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Top 5 things to get started

syntaxrob profile image syntaxrob ・2 min read

New to development, or are you just thinking about starting out but worried about the costs? This blog outlines what you can get for free to get you started.

1. A text editor

There are dozens of these littered throughout the internet, all with slightly different feature sets, strengths and weaknesses depending on what it is you want to do. I've found that the best all-rounder is VS Code, which covers:

  • a plethora of different languages
  • intelliSense
  • debugging
  • extensions
  • built in git source control Some others worth checking out are Sublime, Atom and NotePad++.

2. An IDE

An IDE, or Integrated Development Environment is the next step on from a text editor and has many more features to aid your development work. Microsoft also offer an excellent IDE in the shape of Visual Studio, which is available for free on a community license for students, open-source contributors, and individuals (The gripping Ts and Cs can be read here). Other mentions are Rider from JetBrains, NetBeans and Eclipse, as well as many others depending on which language you are using.

3. YouTube

As long as your happy with Google pouring more and more ads into youtube creators videos, then this is a place with a wealth of knowledge and information. So far, there hasn't really been much I haven't been able to find out from YouTube. There are plenty of other platforms out there such as Udemy or Pluralsight, but most of their content is paid for.

4. Git and Github (source control)

I promise you, at some point, using Git will save your bacon and once you start using it, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it. So what is it? Git is a distributed version-control system for tracking changes in source code during software development..

Ok, so what does that mean? It means, in short, that if you break your own code you can roll it back to a point when it did work! More on that and how it can help with collaboration another day though, but here's a video by Programming with Mosh on how to get started with Git.

5. Postman

Postman is a great tool for testing out what data you get back from open APIs online or for testing an API you have built yourself.

This might sound daunting to start with, but there are plenty of easy to use free APIs out there you can play with (here are some examples) and learn from. You could make a web app to get the local weather, or the air quality at any given time for a London Tube station.

If there's something missing from this list you think would be useful to you, Google it, it will probably exist! (And if it doesn't, build it)


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