Any developers out there will know that moment when seemingly out of nowhere pops a heavenly solution to a problem you’ve been running into for ages. The feeling of relief is enough, but there are some software discoveries that become such an integral part of your development process, you come to wonder how you ever got by without it. Then there are those gems that just add that little bit of visual flair and usability to your everyday work that makes all the difference to a smooth development process.
For this reason we thought we would share the treasures that we rely on daily at Fiasco. Some you may be familiar with, others might be new to you, but either way share the love and let us know the things you can’t do without.
A super fast FTP client that can handle your files beautifully. Emphasis on beautifully. And fast. Did we mention it was good looking? And has a fantastic auto-upload feature that lets you edit remote files and transfers them automatically as soon as you save them. This one is absolutely invaluable and is easily the best looking ftp we have come across.
This little gem of a software watches your files and updates any changes you make live in your browser window. Not only that, but any changes made are animated in your browser to show clearly the difference in change. There are other services like this one which I cannot vouch for myself. Let us know how they compare.
Recommended by the Twitter Bootstrap team, this nifty software shows an attention to detail that sets it apart from the rest of the text editors out there. With handy tabulated columns visualised down the side and comprehensive colour keys, this software will no doubt save you time and go easy on your eyes for those long nights.
Not so much a piece of software as a browser plugin, the “Inspect Element” feature is now included in most modern browsers including Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Allowing you to pinpoint your class attributes, simply right click on anything and click “inspect element”. Try it on this image. You can edit CSS live (even on someone else’s site!) and watch the changes before your eyes. This feature is a weight off the mind of any developer with an inhumane amount of class and id attributes to remember. There are lots more features to explore too, but Chrome’s pop-put window option stands out the most, whereas Firefox has the sturdiest interface in my eyes.
This plugin will speed up your WordPress development no end and allow you to offer your clients more complex functionality. The Gallery Add-on is an invaluable addition to most sites and puts all other WordPress galleries to shame with a drag and drop interface and is easy to implement. The Repeater add-on is one of those solutions that comes along and makes you feel annoyed you didn’t find it earlier. We should mention too, that there is an attention to design quality here that is unrivaled when it comes to the often murky world of WordPress plugins.
So there you have it, our shortlist of developer gems. Now it’s your turn. What software or plugins have you discovered recently that have saved your coding life? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter or in the comments below.