Software Development

10 Must-Have Tools for Software Development content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Are you looking to take your software development productivity to the next level? Then keep reading, as the 10 must-have tools for software development in this guide can help you achieve that goal through enhanced collaboration, automation, project management, monitoring, integrations, and other features.

Jump to:



Software development teams use GitHub for collaboration and storing and tracking code changes. The programming tool tracks code changes through Git, a distributed version control system that allows for code collaboration without overwriting the previous work of team members.

Developers can use GitHub’s issue tracking to track bugs, feature requests, and other code-related issues to stay organized. It has pull requests to ensure any code changes are carefully reviewed before merging with the primary codebase, Wikis to document and share processes, the ability to host code repositories, and discussions to facilitate communication.

The developer tool also features code reviews to pinpoint potential problems and improve quality and codespaces to minimize software installation and onboarding so team members can get started quickly. Lastly, GitHub offers CI/CD capabilities, automation, and integrations with popular third-party developer tools.


Jira Project Management Dashboard

Jira claims to be the number one tool for software development used by Agile teams. The flexible, customizable, and scalable project management software can handle teams of 1-20,000 users through its wide variety of features that start with Scrum and Kanban boards. Templates for DevOps, tracking, Scrum, and Kanban limit onboarding and make it easier to get started, and roadmaps make it easy for teams to stay in sync.

The widely-used developer tool empowers project managers via multiple views, dashboards, reporting, and insights, plus offers time tracking and user workload capabilities to ensure team efficiency. Developers can save time on recurring tasks with Jira’s drag-and-drop automation and enjoy out-of-the-box bug tracking. Other Jira highlights include Open DevOps, custom workflows and fields, and third-party integrations with thousands of popular tools.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is an open-source code editor from Microsoft. Free, fast, and lightweight, the coding tool runs seamlessly on multiple platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux) and is used by developers of all experience levels, from beginner to advanced.

VS Code’s integrated debugger lets you inspect variables in each line of your code. It has live editing to help front-end developers see how code changes impact the UI in real time, plus an IntelliSense feature that offers smart code completion based on function definitions, imported modules, and variable types. Visual Studio Code also offers built-in Git integration that allows for seamless code cloning, committing, pushing, and pulling from GitHub and similar repositories, a marketplace with over 200,000 extensions for ultimate customization, and remote development capabilities.


Jenkins CI/CD tool

Jenkins is a highly-regarded and award-winning open-source automation server that helps developers become more fast, efficient, and productive while reducing errors and improving quality. Known for its flexibility, scalability, and customization, the programmer tool with continuous integration and continuous delivery/deployment (CI/CD) capabilities automates and streamlines software development in several ways.

For starters, developers can automatically integrate code changes on a continuous basis with Jenkins, plus automate building, testing, and deployment to development, staging, and production environments. The programming tool’s distributed architecture boosts performance and scalability, while its flexible and customizable pipelines let developers define their complete delivery workflow with perks like parallel execution, conditional logic, and more.

Reporting is another Jenkins feature, and perhaps its top highlight is a massive, community-built ecosystem featuring over 1,800 plugins for source code management, build management, user interface, and more.


ClickUp Project Management Software Review

ClickUp makes the list of must-have developer tools for its multiple features that help project managers and software development teams stay on the same page. The highly-rated project management software has hundreds of templates to minimize setup time and over 20 views (calendar, board, list, etc.) for visualizing progress in real-time.

Extensive task management (subtasks, epics, sprints, critical path, and milestones) is one of ClickUp’s biggest strengths, and collaboration (comments, chat, whiteboards, notes, email, and proofing) is another area where it truly shines. ClickUp has pre-built and custom automations to save time, ClickApps for added no-code functionality like dependencies and custom fields, time tracking, and real-time reporting. And, if anything is missing out of the box, you can extend ClickUp even more with 1,000 plus integrations.


GitLab project management

GitLab is another CI/CD tool that is a must-have for software development. With it, developers can automate code building, testing, and deployment to enjoy enhanced productivity and quality without sacrificing security.

Flexibility is one of GitLab’s top features, as it works with all of the most popular frameworks and programming languages to fit your team’s precise needs. The programmer tool is not just flexible, though, as it is also secure with its security test reports, dependency and container scanning features, and more.

Developers can save a ton of time with the Auto DevOps feature and its pre-configurations, and they can collaborate through the ChatOps function. The Code Quality feature makes code concise and minimizes maintenance, and the browser and load performance testing features can give developers extra insight into how impactful new code changes may be. You can connect GitLab to external repositories for added convenience, use the programmer tool’s interactive web terminals to debug running jobs, run CI/CD jobs in Docker containers, and much more.

What is the best part of those features listed above? They only describe what Gitlab CI/CD can do, as “GitLab” encompasses an entire Agile-friendly DevSecOps platform with project management capabilities, Scrum and Kanban boards, roadmaps, epics, merge requests, milestones, issue tracking, Wikis, and time tracking.

IntelliJ IDEA

NetBeans IDE for Android

JetBrains released IntelliJ IDEA in 2000 as a programming tool to help Java developers. The integrated development environment now supports various programming languages and boosts developer productivity through many features.

The coding tool’s top feature is its intelligent code assistance. Developers can enjoy increased speed, confidence, and efficiency when coding thanks to its intelligent code completion, automatic refactoring, and more. Customizable live templates are another way IntelliJ IDEA increases coding speed. That is not all that is customizable, though, as developers can tweak the interface with custom themes to get that desired look too.

The Search Everywhere tool helps developers quickly find what they are looking for, as can the Find in Files function. IntelliJ IDEA also offers many integrated tools to make life easier (database tools, terminal, profiler, decompiler, etc.), collaboration (JetBrains Space, Code With Me, etc.), and third-party integrations with popular programmer tools like Gradle, Ant, Maven, Kubernetes, Docker, and others.


Red Hat Ansible is a flexible and customizable open-source automation tool that helps development teams scale and save a ton of time on recurring tasks. It has cross-platform support, configuration management capabilities, and automates application deployment.

Developers can rely on Red Hat Ansible to orchestrate complex workflows, and they can extend the automation tool’s functionality even more with a vast library of community-contributed modules and third-party integrations that include the likes of GitHub, Bitbucket, Jenkins, Travis CI, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

New Relic

New Relic DevOps tools

New Relic is a highly-scalable deployment management DevOps tool that offers real-time application monitoring and analytics. Project managers of software development teams can use the handy tool to spot performance issues before they get out of hand.

New Relic is highlighted by AI-powered anomaly detection. It automatically detects behavior deviations, instantly notifies DevOps teams, and allows them to make quick fixes. The developer tool also offers team collaboration, comprehensive monitoring (network, infrastructure, and browser), and integrates with 600-plus third-party tools.


Dynatrace APM tool

Dynatrace is another DevOps deployment management tool that relies on AI to make developers’ lives easier. Its AIOps feature facilitates time-saving automation via machine learning models, and the developer tool also offers top-notch application performance monitoring, analytics, and reporting.

Other Dynatrace features include application security, distributed tracing, insightful dashboards, and integrations with popular cloud-computing platforms and test automation frameworks.

Final Thoughts on Must-Have Tools for Software Development

Adding just one of the tools listed above to your routine can significantly increase your software development team’s productivity and efficiency. Combine the capabilities of multiple developer tools, and you can get even closer to reaching your full potential.