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The top tools budding Full Stack Developers should know

6 minute read

A Full Stack Developer is an engineer who works with databases, servers, systems and clients. 

While they carry out tasks for both the front and back ends of a website or application, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re responsible for writing all of a site’s code.

Many spend most of their time in either the front or back end, but have enough knowledge about both to be able to jump in if needed. 

If this is a profession you’re trying to get into, we’ve highlighted below some of the best full stack development tools which can help kickstart your career. 

Top 9 full stack development tools

As a Full Stack Developer, you will undoubtedly explore a wide range of tools and software throughout your career. When you’re just starting out however, you should familiarise yourself with some or all of the platforms mentioned below. 

1) Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS)
Microsoft’s Visual Studio allows users to write code with fewer errors, making it a great tool for those who are new to coding.

IntelliSense code suggestions offer assistance if you get stuck and you can also make quick improvements to your code, thanks to the light bulb feature which suggests actions such as renaming a function or adding a parameter.

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Other benefits of Visual Studio Team Services include: 

  • You can develop apps for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, web and cloud
  • Access to all the tools you need from initial design to final deployment 
  • Quickstart templates enable you to complete projects quickly
  • Improved IntelliSense performance for C++ files. This is a variety of code editing features which provide intelligent code completions based on language semantics and an analysis of your source code. If a language service knows possible completions for example, the IntelliSense suggestions will pop up as you type 
  • It’s easy to test, debug and diagnose 
  • First-class Git experience which enables you to create and clone repos, manage branches and resolve merge conflicts 
  • A huge selection of extensions allow you to add new features and integrate existing tools
  • Paid-for business and enterprise packages are available but for individuals, there are more than enough free tools

2) Visual Studio Code

One of the best pieces of software to start coding is Visual Studio Code. This is a free resource available for Windows, Linux and macOS.

Features include support for debugging, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, code refactoring and embedded Git. 

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Further benefits of Visual Studio Code include:

  • IntelliSense provides smart completions based on variable types, function definitions and imported modules
  • You can debug right from the editor, making print statement debugging a thing of the past
  • Instal extensions to add new languages, debuggers, themes and to connect to additional services
  • Microsoft Azure allows you to deploy and host your React, Angular, Vue, Node and Python sites (with more sites available)
  • It’s free to use

3) Udemy 

One of the most helpful full stack development tools is Udemy. The platform offers online video courses and with more than 130,000 on offer, it boasts the world’s largest selection.

If you’re just starting out, this is a really good way to boost your skillset, expand your knowledge base and ensure your CV looks great. 

A few of the many benefits of Udemy include:

  • Personal learning recommendations – simply answer a few questions and you will be presented with a personalised selection of courses 
  • Suitable for everyone – whether you don’t have any formal qualifications, or you’re looking to top-up or expand your existing knowledge, there are courses to suit all abilities 
  • Search function makes it easy to find what you’re looking for
  • Courses to suit all budgets ranging from £19.99 to £189.99
  • You can complete them online and in your own time, so you can work around existing commitments 

4) Stack Overflow 

Stack Overflow is an open community for anyone that codes. 

You can ask questions and receive responses from professionals and other enthusiast programmers. You can also share knowledge with your co-workers in private and even search for your next dream job. 

This really is a fantastic tool for budding Full Stack Developers because others who are more experienced can resolve issues for you and it also enables you to become part of a strong community where people share projects and help each other. 

Benefits of the site include:

  • Search more than 16.5 million questions or ask your own
  • You can also share your expertise by answering other people’s questions 
  • Search for job vacancies by title, technology stack, salary, location and more
  • It’s free for individuals to use

5) GitHub

The world’s largest and most advanced development platform in the world, GitHub provides hosting for software development and version control.

Offering source code management functionality of Git, plus its own features, it’s easy to see why 56 million developers use this tool.

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  • Collaborative coding allows you to contribute to projects and build a community around your code
  • You can automate everything from CI/CD and testing to planning and issue labelling 
  • Secure code as you write it
  • Can be used on mobile and desktop
  • Learn new skills by completing tasks and projects within the Learning Lab
  • Free basic profile for teams and developers 

6) Codecademy

Codecademy is an interactive platform which offers free coding classes. The step-by-step tutorials cover a range of topics from building websites to analysing data and are suitable for all experience levels.

  • Classes are available in 12 different programming languages including Java, JavaScript, Python, SQL, Ruby and C++
  • Your code is tested as soon as you submit it, so you know if you’re on the right track
  • You can apply your learning to real-world projects and test your knowledge with tailor-made quizzes
  • If you’re not sure where to begin, a handy quiz will help you decide
  • Basic accounts are free. If you decide to upgrade however, students receive a special discount

7) LeetCode

LeetCode is a fantastic website which is primarily designed to help candidates prepare for technical job interviews.

With nearly 2,000 questions for you to practice, as well as perfecting your interview technique, it’s a great platform for enhancing your coding skills.

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Other benefits of the site include:

  • It supports 14 popular coding languages
  • Users have gone on to secure jobs at top companies including Facebook, Apple, Uber, Amazon and Intel
  • Advice for preparing for interviews at specific companies (you need to upgrade to Premium for access to this)
  • Monthly or yearly payment plans are available if you upgrade to Premium
  • Take part in challenges which are a fun way to expand your skills and knowledge 

9) YouTube

YouTube is a great resource if you’re looking for additional support as a Full Stack Developer. This is especially the case if you need answers quickly and don’t have time to spend hours listening to a course.

Simply type your query into the YouTube search and a huge amount of information, explanations and demonstrations will come up.  

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A quick search online will reveal that there’s a strong knowledge sharing community within Full Stack Development. If you do decide to go down this career path, there will be no shortage of online help and support. 

As well as these nine fantastic full stack development tools, you can also have a read of our blog, ‘How to become a Full Stack Developer.’

Feeling inspired? Find out more about starting a career in Full Stack Development by listening to our THIS IS HOW podcast, where we chat to Laila Katumba, Full Stack Developer at AllSaints.