for developers to maximize productivity, enable collaboration, and build high-quality applications. With new developer tools constantly launching, it can be challenging to determine which ones deserve a spot in your toolkit. The ideal toolkit evolves over time and is tailored to your specific languages, frameworks, and project types.

This article provides recommendations on compiling your own custom dev toolkit based on your needs as a developer. Whether you primarily work on web apps, mobile apps, APIs, or data projects, having the fundamental tools for your stack will optimize your workflow. We'll cover all the tool categories to consider including IDEs, version control, frameworks, testing, infrastructure provisioning, team chat apps, and more. With so many options for each tool type, you can experiment with multiple options before settling on your favorites.

Be sure to check out DevHunt as you assemble your toolkit - it's the perfect launchpad for discovering and evaluating innovative new developer tools all in one place. Now let's dive into building your own optimized dev toolkit!

Core Coding Tools

Every developer needs a basic set of coding tools to write, test, and deploy their applications. Here are some essentials:

Code Editing and IDEs

  • Lightweight text editors like Sublime Text provide speed and customization through plugins, but have fewer built-in features compared to full IDEs.
  • Full IDEs like Visual Studio Code offer robust functionality like intelligent code completion and debugging, but can have a steeper learning curve.
  • Remote dev environments like Gitpod streamline cloud development by providing ready-to-code environments accessible through the browser.

Consider your language and framework, as well as desire for customization vs built-in features. Compare top options on DevHunt.

Version Control Systems

  • Git and GitHub are the most widely adopted tools for version control and collaborative coding. GitHub offers free limited plans.
  • GitLab and Bitbucket offer similar core functionality to GitHub but have differences in integrations, UIs, and features.

Modern version control enables crucial abilities like repository branching, committing code changes, and merging branches. Integrations with tools like Slack and Jira facilitate team coordination. Check out the latest Git GUI clients on DevHunt.

Package Managers

  • npm for Node.js projects
  • Composer for PHP
  • NuGet for .NET
  • pip for Python

Package managers drastically simplify adding third party libraries to projects. Choose the one suited for your language/framework to instantly install packages from its registry.

Build Tools

  • Webpack bundles and optimizes frontend apps
  • Grunt and Gulp automate tedious tasks like minification, linting, compilation, etc.

Leverage build tools to streamline development workflows. They produce production-ready assets from source code.

Web Development Tools

Building web apps, APIs, and services requires specialized frameworks, libraries, and tools beyond core coding basics. Some key categories:

JavaScript Frameworks

  • React - Component-based UI library from Facebook, often combined with Redux
  • Vue - Progressive framework with reactive data binding
  • Angular - Full MVC framework by Google
  • Svelte - Newer compiler-based framework

These frameworks allow building complex UIs using components, virtual DOM, templates, and state management. Compare approaches on DevHunt to choose the right fit.

API and Backend Frameworks

  • Node.js enables highly scalable, real-time backends with JavaScript.
  • Ruby on Rails provides a simplified full-stack framework in Ruby.
  • Express (Node), Django (Python), and Laravel (PHP) are other excellent options.

Use these frameworks for entire backend architectures or just for performant, cloud-native APIs powering frontends. Discover the newest API tools on DevHunt.

Mobile Development Tools

Building native or cross-platform mobile apps requires specialized frameworks, emulators, and SDKs.

Native Mobile SDKs

  • Android Studio - Official IDE for native Android dev in Java/Kotlin.
  • Xcode and Swift - Apple's suite for building iOS apps.

Native development enables maximum performance, while cross-platform can save significant time.

Cross-platform Frameworks

  • React Native - Build mobile apps with React/JS rendering to native UI.
  • Flutter - Google's portable toolkit using Dart language.
  • Xamarin - Cross-platform mobile approach using .NET.

Evaluate options and browse mobile dev libraries on DevHunt to accelerate projects.

Database and Data Tools

Persisting and analyzing app data requires a database aligned with your data model, scale, and performance needs:

Relational Databases

  • PostgreSQL - Powerful open source RDBMS with advanced features
  • MySQL - Popular open source option, widely used in web apps
  • SQL Server - Robust Windows-based relational database

Compare query performance, scalability limits, and features when choosing an RDBMS. Check out ORM libraries on DevHunt to simplify access.

NoSQL Databases

  • MongoDB - Leading NoSQL document store database
  • DynamoDB - Fully managed NoSQL database from AWS
  • Redis - Ultrafast in-memory datastore often used for caching

Determine if your data is better suited for SQL or NoSQL. Browse niche options like graph and time series databases on DevHunt.

Testing and Quality Tools

Thoroughly testing code and functionality is crucial for finding bugs early and ensuring reliability:

Testing Frameworks

  • JUnit - Popular Java unit testing framework
  • Jest - Fast and full-featured JavaScript testing solution
  • Mocha - Flexible Node.js testing framework

Choose a testing framework aligned with your language and environment. Integrate it into CI/CD pipelines.

Automated Testing

  • Selenium enables cross-platform browser testing automation.
  • Cypress allows lightning-fast automated frontend testing.
  • Puppeteer provides API-driven headless browser testing.

Prioritize end-to-end testing over isolated unit tests. Check out the latest test automation tools on DevHunt.

DevOps and Infrastructure Tools

Deploying and managing infrastructure requires robust DevOps tooling:

CI/CD Pipelines

  • Jenkins - Customizable self-hosted automation server
  • CircleCI - SaaS platform for CI/CD automation
  • GitHub Actions - Pipeline automation built into GitHub

Consider ease of integration and other factors when evaluating options. Discover new pipeline tools on DevHunt.

Infrastructure Provisioning

  • Terraform - Codify and manage infrastructure as code
  • CloudFormation - Define AWS resource stacks via code
  • Ansible - Automate config management without agents

Combine robust provisioning tools with orchestrators like Kubernetes to streamline infrastructure management. See the latest infrastructure as code launches on DevHunt.

Productivity and Collaboration Tools

Boosting team productivity and collaboration requires integrations with key platforms:

Team Chat and Video

  • Slack - Customizable channels, bots, and broad integrations
  • Microsoft Teams - Unified chat, video conferencing, and file sharing
  • Zoom and Google Meet for drop-in video meetings

Evaluate ease of use, video/audio quality, and integrations. Check out new team chat apps on DevHunt.

Project Management

  • Jira - Feature-rich agile project planning and sprint management
  • Trello - Intuitive Kanban boards for workflow visualization
  • Asana - Flexible task management with reporting

These tools help teams visualize workflows and collaborate during software projects. Compare options on DevHunt based on integrations and pricing.

Other Essential Tools

Round out your toolkit with other utilities:

Command Line Tools

  • Homebrew - Simplifies installing apps/packages on macOS
  • iTerm2 - Customizable terminal for Mac
  • Hyper - Terminal built with web tech like JavaScript

Choose an enhanced CLI aligned with your OS.

API Development Tools

  • Postman - Streamlines API dev workflows - build, test, document, publish
  • Swagger - Standard for defining and documenting REST APIs
  • Stoplight - Collaboratively model, mock, test, and document APIs

Robust API tooling is a must. Browse the latest options on DevHunt.


We've covered the essential categories of tools to include in your custom dev toolkit. Remember it constantly evolves as your experience grows. Regularly check out new leading-edge tool launches on DevHunt as you continue improving your toolkit over time!