What are Developer Tools?
Developer tools are technologies that make software development faster and more efficient. Software development is a complex process of translating real-world objects into mathematical and electronic representations that machines can understand and manipulate. Developer tools act as an interface between the physical reality and computing processes. They include programming languages, frameworks, and platforms that abstract different levels of complexity. This means you can interact with computers more easily and solve more complex problems. Instead of working with hardware components and low-level coding languages, you can work with libraries, APIs, and other abstractions that prioritize business use cases. Developer tools also include software applications, components, and services that simplify the process of coding.
What are the benefits of developer tools?
Software teams use developer tools to overcome challenges when writing code, testing programs, deploying applications, and monitoring production releases. With the right development tools, you can reduce time to market, resolve bugs, optimize development workflows, and more. The following are the benefits in detail.
Improve code quality
With developer tools, you can write better code that improves software performance. Every developer has their respective style and principle in software development. They standardize their approaches with development tools and align them with best coding practices to reduce discrepancies that may impact performance. For example, you can use standard libraries and frameworks that are field-tested to start a new project more confidently.
Reduce coding errors
Develop cross-platform applications
Shorten development time
Software development is a process that requires inspecting, testing, and remediating software components, third-party modules, and code. The process takes up a significant part of the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC) when you perform it manually. With developer tools, you can automate certain parts of code-checking, framework integration, API calls, data management, and more. You can also use continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools to ensure that feature updates and security fixes are promptly released to software users.
When developing complex applications, several developers might work on a specific module. With development tools, they can collaborate effectively without manually exchanging notes. For example, you can use code review tools to leave comments on software functions that other team members have written. You can also use version control systems such as Git and AWS CodeCommit to manage code changes from multiple developers.
The time spent designing, developing, integrating, and testing applications contributes significantly to software development costs. With developer tools, you can work more efficiently when you’re building, modifying, or evaluating software applications. For example, you can use libraries and frameworks to avoid writing an entire software module from scratch. You can also apply DevOps tools to test software code iteratively and prevent costly errors from affecting eventual releases.
What are some types of developer tools?
You use different types of tools to support development workflow. Each tool is often specific to a programming language, platform, or purpose. The following are several common development tools.
With coding tools, you can write, edit, build, and simulate code. For example:
- You can use compilers to convert high-level codes into machine language that the computer understands.
- After conversion, you can use a code builder to assemble all relevant software modules into an application file.
- You can use frameworks, libraries, or software development kits to accelerate software development. These tools provide readily available codes that you can use, modify, and implement in your applications.
With programming support tools, you can streamline development efforts, increase efficiency, and collaborate better when you’re building complex projects. Rather than assisting in the direct process, support tools offer built-in features to manage projects more effortlessly.
For example, you use an integrated development environment (IDE) to access different coding tools required for creating a specific application. An IDE hosts all relevant tools in a single environment so that you can manage their workflow without switching platforms. Similarly, with code versioning systems, multiple developers can modify an application without causing code conflicts.
With DevOps tools, software developers can work closely with operation engineers to respond to technical issues or implement feature updates. For example:
- Software teams use DevOps tools to enable continuous pipelines that enable the coding, testing, and releasing of applications more rapidly
- Operation engineers use DevOps tools to provide immediate feedback that helps developers remediate software issues
- DevOps teams use infrastructure as code (IaC) services automatically to build, test, and prepare for software
With software-testing tools, you detect bugs, technical issues, and vulnerabilities that affect software usability and data safety. For example:
- You can use a profiler to map memory usage, inspect elements, and troubleshoot webpage performance issues
- Debuggers and bug trackers can identify coding errors or irregularities during development
- You can use security testers—such as static application security testing (SAST) and dynamic application security testing (DAST) tools—to detect, analyze, and remediate code vulnerabilities
How can AWS help with your developer tool needs?
Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides developer tools that developers can use to code, build, test, and deploy applications quickly in the cloud. You can use code editors, SDKs, CI/CD services, and other tools that AWS provides to simplify development in your preferred programming languages. With machine learning–assisted services, you can identify issues and apply fixes with recommendations that are guided by AWS best practices.
From building simple web applications to complex, microservice-based solutions, you can use AWS developer tools to:
- Continuously merge and release software by following DevOps practices
- Manage AWS services directly from a code editor or command line interface (CLI)
- Write and debug code for AWS workloads in your preferred IDE or browser
- Automate software-development workflows and remove error-prone manual processes
- Continuously monitor software performance with a custom observability dashboard
Get started with developer tools on AWS by creating an account today.
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