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20 free developer tools we loved in 2020 😍

budibase profile image Budibase ・5 min read

My name is Joe, and I am the co-founder of Budibase. I have built many apps in the past, which, I guess is why I am building a platform that builds apps super-quickly and easily. In the last year, the following tools have helped me, and my team a lot. As a way of showing gratitude, I thought I'd share these tools with like-minded people, and hopefully, they can help you too.

20 awesome dev tools

This is an opinionated list and there are possibly better tools out there. If you know a better alternative, please comment below. We'd love to add more tools to our arsenal, and it's nice, for the makers of these tools, to feel appreciated.

Design

1. Figma

Figma a vector graphics editor and prototyping tool which is primarily web-based, with additional offline features enabled by desktop applications for macOS and Windows. I actually prefer Adobe XD for designing UIs but Figma's collaboration and extensibility give it the edge as a team-based design tool.
Open source: No.

2. Remix icons

Remix Icon is a set of open-source neutral-style system symbols elaborately crafted for designers and developers. All of the icons are free for both personal and commercial use.

Open source: Yes
Github repo


Building websites

3. Hugo

Hugo is a static site generator written in Go. It is one of the most popular open-source static site generators. With its amazing speed and flexibility, Hugo is a great SSG for newcomers to web development.

Open source: Yes
Github repo

4. Eleventy

Eleventy is a "simpler static site generator". Eleventy is more flexible than Hugo, and in some ways more powerful, but, in my opinion, it's not as quick or as simple to use. It's a great, lightweight alternative to Gatsby.

Open source: Yes
Github repo


Building web apps

5. Budibase

Budibase is an open-source visual development platform for designing, building, and deploying real custom software 50x faster. As previously mentioned, I am the co-founder of Budibase. We released Budibase to beta 6 weeks ago, and we've had 2,000 users and over 1,900 apps created, and over 500 deployed!

Open source: Yes
Github repo

6. Next.js

Next.js is an open-source React front-end development web framework that enables functionality such as server-side rendering and generating static websites for React-based web applications.

Open source: Yes
Github repo


Database

7. Postico

Postico provides an easy to use interface, making Postgres more accessible for newcomers and specialists alike. Postico will look familiar to anyone who has used a Mac before. Just connect to a database and begin working with tables and views.


Bundler/build tools

8. Snowpack

Snowpack is a lightning-fast frontend build tool, designed for the modern web. It is an alternative to heavier, more complex bundlers like webpack or Parcel in your development workflow. Snowpack leverages JavaScript's native module system (known as ESM) to avoid unnecessary work and stay fast no matter how big your project grows.

Open source: Yes
Github repo

9. Webpack

Webpack is an open-source JavaScript module bundler. It is made primarily for JavaScript, but it can transform front-end assets such as HTML, CSS, and images if the corresponding loaders are included. Webpack takes modules with dependencies and generates static assets representing those modules.

Open source: Yes
Github repo


APIs

10. Postman

Postman makes API development easy. The platform offers the tools to simplify each step of the API building process and streamlines collaboration so you can create better APIs faster.


CI/CD

11. Github Actions

GitHub Actions makes it easy to automate all your software workflows, now with world-class CI/CD. Build, test, and deploy your code right from GitHub.


Hosting

12. Vercel

Deploy web projects with the best frontend developer experience and highest end-user performance.

13. Netlify

Deploy modern static websites with Netlify. Get CDN, Continuous deployment, 1-click HTTPS, and all the services you need. Get started for free.

14. Portainer

Portainer makes managing containerized software environments quick and easy by giving users a simple 'click-to-configure' UI that anyone can learn.


Performance

15. Screaming frog

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler that helps you improve onsite SEO, by extracting data & auditing for common SEO issues. The SEO Spider is really powerful, able to crawl both small and very large websites efficiently while allowing you to analyze the results in real-time. It gathers key onsite data to allow SEOs to make informed decisions. It runs locally too and is pretty performant. This tool can do a lot more than I've described, and I advise you to give it a go.


DevRel

16. Orbit

Orbit is the community experience platform for developers, helping organizations build enthusiastic communities of technology adopters. We've recently started using Orbit and it is very early in its journey but the signs of a great platform are there. I'm excited to see where this goes.

17. Github Discussions

Github Discussions is currently in beta. We've been using it at Budibase for a few months now and it's been great. Our community is loving it too. It's nice to have an open-source community so close to the code and roadmap.


Terminal

18. Oh my zsh

Oh My Zsh is a delightful, open-source, community-driven framework for managing your Zsh configuration. It comes bundled with thousands of helpful functions, helpers, plugins, and themes. This developer tool is loved and hugely popular amongst our devs.

Open source: Yes
Github repo

19. Guake

Guake is a top-down terminal for Gnome, and is highly inspired by the famous terminal used in Quake. You can instantaneously show and hide your terminal with a single keystroke, execute a command, and then go back to your previous task without breaking your workflow. It's a really nice experience and another terminal which is popular amongst the Budibase devs.

Open source: Yes
Github repo


Content

20. Dev.to

What more can I say, what a great platform for sharing technical information with like-minded individuals. The community is one of the most inviting, helpful, and knowledgeable on the internet. Huge fan - well done Dev.to!


And that's the wrap folks. I hope you enjoyed the list, and please let me know in the comments if I have missed any awesome tools. Thank you, and have a great day!

Joe

Discussion

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liyasthomas profile image
Liyas Thomas

Since you mentioned API testing tools, I'd like to add Hoppscotch to the list. Hoppscotch is an open sourced, free, fast and beautiful API request builder used by 100k+ developers.

hoppscotch.io

GitHub logo hoppscotch / hoppscotch

πŸ‘½ A free, fast and beautiful API request builder used by 100k+ developers. https://hoppscotch.io

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Shashwat Mishra

I prefer Insomnia over postman for API testing. Insomnia is a great tool and they have an API design tool also.

insomnia.rest

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Budibase Author

I am so, so busy, but I just can't help try out new tools! Thanks!

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Budibase Author

This looks awesome! Also, the readme is a pleasure to read.

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liyasthomas profile image
Liyas Thomas

Thanks. πŸ’š

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gwsounddsg profile image
GW

Just checked out Figma, and I'm excited to try it out.

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braydentw profile image
Brayden W ⚑️

It’s awesome. I used to use Adobe XD, but Figma was 10x better IMO

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sriveera profile image
Veera Srivastava (she/her)

Figma is Adobe XD + much more! You'll πŸ’— it! πŸ˜€

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Budibase Author

It's awesome. Inspiration to all of us creators!

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Dwight Horert

Hello. What do you think about Wix? Is this really good tool? For example for people who don't have good coding skills. I read on fortunelords.com/wix-pricing/ about pricing and I think these offers are really profitable.

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Javed Shaikh

Great list.. thanks for sharing πŸ‘πŸ½

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Bala Hantsi πŸ‡³πŸ‡¬

I love the last part of this post

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CodersRank

Awesome list! We use most of these. Best of luck to Budibase :)

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budibase profile image
Budibase Author

Thanks! It's great to hear you are using most of them!

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khush31 profile image
khush

Informative πŸ‘

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feryardiant profile image
Fery Wardiyanto

I believe it's worth to mention tableplus.io in the Database section of this article. It's fast, intuitive, and available for Mac, Windows and Linux, moreover it's free (with some limitations of course) πŸ˜‰

Anyway, great article.

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Kartik Arora

I was looking for a tool something similar to Postico. Can't wait to use it.

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Budibase Author

It's incredible. Let me know how it goes.

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Michael Drury

Love Guake couldn't live without!

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leos1113 profile image
Leos1113

As a bundler there are esbuild, it's extremely fast written in go.

github.com/evanw/esbuild