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Author's profile photo Brenton OCallaghan

Essential Tools for Developers

Every developer no matter what their speciality has their favourite tools that allow them to work better, work faster or simply just because they like it. I have the pleasure of saying that I am no different. I thought it would be nice to jot down some of the tools that I love to use when sitting down with my coffee and headphones to experiment with the latest in development wizardry.

I want to start off by saying that this is by no means an exhaustive list of my favourite tools but rather the ones that come to mind for me the most. Please feel free to add your own suggestions below in fact I urge you to add more to this list because I love adding to my stock of brilliant utilities that enable me to do my job better J


My first tool is source tree. I fall firmly into the GIT camp rather than the SVN camp and SourceTree is one of the best GIT clients that I have found out there. It is brilliantly simple to use and gives the best overview of the state of your source code compared with all of the other tools I have tried. It is free and cross platform too so this is one for both PC users as well as Mac users.

Sublime Text 22_Sublime.png

This one I cannot take credit for. Last year on the way back from TechEd Madrid I took the bus with DJ Adams and he suggested I try Sublime Text 2 as my text editor. I can honestly say that I have not looked back. It has an excellent and simple UI and can cater for the syntax of most programming languages as well as functioning really well as a distraction-less way of taking notes in meetings.

Fiddler 23_Fiddler.png

This is an interesting one, Fiddler 2 is a web traffic proxy which is great for debugging on your laptop. I have used this quite a bit while doing some performance analysis/tuning on some BPC 7.5 systems. It’s also good for monitoring traffic going in/out of your computer when trying to figure out if your web-apps are behaving themselves.


I don’t mean a coffee but rather a really nifty application I use on my Mac. Are you ever in the middle of doing something and you stop to re-read or concentrate on something for a few minutes and in that time your screen saver starts? Well this little tool is excellent for preventing this. It sits in your tool bar at the top of your screen at all times, tap once to disable computer sleep, tap again to re-enable it – simple, really effective and best of all – free!


This is a no-brainer. Eclipse is right up there as one of the best IDE’s out there. Not to mention that between the SAP Mobility Platform, SAPUI5, Hana Studio and Blackberry I spend quite a bit of my time in Eclipse these days. My only problem with Eclipse is the sheer number of Eclipse installations I have on my laptop but there are worse problems in the world to complain about.


This is more one for a server than your laptop but still worth a mention I think. Automated testing is one of a number of powerful tools I would suggest for any project to bring peace of mind as well as speeding up your building and testing time. Jenkins is an excellent continuous integration server that is very configurable and well worth the time investment to get it up and running.


GIMP is a great free image editor that rivals some commercial products like Photoshop and others. Inevitably during projects you end up wanting to adjust something slightly and paint just does not cut it. I use GIMP for those kind of minor changes and it works really well. It is cross platform and more recent releases have increased its usability quite a bit.

Dropbox/Google Drive or SkyDrive

These three I could not pick a favourite from – it’s great to have cross platform options to keep all your files in sync. I find a sync utility like one of these invaluable for keeping my files in sync across multiple OSs and laptops.


This one is exactly what it says on the tin. Just plain old coffee. Strong in the morning, medium in the middle of the day and either strong again or decaf in the afternoon (depending on your deadlines!).

These are just a few of the many tools I use. My list of favourites changes pretty often as I continue my never-ending search for tools to aid my productivity or just to make my life easier.

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      Author's profile photo Graham Robinson
      Graham Robinson

      Thanks for this Brenton,

      I am a big Sublime Text 2 fan. I would like to mention that Jeff Wray has made his amazing Sublime Text 2 course available at Tuts+ for free. It is a great course - but also shows the power of Sublime Text 2. You can find it at and you can also find it on Youtube.


      Graham Robbo

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Brenton, for this information.  Best Regards, Bibhas Das

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks for sharing. It helps a lot. 🙂