If you want to find out what tools these developers are using, that’s where our survey comes in. For the fourth year in a row, Axosoft asked our global community of software developers to tweet their top 5 #MustHaveDevTools. We received 700 responses this year and ranked the tools in order of most votes.
Let’s dive into the best IDEs, platforms, and apps for software development in 2020! We’ll take a look at which tools continue to gain traction year-over-year, which have fallen from favor, and which new tools have entered the space.
Number 1 Tool for Software Developers
- GitKraken: the legendary cross-platform Git GUI for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
#1️⃣ for 4 years in a row! Also voted #1 Git GUI in the 2020 DevOps Tools Report.
Since launching GitKraken in 2014, millions of developers now rely on GitKraken in combination with other top tools like GitHub (#7) and GitLab (#14) to efficiently utilize Git (#6) for source control management.
Enough about us though; let’s look at the other 19 best developer tools and talk about the trends!
And the Golden Kraken Awards go to…
- Visual Studio Code: a popular code editor for building and debugging web and cloud applications.
#🥈for three years running. 👏Also voted the most popular development environment in Stack Overflow’s annual 2019 Developer Survey.
- Postman: A collaboration platform for faster API development.
⬆️ 2 spots from 2019, 7 spots from 2018 & 10 spots from 2017 👏, Postman is a star on the rise! 🚀
- Visual Studio: Not to be confused with VS Code, this integrated development environment includes tools and services for all platforms and languages.
⬆️ 2 spots from 2019 and 9 spots from 2018, this IDE is relied upon by many developers.
Top 5-20 Developer Tools
- Docker: A container platform to build, manage, and secure applications.
⬇️ 2 spots from last year, Docker is still widely used and loved by devs.
- Git: A distributed version control system for tracking source code changes.
⬇️ 2 spots from last year, but Git isn’t going anywhere. Git is the established VCS being used by over 90% of developers.
- GitHub: A hosting site for over 100 million Git repositories.
⬆️ 4 spots from 2019, there’s no doubt GitHub has an ever-growing community of over 40 million developers to date.
- Sublime Text: A cross-platform text editor for code, markup, and prose.
⬆️ 1 spot from last year, this text editor has consistently maintained position 7-9 on our list since 2017.
- IntelliJ IDEA: A Java IDE created by Jetbrains, which offers a fast and intuitive experience for coding software.
⬆️ 1 spot from last year, this IDE has maintained position 9-11 on our list since 2017.
10 (tie). Command Line: A text interface for issuing commands to a computer program in the form of successive lines of text.
*️⃣ New to the list. See how the GitKraken GUI compares to the CLI.
10 (tie). PhpStorm: A Jetbrains’ IDE for PHP; compatible with Symfony, Laravel, Drupal, WordPress and more.
🔁 After a brief absence in 2019, PhpStorm is back and up 4 spots from 2018.
- Oh My Zsh: An open-source framework for managing ZSH configurations.
*️⃣ New to the list. And comin’ in hot! 🔥This community-driven tool is one to watch.
- Slack: Real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern teams.
⬇️ 1 spot this year. This has become an integral tool for communication amongst teams, including ours.
- GitLab: A complete DevOps platform delivered as a single application.
⬇️ 6 spots from last year, GitLab’s decline seems to be in response to GitHub’s gain.
- Chrome DevTools: A set of developer tools built directly into the Google Chrome browser.
⬇️ 8 spots from 2018 and 10 spots from 2017.
- iTerm2: A terminal emulator for macOS.
🔁 After an absence in 2019, iTerm2 is back and up 3 spots from 2018.
- Atom: A free, open-source, and cross-platform text editor.
⬇️ 4 spots from 2019, 11 spots from 2018, and 15 spots from 2017. The decline seems to be in response to editors like VSCode and IDEs like Visual Studio taking over.
- Android Studio: The official IDE for Android platform development.
⬇️ 1 spot from last year, but still a favorite amongst mobile developers.
- PyCharm: Jetbrains’ IDE for Python.
🔁 After an absence in 2018 and 2019, PyCharm is back but down 3 spots from 2017.
- Unity: A cross-platform tool for developing 2D, 3D, VR, and AR games.
*️⃣ New to the list. Game on. 🎮
- Postman is the tool to watch! Since first making our 2017 list at number 13, this tool has continued to rise in the ranks. Coming in at #9 on the 2018 list, and #5 on the 2019 list, before taking home this year’s bronze Kraken Award.
- 13 of the top 20 developer tools have made the list for 4 years in a row!
- Jetbrains had three tools on this year’s list: IntelliJ IDEA at #9, PhpStorm at #10, and PyCharm at #19.
- Oh My Zsh and Unity were the only two tools to rank for the very first time.
- GitHub took home the prize for the largest year-over-year gain, moving up 4 spots from #11 in 2019 to #7 for 2020. This gain seems to have come at the expense of GitLab.
- The beloved Linux platform didn’t make the cut this year after appearing on our list of Top Dev Tools for 2019; along with Azure, Trello, Xcode and Eclipse IDE.
- Chrome DevTools suffered the most significant drop, falling 8 spots to #15 for 2020 after ranking at #7 on the 2019 list.
- iTerm2 first made our list of Top Dev Tools for 2018 at #19. While it didn’t rank in last year’s list, it’s back at #16 for 2020!
- PhpStorm first made our list of Top Dev Tools for 2017 at #12 before dropping to #14 on our 2018 list. This tool didn’t get enough votes to make the list last year, but it looks like it’s gaining popularity again at #10 for 2020.
- PyCharm fell off the list for two years in a row after coming in at #16 on our 2017 list. This tool has resurfaced at #19 for 2020.
- Atom continues to fall in the ranks after coming in at #2 on the 2017 list, it has steadily fallen to #17 for 2020.
- Git fell for the first time, moving to #6 after coming in at #4 for three years in a row. With almost 90% of developers checking in their code via Git according to Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey 2018, it’s now simply the norm.
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