Best software development tools are heavily in demand. The software industry is among the largest and fastest-growing industries out there.

The whole IT industry is worth $5.2 trillion (2020), hence it doesn’t come as a surprise that more and more people want to be a part of the industry.

There are more than 21 million software developers out there, yet the world still faces a shortage.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the best and most useful software development tools in 2021 and beyond while also highlighting what they do and how they can help you.

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Let’s start.

What is a software development tool?

A software development tool is a program used to create, maintain, support, or debug other applications and software.

There are both paid and free software development tools, however, free tools usually come with limited features.

What are the Forms of Software Development Tools?

There are several types of software development tools, each performing a specific role.

We have covered a wide variety in our best and useful software development tools 2020 list.

#1 Github


GitHub is undoubtedly the most popular software development platform out there. Defined as a web-based Git repository hosting service, it serves as a Google Drive where users can find codes. You can upload your projects on the platform (public or private) to keep them secure or to share with others.

The community is pretty big and the project base is impressive. It can be a great place for anyone looking for collaborative development. GitHub is not a tool to make software but it will help you with the process.

#2 Gleek


Just like GitHub, Gleek is not a software development tool. It’s a data modeling tool that offers text-to-diagram functionality.

The software is free and can be used without having to sign up for an account. It does not offer drag and drop functionality and is used through the keyboard.

#3 Codepen


If you’re a front end developer then consider getting your hands on this powerful tool. Made for web developers, it’s a great place to find inspiration.

You can share your CSS, Javascript, and HTML related problems with others on the platform to find a quick solution.

#4 Buddy


Buddy is another software development tool for web developers. The tool makes use of delivery pipelines to deploy, test, and build software.

Find more useful tools in our recent piece: Top developer productivity tools for enhanced workflow.

The pipelines are easy to use thanks to a unique action system that lets you arrange them in your desired manner. It hits the bull’s eye when it comes to deployments. Expect to spend only 15 minutes on the configuration.

It runs builds in isolated containers and supports a large number of frameworks, task managers, and languages. What really takes the cake is the integration feature. It works with WordPress, Google, AWS, among others.

#5 Cloud9 IDE


Having trouble with programming languages? Go here to find answers to your problems. This online integrated environment program allows users to clone entire environments without any issues. Cloud9 IDE supports a large number of languages including Python, Perk, Ruby, PHP, C, and JavaScript.

It’s user friendly and can be used to set breakpoints to save time. The icing on the cake is the Code Completion section that offers reliable suggestions to code faster.

Unlike most other options out there, this one is made for new users and features a built-in terminal for command-line wizard.

#6 Atom


No best software development tools list can be complete without the mention of Atom, a well-recognized text-editor that’s surprisingly free to use. This open source tool can be of huge help for developers.

You can customize it according to your needs without having to modify the config file. The software is best known for supporting all major OS including Windows, OS X, and Linux.

What we liked the most about this tool is the autocomplete feature that helps write faster.

Atom makes management easy thanks to an incredible browser feature. You can even split the interface into several panes to edit and compare multiple files.

#7 Bootstrap


Here’s a framework that’s responsive and perfect for use with CSS, JS, and HTML. It comes with several in-builds components that make the job easier.

Bootstrap has fallen in popularity in recent times but it’s still pretty good. It offers ready-made code blocks and is good at maintaining consistency.

Make sure to benefit from its unique customization options.

#8 HTML5 Builder


There’s a lot to like about HTML5 Builder, used to develop mobile and web apps. It’s versatile and among the fastest software development tools out there.

It makes it easy to develop cross-platform apps and is pretty good when it comes to collaboration. A lot of developers use it to create apps that require geolocation due to built-in tools.

#9 Azure


Azure is the go-to place for many developers who want to build, manage, and develop web apps. It supports a huge range of programming languages, devices, frameworks, and operating systems and is quite fast.

Our favorite Azure feature is the system’s ability to detect and reduce threats. It’s said to be best for apps that require private information as Azure uses a safe cloud system.

#10 Axure


Axure makes it easy to produce documentation, prototypes, and wireframes. It’s typically used by IT consultants, product managers, and business analytics experts but can turn out to be useful for developers as well, which is why it is on this list.

The platform makes it easy to create and manage widget libraries. The software has some cool sharing options that make it a good collaboration tool.

Additional tools for communication and collaboration

Since software development requires several departments and individuals to come together, merely using the apps alone may not be enough. You must get your hands on a project management tool like Trello and Slack.


Trello app

These tools can be used to bring teams under one platform to ensure proper communication and flow. Trello is incredibly popular for letting users assign tasks to individuals with deadlines. It sends regular reminders and is easy to use thanks to the drag-and-drop feature. Slack uses a similar pattern and is very popular among freelancers or people who work from home. While these are two of the best project management tools to improve productivity for software developers, you can use other options as well, such as Asana and Binfire.

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Binfire app

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