5 best software development tools in 2021

5 Best Software Development Tools in 2021

Do you have an application or website design in mind and want to bring it to life? Whether you are new to programming or used to create apps, you’ll always need software to help you with your projects.

These tools used by developers are known as Software Development Tools or Software Programming Tools. Developers use tools to create, edit, maintain, support, and debug applications and programs.

Software development tools come in various forms, such as links, compilers, code editor, GUI designer, performance analysis, and more. That’s why, before choosing a development tool, you must determine what your project requires. Choosing the right tool will help increase productivity and create a smooth workflow.

Of the different software development tools used by developers, the code editor is the most ubiquitous and frequently used. It functions to write and edit codes.

Code Editors can either be a standalone application, a web browser, or an integrated development environment (IDE). With hundreds of options to choose from, we have decided to put together a list of the best code editors you can use to create your next big project.

The Best Software Development Tools in 2021

Microsoft Visual Studio

Visual-Studio-Enterprise software development tools

What is Microsoft Visual Studio?

Visual Studio is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) where developers can create, edit, debug, and build codes for their applications or programs. It is rich in features that both experts and beginners will enjoy.

It is more than a standard code editor, as it includes compilers, code completion tools, and other features that ease the work of software developers.

Visual Studio is one of the most popular software development tools used by developers.


Visual Studio has helpful features that developers can utilize for their work. Here are the main elements you can experience when using the software.

  • IntelliSense: It is a set of features that includes code completion, parameter info, quick info, and member lists. It saves time for developers when they are coding. Also, it is flexible with the programming languages that it supports.
  • CodeLens: Locates changes to codes, linked bugs, code review, unit tests, and work items. There is no need to leave the editor to fix some issues with your work.
  • Live Share: Makes collaboration possible as developers can share, edit, and debug all in real-time. It supports any app and programming language.
  • Refactoring: It modifies code to make it easier to maintain. It renames variables, extracts code lines, and changes the order of method parameters without changing the behavior.
  • Code Cleanup: With just a single click, developers can format or clean up their codes based on rules they have set according to the coding standard they follow.
  • Quick Actions: Immediately identifies problems or errors when writing codes. It will show a wavy, red underline. Furthermore, it provides additional information to fix the error.
  • Search Option: With all the menus and tools in Visual Studio, the Search bar makes it easy to find the feature you need and codes at once.
  • Debug: Developers can inspect a bug easily. They can also access codes and debug using any platform or offline. It lets developers pause their programs and check for a bug.
  • Git: It is a version control system default in Visual Studio. Tracks all changes made and revert to a specific version.
  • Deploy on the Cloud: Developers can work on the cloud with Azure integration. It is a safe place to deploy apps or programs and keep customers’ data safe. 

Visual Studio Plans

Visual Studio offers three plans for their latest version: Community, Professional, and Enterprise. They come with a monthly subscription plan or a standalone product.

Aside from the three plans offered, there is the Visual Studio Code. It is a lightweight and free environment for developers to create, edit, debug and perform other simple tasks.

Furthermore, Microsoft has also introduced Visual Studio Online, a browser version of the Visual Studio Code. Sign in to a Visual Studio account using your Microsoft account or your Visual Studio account.

Visual Studio is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Is Visual Studio Free?

Microsoft offers a free Visual Studio called the Visual Studio Code, which has similar features to the Visual Studio software. Their Community plan is also free but with limited features. If you want to get the VS Professional and Enterprise, Microsoft offers a free trial period for each of their plans.

If you are looking for the older version of Visual Studio such as Visual Studio 2017, it is still available. You can get it at a discounted price in our online shop, Softvire.


atom software development tools
Screengrab from Atom’s website.

Another software development tool we would want to include on this list is Atom. It is an open-source text editor maintained by GitHub. It is a desktop application that developers can run on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Developers have the freedom to customize their workspace and packages that are built-in or from a third-party app.


  • Autocomplete: It helps programmers finish tasks or coding by providing the next code it assumes the developer will use. But Atom also offers an autocomplete-plus package to give access to multiple buffered files.
  • Multiple Panes: Allows developers to split the editor pane into horizontal or vertical orientation and work on multiple files at once. There is also the option to automatically close empty panes.
  • Atom Packages: There are about 80 packages offered by Atom. These packages contain content that caters to the specific needs of the developer. The package manager also lets users customize Atom packages without the use of additional tools. By combining the required packages, developers can build a robust IDE with Atom.
  • Customizable: There are several themes available depending on the needs of the developer. Furthermore, developers can customize using CSS, Less, HTML, and JavaScript.
  • Project-driven Organization Model: Developers can open and work on multiple files simultaneously. It accelerates core review and editing of complex projects. All tools and projects are seen in a single window.
  • Search: It helps developers search for the text they need to edit using keyboard shortcuts.

Is Atom for Free?

Atom is an open-source and free web browser available for anyone who wants to create and edit program codes. It can work on OS X, Windows, and Linux.

Adobe Dreamweaver

adobe dreamweaver software development tools

Is it your goal to create a website? Then, having a software program made for complex projects is what you’ll need, such as Adobe Dreamweaver.

Dreamweaver is another cloud-based subscription plan by Adobe that helps web developers build a stunning and highly responsive website.

Best Features of Adobe Dreamweaver

  • Fast and Flexible Coding

Create designs and layouts for websites without taking up too much of your time. Dreamweaver suggests code hints to speed up site development and to minimize errors. It applies to HTML, CSS, and other standard programming languages.

  • Customizable

Developers can customize the way they prefer their workspace of Dreamweaver to look. They can change the menu, fonts, code color, commands, and so on.

  • Simple User Interface

Dreamweaver offers a user interface that is simple and easy to use. There are no complicated features and tools that require a steep learning curve on the part of the user. Plus, it is customizable. Therefore, developers can make every dashboard the way they want for a more efficient workflow.

  • Ready-made Templates

When developers have to work with multiple pages on a website, Dreamweaver offers ready-made templates to reduce the amount of time designing or creating a page. It also comes in handy for amateurs.

  • Build Responsive Websites

With Dreamweaver, developers can seamlessly create or design websites that can fit any device screen. Get real-time changes done on the website before publishing it.

  • Collaboration with Git

Git support provides an easy way to share and collaborate with others. Developers can work together and manage all source codes and other operations on the Git panel.

  • Code Assistant

Developers can build apps and websites with the aid of a dynamic code assistant. It offers quick code suggestions or hints automatically based on its prediction of the developer’s future code. This feature aims to reduce errors and accelerate the coding process.

  • Constant updates

Dreamweaver offers continual updates for users to improve the software, add new features, and give users a better way to build websites and apps.

How Much Does Dreamweaver Cost?

First, Dreamweaver is a subscription-based software. Adobe does not offer a perpetual license for their Dreamweaver product. You can choose to subscribe to the Dreamweaver app alone, which costs $20.99 a month. Or, you can get all the Creative Cloud apps from Adobe for $52.99 a month.

Is There a Free Version?

Adobe offers a free trial of Dreamweaver. It lasts for seven days. Once your free trial is over, it will convert to a paid version.


Dreamweaver works both on Windows and Mac OS. It does not work on mobile devices even though it is cloud-based.

IntelliJ IDEA

intellij IDEA software development tools
Screengrab from IntelliJ IDEA’s website.

Flexible and ergonomic, IntelliJ IDEA is an IDE software made for professional developers. Newbies can use it, but the interface is packed with complex features and options. Hence, it requires time and effort to learn it.

It is integrated with features developers will find versatile to maximize their productivity.

IntelliJ IDEA analyzes codes, enhances productivity by providing coding assistance, quick navigation, refactoring, and more.

What Are The Features of IntelliJ IDEA?

  • Smart Completion

Get the most relevant symbol developers can use in the current context. It provides suggestions that help developers enhance their productivity and workflow. It uses the shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + SPACE.

  • Detects Duplicate Codes

It detects duplicate code fragments and suggests replacement together with what you are currently working on.

  • Quick Fixes

Errors won’t get away, as IntelliJ IDEA inspects and offers quick fixes to mistakes present.

  • Shortcut Commands

With the built-in keyboard shortcuts, developers can create codes rapidly and switch from one tool to another.

  • Inline Debugger

As developers debug their codes, they get to see variable values in the source code. The IDE highlights any variable changes.

  • Understands Multiple Languages

Besides using Java, IntelliJ IDEA can understand other languages such as JavaScript, TypeScript, SQL, Groovy Kotlin, Scala, and more. Furthermore, the use of extra plugins helps in understanding other programming languages used by developers.

  • Integrated with Build Tools

Developers can work with building tools such as Maven, Gradle, Ant, Webpack, and more. These tools are used to automate compilation, running tests, deployment, and more.

Is IntelliJ IDEA Free?

IntelliJ IDEA is available in two editions – Ultimate and Community. The latter is an open-source and free version. Developers who want to learn about IntelliJ IDEA can use the Community version. Meanwhile, the Ultimate version is IntelliJ IDEA’s paid edition that costs $499 a year.

AWS Cloud9

A cloud-based IDE that allows developers to create, write, run, and debug codes. It is packed with tools that support various programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, and more. Since it is cloud-based, users can continue their work anywhere and anytime as long as they have an internet connection. This feature also makes collaboration with your team achievable.

What Are Cloud9’s Features?

  • Friendly Editor

The browser-based editor of AWS gives developers the flexibility to write, run, and debug their work. It is coupled with features such as Code Completion and Code Hinting. Code Completion helps developers create error-free codes and suggests codes for faster writing. Also, users can customize how they want their editor to look and display tools they often use.

  • Built-in Debugger

It takes care of inspecting variables, stepping through codes, and setting breakpoints.

  • Tools for Serverless Deployment

It has tools to build serverless applications, pre-packages with SDKs, and libraries. Furthermore, it supports the Serverless Application Model (SAM) as a simple way to define the resources of developers’ serverless applications.

  • Seamless Collaboration

Work with your team and share your codes in the Cloud9 environment. It lets multiple developers work on a single project and includes a chat box where you can communicate with your team without leaving the software.

  • History

Developers can view the earlier version of their files and revert it to its previous version with the File Revision History feature.

  • Keyboard Shortcuts

It has VIM, Emacs, Sublime, and customizable key bindings, so users can use shortcuts they are used to.

  • Image Editor

AWS Cloud9 has a built-in image editor that can be used to crop, rotate, resize, and flip the image in the browser.

  • Continuous Delivery Toolchain

AWS Cloud9 and AWS CodeStar work together to create a continuous delivery toolchain. It means that developers can write codes faster and deploy them continuously and immediately.

How much does AWS Cloud9 Cost?

aws cloud9 pricing
Screengrab from AWS’s website


Software, application, or web developers need tools to help them create what they have in mind. These software development tools not only allow developers to write. But also has multiple functions that lighten the workload, make collaboration possible, and enhance productivity. Whether you are a novice or an expert, these software development tools may do wonders for you and your team.

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