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With so many different software development tools available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to create, test, debug, and maintain your software applications but need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different software development tools with various teams and projects, with my picks of the best software development tools.

What are Software Development Tools?

Software development tools are applications and platforms that assist in creating, testing, debugging, and maintaining software. These tools encompass a wide range, including integrated development environments (IDEs), code editors, compilers, debuggers, version control systems, and testing frameworks. They support various tasks in the software development lifecycle, providing functionalities tailored for efficient programming and project management.

The benefits of using software development tools include increased efficiency and productivity in the software development process. They help in improving the quality of code, reducing errors, and streamlining collaboration among development teams. These tools automate repetitive tasks and provide a structured environment for managing complex software projects. They are crucial in maintaining project timelines, facilitating effective communication, and ensuring that software meets the required standards and functionalities.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Software Development Tools

You can use the simple overviews of each tool below to understand how each tool stands out from other software development tools.

Best for managing software development workflows

  • Free trial available
  • From $8/user/month
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Rating: 4.7/5

monday dev is a tool designed to enhance software development workflows. Tailored for development teams, it provides an intuitive platform for managing every aspect of the software development lifecycle, from planning and tracking to execution and delivery.

Why I picked monday dev: monday dev is unique in that it's a tool that focuses on the project and workflow management side of software development. It offers customizable workflows that adapt to various methodologies, including Agile and Scrum. Features such as automated task assignments, sprint planning, and progress tracking allow development teams to maintain visibility into every stage of the project. 

monday dev Standout Features & Integrations

Features include real-time collaboration, visual project tracking, time tracking, workload management, custom dashboards, reporting and analytics, mobile access, timeline view, and dependency tracking.

Integrations include Slack, GitHub, Jira, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Dropbox, Zoom, Trello, and Asana.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Rule-based automation features for repetitive tasks related to development projects
  • Integration with GitHub and Jira for pull request and issue tracking synchronization
  • Highly customizable for different software development stages

Cons:

  • Can't actually create and maintain software within monday dev
  • Most administration and control features limited to enterprise plan

Best for software testing with 24-hour expert monitoring

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 4.8/5

QA Wolf is a comprehensive test automation platform and service designed to enhance the software development process through efficient and reliable testing. It leverages the Playwright framework to automate end-to-end tests for web applications, ensuring that these applications function correctly across various scenarios. 

Why I picked QA Wolf: As a software development tool, QA Wolf offers automated software testing and continuous expert support. The platform integrates seamlessly with CI/CD pipelines, enabling continuous testing with every code change, which is crucial for maintaining application stability. The 24-hour expert monitoring and maintenance service offered by QA Wolf ensures that tests are always up-to-date and accurate, with experts available to address any issues promptly. Additionally, all reported bugs are human-verified for better reliability.

QA Wolf Standout Features & Integrations

Features include real-time bug reporting, customizable test plans, comprehensive test coverage reports, unlimited parallel test runs, and continuous monitoring and maintenance by QA experts.

Integrations include GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, Jenkins, Jira, Asana, Linear, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Azure DevOps, Travis CI, and CircleCI.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Detailed reports
  • Easy direct communication with the QA Wolf team
  • All bugs are human-verified

Cons:

  • Potential scalability limitations
  • Reliance on an external team may not be ideal for teams who want full control

Best for Jira integration & custom views

  • Free plan available
  • From $9/user/month
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Rating: 5/5

Visor is a project management tool that offers a bi-directional integration with Jira, enabling the import of over 75 Jira field types for comprehensive data management and visualization. This capability positions Visor as a top choice for users seeking to create custom views and effectively manage projects within the Jira ecosystem.

Why I picked Visor: I chose Visor after determining its unique ability to provide custom views and robust Jira integration. What makes Visor stand out is its capability to connect with various SaaS applications, allowing for a unified workspace that caters to diverse project management needs. I believe Visor is the best tool for Jira integration and custom views because it not only ensures that data stays in sync with nested Jira information but also supports bi-directional integration, enabling teams to manage and share reports that reflect complex Jira hierarchies effectively.

Visor Standout Features & Integrations

Features include include API, dashboards, data export/data import, data visualization, external integrations, Gantt charts, multi-user, project management, task scheduling/tracking, resource management and third-party plugins/add-ons.

Integrations include Jira, Salesforce, and HubSpot.

Visor starts at $9 per user per month and has a free plan available.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Free plan for 2 workbooks & 5 views each
  • Free unlimited viewer-only accounts
  • Live support via phone & video call

Cons:

  • May cost extra for monthly integration sync credits
  • Unlimited audit trail locked to highest plan

Best for automating build, test, and deployment workflow with secure CI/CD

  • Free forever plans for limited features + 30-day free trial for advanced features
  • Starts at $3.67/user/month
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Rating: 4.7/5

GitHub is a Git repository hosting service that provides web-based coding and collaboration capabilities developers use to build, test, and deploy applications.

Why I picked GitHub: Trusted by millions of users across the globe, GitHub is an outstanding tool that is designed for collaboration. GitHub boosts productivity and offers features for high-quality software development. GitHub’s unlimited repositories, open source community, automation capabilities, and version control system increase developer velocity and help your team to work together efficiently.

GitHub’s built-in security features make the tool stand out. The platform enables you to secure your code in minutes and stay compliant with regulations. With GitHub Actions, you can automate your build, test, and deployment processes with super-secure CI/CD. It has an AI-powered solution, GitHub Copilot, that makes development 55% faster.

GitHub Standout Features and Integrations

Features include collaboration capabilities, built-in security, a complete dev environment, code scanning, workflow automation, unlimited repositories, and version control.

Integrations include Slack, GitKraken, Atom, Disbug, Jira, Azure Boards, Codetree, Nessus, and GitHub Scanner.

GitHub costs $3.67 per user/month and offers a free plan for individuals and organizations.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Large open-source community
  • A wide range of integrations
  • Reliable backup
  • Good collaboration features
  • Great documentation

Cons:

  • Security risks
  • The subscription fee can add up fast
  • A steep learning curve

Best git solution for developers using Jira

  • Free plan (5 users)
  • From $3/user/month
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Rating: 4.4/5

Bitbucket Cloud, optimized for developers using Jira, is the native Git tool in Atlassian’s Open DevOps solution that offers outstanding Jira integration and built-in CI/CD.

Why I picked Bitbucket: Millions of developers build on Bitbucket because of its outstanding capabilities, including ease of collaboration across multiple teams. This powerful Git solution enables you to seamlessly manage your Jira issues using the built-in Jira user interface. As a result, it helps minimize context-switching.

Bitbucket has code review features, which help you find and resolve issues before deploying your software. With the in-built CI/CD and Bitbucket Pipelines, you can increase developer velocity by automating workflows.

Bitbucket Standout Features and Integrations

Features include a built-in Jira interface, code review capabilities, automated deployments, automatic security scans, automated issue tracking, and collaboration capabilities.

Integrations include Jira, IronGit, Makerflow, Mergetastic, Fleep, Atlas Bot, Bucket Board, CircleCI, CloudCannon, and Code Dog.

Bitbucket costs $15/month for 1 - 5 users and offers a freemium plan.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Teams that integrate Jira release faster
  • Flexible pricing
  • Shipping of high-quality codes
  • Ease of collaboration across multiple teams

Cons:

  • The support platform needs to improve response time
  • Users encounter configuration challenges sometimes
  • Lacks some features that top alternatives have

Best low-code software development environment

  • Free trial available
  • Starts from $49/month
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Rating: 4.3/5

Linx is a low-code development platform used by software teams to build and deploy APIs, automation, and other software solutions.

Why I picked Linx: Linx is a top no-code development environment that allows you to build software solutions without requiring code, frameworks, or infrastructure. The platform has built-in tools for the management and monitoring of what you create.

Linx enables you to develop complex applications with smart editors, pre-built templates, and familiar coding concepts. It integrates with any stack. So, you can increase development speed by importing resources from your databases.

Additionally, Linx has outstanding and easy debugging processes and a wide range of plugins. As a result, developers get rid of issues easily and accelerate development with pre-built components.

Linx Standout Features and Integrations

Features include a low-code editor, workflow automation, integrations, built-in management & monitoring, APIs & microservices, pre-built templates, and code debugging.

Integrations include Google Drive, Microsoft Excel, Gmail, GitHub, MySQL, Microsoft Azure, Xero, MongoDB, Adobe Analytics, and Amazon EC2.

Linx’s pricing starts from $49 per month with a free trial.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Works with any stack
  • Smart editors
  • Easy visual debugging
  • Low-code IDE

Cons:

  • Limited pre-built solutions
  • The UI needs some improvements

Best for providing the latest AI models and complete dev tools

  • Free
  • Offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model

Azure, built by MicroSoft, provides innovative software dev tools that help software engineers build future-ready, super-secure cloud solutions.

Why I picked Azure: Microsoft Azure offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, enabling users to only pay for the resources they provision. This flexibility allows you to have better control of your budget. 

Azure integrates with ChatGPT through Azure OpenAI Service. You can use ChatGPT to build smart apps that offer conversational features, like writing assistance, contextual chatbots, summarization capabilities, and coding assistance.

Additionally, Azure provides the latest AI models, helping you to build custom machine learning models. The AI models include complex speech, vision, decision-making, and language models.

Azure Standout Features and Integrations

Features include complete dev tools, AI models, ChatGPT integration, load testing, and a wide range of Azure solutions.

Integrations include AzurePing, Cloud Explorer for Visual Studio, Cloud Combine, SQL Database Migration Wizard, Azure Blob Studio, Microsoft Azure Storage Connected Service, Graphic Engine VSExtension, Docker, and Azure Grid.

Azure offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model and a free account.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • High availability
  • Flexible pricing
  • Scalability
  • Data security

Cons:

  • Requires high-level management and maintenance
  • Needs high-level tech expertise

Best cloud IDE for code debugging

  • Free
  • Customized price upon request

AWS Cloud9, a top integrated development environment (IDE), provides all the tools you need to write, run, and debug your code - using a browser.

Why I picked AWS Cloud9: It offers a complete dev environment, including a code editor, debugger, and terminal. Cloud9 supports popular coding languages, making it easy for users to start projects without the need to install files or run extra configurations. 

AWS Cloud9 is cloud-based. There is no need to install a local IDE. This allows your team members to work from anywhere. Cloud9 enhances collaboration since your teams can work together in real-time. With a few clicks, team members can share the dev environment and stay in touch in real-time with a messaging feature.

You can speed up development with some time-saving features, such as code hinting, step-through debugging, and code completion.

AWS Cloud9 Standout Features and Integrations

Features include a code editor, debugger, support for multiple programming languages, and collaboration in real-time. 

Integrations include DronaHQ, SaaS customer intelligence 360, NewGenEducationApp, Ataccama ONE, Privitar, VidPowr, TouchBase, AWS, Python, and CSS.

AWS Cloud9 offers customized pricing and allows users to get started for free.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Build applications with ease
  • Autocomplete feature
  • Code with browsers - like Google Chrome
  • Comprehensive dev environment
  • Free AWS training

Cons:

  • Constant connection to the internet is required
  • Documentation can be hard to understand
  • It takes time to get used to the interface

Best development environment and app framework for refactoring code

  • Free to use

Apache NetBeans provides a code environment and smart tools for building applications in multiple languages.

Why I picked Apache NetBeans: It has outstanding features that allow you to implement code refactoring easily and highlight source code syntactically and semantically. Apache NetBeans offers wizards, templates, and editors that help speed up development and enable the use of multiple languages. 

Apache NetBeans can be run on OSs that support Java - it’s cross-platform. In other words, it can be installed on popular operating systems like BSD, Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux. Moreover, the concept of Write Once, Run Anywhere applies to the Apache dev environment.

Apache NetBeans Standout Features and Integrations

Features include cross-platform tools, code refactoring, editors, wizards, and templates.

Integrations include DataMelt, CSS, JRebel, Zulu Enterprise, Java, PHP, Payara Enterprise, JavaScript, C++, and XRebel.

Apache NetBeans offers customized pricing upon request.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Cross-platform
  • Great community support
  • Simple user interface
  • Lightweight runtime
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Learning how some features work takes time
  • It’s slow to load sometimes

Best dev environment for fast development of complete enterprise apps

  • Starts from $1,095/developer

App Builder is a low-code platform that helps software teams to build enterprise apps faster using pre-built app templates and drag & drop features.

Why I picked App Builder: It gets rid of the complexity that comes with UI design and streamlines the entire software building process. App Builder makes fast app development possible with high-end tools, including 60+ UI controls.

App Builder allows you to deliver your app 80% faster - using customizable templates and responsive screen layouts. The platform is compatible with popular design tools like Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD. You can import your designs and turn them into an HTML code with a few clicks.

App Builder Standout Features and Integrations

Features include WYSIWYG drag & drop capabilities, pre-built templates and starter layouts, 60+ UI controls, high-speed RAD development, integrations, and real-time source code preview.

Integrations include Fitter, Stacker, GoodBarber, AppSheet, Interfaces by Zapier, Softr, Tadabase, Typebot, Amazon Honeycode, and Kaspr.

App Builder’s pricing starts from $1,095 per developer.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • What you see is what you get
  • Low-code features
  • Production-ready code
  • Fast development

Cons:

  • Not suitable for users that want to improve their coding skills
  • Subscription is expensive

The Best Software Development Tools Summary

Tools Price
monday dev From $8/user/month
QA Wolf Pricing upon request
Visor From $9/user/month
GitHub Starts at $3.67/user/month
Bitbucket From $3/user/month
Linx Starts from $49/month
Azure Offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model
AWS Cloud9 Customized price upon request
Apache NetBeans Free to use
App Builder Starts from $1,095/developer
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

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How I Selected The Best Software Development Tools

Perhaps you're wondering how I selected the best software development tools for this list. To build this top 27 list, I evaluated and compared a wide range of software development tools with positive user ratings.

After determining my long list of top choices, I further honed my list by using the selection criteria below to see how each platform stacked up against the next one. I also drew on my years of software development experience to pinpoint the features that add a lot of value.

Selection Criteria

Here’s a summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best software development tools for this article:

User Interface 

Every tool on this list has a responsive, simple, and intuitive user interface. The tools have well-designed interfaces, making it very easy for new users to navigate. The navigational buttons are super responsive and strategically positioned to aid ease of use. In addition, the interfaces are aesthetically appealing. 

Usability

No matter how powerful a tool is, it won’t be very helpful if users are struggling to apply the features. I picked programming tools that are not sophisticated or too technical to use. 

Developers need tools that streamline coding and make development less cumbersome. As a result, all the tools on the list are simple to use. You don’t need weeks of tutorials to get started. It’s easy to figure out how the tools work and get started with projects.

Software Integrations

Software development is vast and requires the use of many tools & frameworks. One of the challenges developers face is using many tools at the same time. Shuttling between tools is mentally tasking and time-consuming. The solution to this problem is integration. 

Integrating other tools with your major software development program enables you to have access to your toolset from one platform. It gets rid of the need to move from one tool to another when building software. Consequently, I looked out for tools that can be integrated with a wide range of software development programs and productivity tools.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, three important factors were considered: affordability, flexibility, and transparency. As you go through my list of the best 10 software development tools, you are sure to find tools that suit your budget and project.

People Also Ask

Here are a few popular questions answered for your convenience!

Conclusion

If you are looking to build successful, high-performing software, your choice of software development tools plays a vital role. The tool you use significantly determines the quality of the software, how fast you deliver it, and the cost of development.

Settle for a software development tool that has all the capabilities needed for your project. A good tool has a comprehensive dev environment, future-fit technologies, compatibility with multiple OSs, integrations, and more. That said, carefully explore the tools above to find the one that suits your needs and budget.

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Anyalebechi Elisha
By Anyalebechi Elisha

I’m Anyalebechi Elisha, a tech blogger and cybersecurity expert. For more than 3 years, I’ve been researching and writing short-form and long-form articles across many tech niches – with major focus on cybersecuty.