Useful tools for web development

This time I’m trying something different. I want to talk about some dev tools that I find indispensable in my day-to-day coding tasks:

Vagrant - Helps you spin up different VMs to create isolated dev environments. Definitely worth checking out if you find yourself juggling many different projects at once. (Checkout my two part blog post on how to get started.)

ngrok - Ever found yourself needing to test your local app with external callbacks such as Facebook or Twitter auth? Well this lets you securely expose your localhost to internet traffic to do just that. No need to constantly deploy your app to a staging environment just to test callbacks.

RequestBin - Opposite of ngrok. It lets you quickly test and inspect webhooks or your outgoing HTTP requests to make sure they are formatted correctly before you deploy them to production.

Postman - One of the best Chrome extensions out there for testing and interacting with REST APIs.

ExpanDrive - Elegant solution to mount an external VPS or S3 to your local filesystem. It’s not free but it’s worth it.

HeidiSQL - Most lightweight and fastest SQL client out there. It gets the job done without a lot of fuss.

Notepad++ - I use different IDEs for various projects ranging from Visual Studio to RubyMine but this has been a constant companion for doing quick text manipulations or editing small chunks of code without opening up clunky IDEs.

Awesome Cookie Manager - When testing an app, no need to log out. Just delete the cookie from your browser itself or change it to a certain value to see if your app is responding to it correctly.

smtp4dev or FakeSMTP - These two will help you test emails in your web app without actually sending them out.

JSFiddle - No introduction needed here. If you’ve been developing for a while I’m sure you’ve come across this. Best way to demo your code snippet or get some help fixing a bug.

htacess tester - Name says it all. Quick and easy way to test your .htaccess files to make sure they are working as intended.

RegExr - Beautifully designed online tool to learn, build, & test Regular Expressions with a rich feature set including real time results, sharing, saving, examples library, etc

StackEdit - One of the best markdown editors out there with live previews. Very handy for writing readme files or wikis on GitHub.

explainshell - Found a command but not quite sure what it does? Before executing it, run it through explain shell to make sure it’s doing what you intended it to do.

I would love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite dev tools?

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