Learn Developer Tools

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Developer Tools

Developer tools are supplement efficiency tools that computer programmers use to make their lives easier. These include tools like Git and Emmet and programming libraries like Node.js or Django. Each of these tools serves a niche function for making programming more accessible and anyone with professional development aspirations will want to learn some of these tools. In this overview, you’ll learn more about what developer tools are, what they can do, who uses them, and how to learn them so you can determine how to add this skills to your professional toolbox.

Developer tools refers to any application or programming framework designed to make computer programmers more efficient and productive. This includes tools designed to make aspects of the programming process easier, like Git and Emmit, and programming libraries meant to expand the functionality of coding languages, like Node.js and React for JavaScript or Django for Python. If you’ve always wanted to learn developer tools but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn developer tools, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use developer tools.

What are Developer Tools?

Becoming a professional computer programmer takes a lot of training and effort. You’ll need to learn a wide range of programming languages that each serve a niche function in the development process. However, those looking to parlay their development skills into a long-term career will also need to learn how to use standard tools and libraries associated with computer programming to optimize their workflow and ensure that their code is easy to read, edit, and compile. Whether you are learning to use Visual Code Studio to compile your code, Git to archive it, or specific programming libraries like React and Node.js to expand the scope of your projects, learning developer tools is vital to be an efficient and effective computer programmer.

“Developer tools” is a broad category of skills that covers efficiency tools like Git, Emmett, and Visual Code Studio along with programming libraries like React and Django. These categories of tools are designed to help make programming easier and more efficient. Developers are more or less required to know Git since it is a crucial archiving program that is useful for all stages of the development process. Libraries, such as the JavaScript framework Node.js, serve more specific functions (in the case of Node.js, letting applications read JavaScript code outside of a web browser). Students must decide which set of tools will provide the largest return on investment, but learning a collection of different developer tools will significantly improve your job opportunities and code quality.

Read more about what developer tools are and why you should learn them.

What Can You Do with Developer Tools?

Developer tools are primarily used to make the coding and programming process more efficient and optimized for specific tasks. As a result, most of the things you can do with developer tools are focused on improving the things you can do with programming languages like HTML/CSS and JavaScript. For example, Git won’t do much on its own, but when paired with other programming languages, it becomes a powerful tool for documentation and collaboration between multiple developers. Visual Code Studio will help developers compile and debug code far faster than they might otherwise have been able to, which will help them work on more complex projects thanks to automating the basic elements of the process.

On the other hand, learning to use advanced programming frameworks and libraries will vastly expand the things you can do as a programmer. For example, learning Node.js will allow you to develop software applications that read JavaScript code without accessing a web browser. This is a necessary technical skill for building things like streaming service software. It is a vital component of the internet of things technologies that make everything from digital assistants to smart cars possible. Similarly, learning the MERN stack will let users build full-stack frameworks for web applications using only their knowledge of JavaScript.

Careers that Use Developer Tools

Since developer tools like Git, Visual Code Studio, and Emmet are primarily efficiency tools, they are utilized in virtually every field that employs Developers. This includes fields employing Web Developers, Software Engineers, or dedicated JavaScript or Python Developers. Since virtually every field relies on internet and web connectivity to operate at maximum efficiency, skilled developers can find work in almost every field, including private and public-sector work. A few of the positions that will regularly take advantage of developer tools are:

Web Developer: Web Developers are responsible for building and maintaining webpages and other web applications. They will program the client-facing elements of a webpage using languages like HTML/CSS and JavaScript, and they will use tools like Emmet and VCS to optimize the development process. Web Developers may also be tasked with building and maintaining the back-end infrastructure that the webpage runs on using programming languages like Python or specialized JavaScript frameworks like Node.js and Express.js.

JavaScript Developer: Some developers specialize in specific programming languages such as JavaScript. These developers will not only learn how to use efficiency tools like Git and Emmet, but also want to learn specialized JavaScript frameworks like the MERN stack. This collection of libraries (MongoDB, Express.js, React, and Node.js) allow JavaScript Developers to build full-stack applications that handle the front end, back-end, and database aspects of web application using only JavaScript and its associated libraries.

Python Developer: Like JavaScript Developers, Python Developers are programmers who specialize in the Python programming language. Python is a back-end language that is used for organizing, querying, and filtering databases, and it is a vital component of modern data science practices. Not only will Python Developers want to learn how to use tools like Git and VSC, they will also want to learn how to use specialized programming libraries such as Django. The significant difference between Python Developers and JavaScript Developers is that Python is used primarily in data science and machine learning projects. At the same time, JavaScript Developers are more likely to work on web development projects.

Why Learn Developer Tools?

Learning developer tools is an ideal skill for any aspiring computer programmer who wants to make their work either more efficient or more expansive. They will help you in almost every development process. For example: learning Visual Code Studio will make it easier for you to build mundane elements with features like intelligent code completion, syntax highlighting, and direct support for debugging. Git helps students document and archive their code in a collaborative working environment, letting them keep detailed records of their work and the alterations made to their code. Emmet is a software application designed to be a high-speed plug-in for web development projects, making HTML/CSS coding a breeze. Each tool serves a different purpose and lets users work more efficiently on development projects.

Other major developer tools include programming libraries and frameworks that expand on the kinds of work that can be done with any given programming language. These libraries, such as React, Node.js, and Django, can be learned alongside their base language (often JavaScript or Python) to allow developers to build more complex programs. For example, despite JavaScript being primarily a web development language, learning the MERN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, React, and Node.js) will allow web developers to build full-stack digital applications that can run on almost any device or platform. While programmers won’t necessarily be required to learn these tools to work on projects involving JavaScript, learning any one of them is a great way to expand a developer’s career potential.

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How to Learn Developer Tools

Anyone interested in learning web development tools will have several options available. These developer tool training courses will vary in their delivery modes, meaning that aspiring developers can pick and choose the right course from the options at hand. While every student will have different learning goals, the classes tend to have consistent pros and cons based on their delivery method, making it simpler to make more informed decisions about which course is right for them.

Some people prefer live instruction training options, which can be delivered in person at a dedicated training facility or online in a private digital classroom. These courses will put students in direct contact with an expert instructor who is there to guide them through their lessons and provide assistance and feedback in real-time. These courses ensure that students have a support structure in place to help them learn, and provide them with structured, hands-on lessons to keep them on track as they learn real-world applications for their new skills.

In-person training courses provide the benefits of a dedicated learning environment, as students can often take advantage of a service provider's technology labs. In addition, they make it possible to learn alongside a cohort of like-minded colleagues, which many find to be a boon to their learning. These courses are restricted geographically and will require students to budget the extra time and money to commute to a training center. Online courses let participants learn from the comfort of their workspace but can feel more distant, which some students find a drawback. Also, these classes don’t require a commute, but they generally require students to acquire and maintain their hardware and software.

People who need more flexibility in their training may wish to enroll in an on-demand web development course. These classes are asynchronous learning options that will allow students to learn development tools like Git and Emmet at their own pace, which can be important for those with work or family commitments that prevent them from attending a regular training course. These classes have a wide range of content delivery methods and costs, so students will want to be judicious in picking the right course. On the other hand, these courses are also the best way for students to target specific development skills, so a student wanting to learn just Github is likely to benefit from an on-demand course.

Others who aren’t sure they want to enroll in a professional web development course may wish to explore their options for free online training. These classes are designed to introduce people to the basic concepts of web development and the tools utilized to streamline the development process. Anyone interested in the options available for video training will want to visit Noble’s web development playlist for a complete collection of videos covering skills such as Visual Code Studio, GitHub, and JavaScript programming libraries. These training courses won’t replace professional development training, but they are an excellent place to start learning the basics of the programs and libraries that a student wants to master.

Read the full guide on how to learn developer tools.

Free Introductory Developer Tools Course Online 

Those who aren’t ready to dive into a paid web development training course may want to consider exploring their options for free online tutorial courses. These classes will introduce students to the essential elements of web development and guide them through discovering the many different tools they can learn to use. These courses all tend to be pretty cursory, so anyone hoping to learn to use tools like Visual Code Studio or frameworks like React will need additional professional training. Still, these courses are a great way to become more comfortable with the foundational skills that go into professional web development.

Noble Desktop offers a wide array of free online web development courses, including an Intro to Web Development class which provides viewers with an overview of every significant aspect of web development, including the most common tools utilized in the web development process. It delivers a high-level look at all of the different aspects of web development they can expect to cover in an entire course, including programming languages like HTML/CSS and JavaScript, tools such as Git and Visual Code Studio, and libraries such as React. These training resources are a great place for future web development students to get their bearings on the field and since they are taught by the same experienced Noble instructors, they are a great place to prepare for enrolling in a more immersive training program.

Some may also wish to look at the free training options available through service providers such as Coursera or Udemy. These providers, as well as others, offer an array of different introductory training courses. People who are interested in a specific tool or programming language may wish to visit the website where those tools can be acquired since many organizations that maintain those tools also provide users with free lessons on how to use their tool.

Read about more free developer tools videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

It is challenging to discuss the difficulty associated with developer tools because each tool and library has a different difficulty level. For example, learning a distributed version control tool like Git will be relatively easy to learn and use, since its features are lightweight and highly accessible. Learning a full-stack framework like the JavaScript MERN stack will be more difficult because this is a collection of advanced programming libraries. Aspiring web developers are encouraged to explore their options, though none of the tools you can learn are so complex as to be out of reach to intermediate developers, especially those receiving professional skills training.

There are essentially two different types of prerequisites for learning developer tools. There are technically no prerequisites for programming efficiency tools like Git or Visual Code Studio, but learning them won’t accomplish anything if you don’t know how to program code. It doesn’t really matter what specific languages you learn since Git is equally helpful for HTML/CSS and Python users, but you will need a background knowledge of computer programming. For frameworks and libraries such as React and Node.js that are built on top of existing programming languages, those languages are rigid prerequisites for learning the framework. For example, those who want to learn Node.js will have to learn JavaScript, which means they will have to learn HTML/CSS.

Most development tools are open-source, allowing students to use them without paying. This also means that they tend to have vibrant communities that are constantly expanding what the tools are capable of doing in terms of optimizing programmers’ efficiency. Some of these tools may have slight fees for certain premium features (for instance, users hosting massive amounts of data on GitHub may have to pay a small fee, though individuals are unlikely ever to come close to this). Still, for most users, developer tools are entirely free to use.

Read about how difficult it is to learn developer tools.

How Does Learning Developer Tools Compare to Learning How to Code?

Since people who want to use developer tools will necessarily need to learn programming languages, the most common alternative path is to learn additional programming languages, such as JavaScript or Python. Learning programming languages will be more time-consuming than learning developer tools, but they allow you to work on significantly more expansive projects. Students who learn additional programming languages can also learn more specialized programming tools.

For starters, learning programming languages will be a hard requirement for learning any developer tools. However, for many tools, such as Git and Emmit, the language that you learn won’t really matter, so you may instead opt to expand on their programming knowledge before starting to pick up efficiency skills. Students who began by learning HTML/CSS may opt to learn JavaScript or Python. Students who started with Python may want to learn SQL or another database-driven language. Ultimately, it’s a good idea to learn the programming skills you want to use professionally before learning an efficiency tool, even if learning the programming language will be more time-consuming.

Some may also wish to consider learning tools that simplify the design process of building webpages, such as Figma or Adobe XD. These are tools for creating the visual design of a web application and learning to use them is a vital part of the design and development process. However, in professional settings, most projects employ separate designers and developers. These skills are invaluable for developers working on personal projects or who hope to handle all the elements of web development projects at a small firm, but less valuable for students who hope to specialize in the development side of the web design industry.

You can learn more about coding or web design with Noble’s learning resources.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Developer Tools

Future developers interested in learning developer tools will need to be judicious in selecting the kind of course they want to enroll in. While all students' learning goals will be different, as a general rule, the best way to learn developer tools will depend on how many other skills you are hoping to learn and how much prior programming experience you have.

Students who only want to learn a single tool, either because they are pressed for time or because they have a specific professional reason to need to learn, say, Git very quickly, will want to consider enrolling in an on-demand training course or taking advantage of free training resources. These classes can help students focus on the specific skills they need to learn and ensure that they aren’t spending too much time on skills that aren’t immediately necessary to their work.

Anyone who want a comprehensive coverage of developer tools will want to enroll in a focused training bootcamp, such as Noble’s Front End Tools and Portfolio course. These classes are designed with experienced programmers in mind, and emphasize how students can utilize essential development tools to improve their workflow and efficiency. These classes assume a prior knowledge of programming and aim to build upon that knowledge with focused training in a wide range of skills, such as Git, GitHub, Emmet, and Visual Studio Code. 

Those who aren’t yet comfortable with their programming knowledge but still want to become professional software and web developers will want to consider enrolling in a career-focused training program, such as Noble’s Front End Web Development Certificate program. These classes teach how to program web applications in HTML/CSS and JavaScript and then build on those skills by teaching them all of the commonly used tools and frameworks that professional developers use daily. They are ideal for anyone hoping to pursue a new career path.

Learn Developer Tools with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Those who want to optimize their web development skills may consider enrolling in a web development training program offered through Noble Desktop. These classes will teach students how to use these tools to become more efficient and productive programmers. Enrolling in a course through Noble Desktop means you receive expert instruction in real-time, regardless of whether you are taking a course online or in-person at Noble’s Manhattan campus. In either case, class sizes are kept small and students can interact directly with their instructors, making it easy to ensure that they don’t fall behind in their lessons. All students can retake their courses within one calendar year, giving them extra opportunities to train with these development tools. Plus, students who work in-person will be able to take advantage of Noble’s state-of-the-art computer lab.

For those looking to master the crucial tools that web developers use to streamline their work, Noble offers a Front End Tools and Portfolio course that covers all of the most common web development tools professionals utilize in their daily work. This includes Git and Github for documenting and sharing code, Emmet for programming efficiency and shortcutting, and Visual Code Studio for compiling and editing code. These tools will help significantly accelerate a student’s ability to bring projects to completion and are invaluable professional tools. This class assumes a knowledge of HTML/CSS, so you must find other means of training if you need to cover those skills.

If you want a more complete web development training regimen that includes many of these tools and frameworks, you may want to enroll in Noble’s Front End Web Development Certificate program or its Full Stack Web Development Certificate program. These career-focused courses provide training in every step of the development process, from basic coding skills with HTML/CSS to advanced JavaScript training. Along the way, you will learn the tools and techniques, as well as the specific programming libraries, that you will need to start a new career in professional web development. These courses are career-focused training options. In addition to receiving practical training in tools like Git and Visual Code Studio that make professional programmers more efficient,you will also receive professionalization training, such as one-on-one career mentorship and dedicated portfolio-building seminars. They are an ideal place to learn every element of web development and embark on a new career path in this ever-changing industry.

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