How to Learn Developer Tools

Mastering developer tools can significantly improve your efficiency and workflow as a programmer. Whether you're learning to use Visual Code Studio, Git, or libraries like React and Node.js, these skills are vital for any serious developer aiming for a long-term career in the field.

Key Insights

  • Developer tools refer to applications and programming frameworks, such as Git, Django, and MongoDB, that enhance a programmer's workflow and efficiency.
  • Learning developer tools can be done via various methods, including books, video tutorials, in-person classes, and online courses, with the choice depending on individual learning styles and preferences.
  • Live training options, either in-person or online, are ideal for students who can commit to regular sessions and appreciate the guidance of live instructors.
  • For those who need more flexibility or are keen on learning a specific skill, on-demand training classes can be a more suitable option.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive live training in developer tools, both in-person and online, providing students with real-time, expert instruction, small class sizes, and free retake opportunities.
  • It is important to note that while most developer tools are open-source and free, some may charge a fee for premium features.

Developer tools are a collection of applications and programming frameworks to improve developer workflow and efficiency. Anyone who regularly works on computer programming projects will want to master these skills to save themselves time and energy. The number of options for learning developer tools might be overwhelming at first glance. There are books, video tutorials, classes, and more to choose from; it all depends on your learning style and personal preferences. 

Here, we’ll discuss the various methods of learning developer tools so you can decide how you’d like to get started.

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?

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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.

In-Person Developer Tools Training

Many find that they prefer in-person training options to online training options. These developer tool classes are taught at dedicated training facilities, and they place students in the classroom with expert instructors who help guide them through learning developer tools, answering their questions, and providing them with assistance in real-time. In addition, students attending these classes will learn alongside a cohort of like-minded colleagues, providing them with valuable networking opportunities. The drawbacks to these classes tend to be restricted to a few locations in the country since they are taught at onsite campuses. While this may not be a huge problem for students living near New York City, Chicago, or San Francisco, some students may find that they only have a few, or even no, options available to them.

Individuals who live in or around the Manhattan area can enroll in an in-person web development course at Noble Desktop’s onsite learning space. These classes are a great way to learn developer tools in a professional, hands-on learning environment for students who can commute to the city. As a bonus, commuters can take advantage of Noble’s state-of-the-art training labs. People who don’t live in or around New York City may wish to explore alternative in-person training options, such as those offered by Ironhack in Miami or Epicodus in the Pacific Northwest.

Live Online Developer Tools Training

Some people may not live near an in-person training site or simply want to learn web development tools without having to leave their homes. These individuals won’t have to give up the ability to learn from experienced instructors thanks to the option to take live online developer tools classes. These classes are taught in real-time by expert instructors, letting students ask questions and receive feedback in real-time, without having to leave their personal workspace. Most live online classes are designed to keep class sizes small and retain most of the benefits of in-person learning. The drawback to these classes is that students miss out on networking opportunities and will be tasked with acquiring, updating, and maintaining their own technology.

Noble Desktop offers all of its classes at its Manhattan campus as live online courses. Class sizes remain small, and the online classes are divorced from the in-person courses, so students aren’t treated as hangers-on. Plus, students enrolled in these courses will still get all the additional benefits from Noble’s classes, including free retake options and one-on-one professional mentorship (in courses that offer it). Anyone interested in learning about other live online training options may use Noble’s Classes Near Me tool to compare the options offered by service providers like Thinkful and Practicum Bootcamp.

Free Online Courses & Tutorials

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.

On-Demand Developer Tools Classes

One of the drawbacks to live training courses is that they require students to attend classes and training sessions regularly. This helps improve learning outcomes, but many students have external work and family obligations that prevent them from attending a scheduled class. These students may want to consider learning developer tools through on-demand developer tool training courses. These classes vary wildly in terms of content and delivery system, but they are all asynchronous courses that let students learn and practice skills at their own pace. Plus, since these courses tend to be more focused on individual skills training than their live counterparts, on-demand courses are a good way to narrow the focus of your training and target specific skills.

The drawback to on-demand courses is that, since they lack a live instructor, students will be on their own when addressing problems and concerns in their training. This can make on-demand courses take longer, especially for students who aren’t able to regularly practice their lessons. While students can overcome this extra burden, it is something that they will want to be aware of before enrolling in an on-demand course. In addition, many developer tools are open source and constantly receiving updates, so even highly reputable on-demand classes may risk falling behind and becoming outdated. You will want to be sure to check that a course isn’t teaching an older version of a software application.

Which Learning Method is Right for Me?

Those who want to learn developer tools will have many options available, which some find to be more intimidating than helpful. Given that there are so many different ways to learn these skills (and there are many different skills to learn), aspiring developers will want to consider the various options available to them. While each student has different learning needs, each kind of course has enough general advantages and drawbacks to help each person make an informed decision about the kind of course they want to enroll in.

Many people prefer live training options since those courses assist students throughout their learning process. These classes pair participants with expert instructors who are present to help by answering their questions and providing them with feedback in real-time. These classes offer hands-on training and a structured learning environment. They are available both online and in-person at dedicated training centers.

In-person training courses let students work directly with their instructors in a classroom alongside a cohort of like-minded students. Some students prefer this structured space because it allows them to learn developer tools with the most direct assistance and the fewest outside distractions. These courses are, however, restricted to specific training facilities, meaning students may be limited in the options available to them.

Live online training courses allow students to learn from anywhere, which can greatly expand the options available to students. In addition, many students find that they can learn skills more effectively on their own devices rather than needing to learn the skills on random computer lab hardware. The drawback here is that students will need to supply and maintain their own hardware and software.

Some students will need the added flexibility afforded by on-demand training courses. These classes let students learn developer tools at their own pace since there is no live component to the classes. Plus, students looking to learn narrow skills, such as training in just GitHub or only Node.js, can look to on-demand classes to target the specific skill they want to learn. These courses tend to force students to rely on outside resources to address concerns and challenges that arise during their training.

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.

Read more about why you should learn developer tools.

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.

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.

Key Insights

  • Developer tools refers to any programming tool that improves the workflow and efficiency of a computer programming. This includes tools like Git and VSC and programming frameworks like Django and MongoDB.
  • There are many different ways for students to learn developer tools and students should evaluate their own needs before choosing a course.
  • Students with the time to attend a regularly scheduled course may find that a course with a live instructor, either in-person or online, is the ideal way to learn a collection of developer tools.
  • Students who need more training flexibility or want to learn a specific skill may want to consider on-demand training classes.
  • Students looking for comprehensive live developer tools training should explore the in-person and online options available through Noble Desktop.

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