Top 10 Essential Tools Every Java Developers Should Know. A developer is only as good as their tools.
Hello, folks! We are already in the second month of 2019, and I am sure all of you have already made your goals about what to learn in 2019 and how to achieve them. I have been writing a series of articles to give you some ideas about the things you can learn and improve upon to become a better, well-rounded developer in 2019, learning new programming languages, frameworks, and libraries. These three things are extremely important to help you become a better Java developer, but as a wise person once said, “you are only as good as your tools.” You should also look to upgrade your tools, learn new tools, and improve your understanding of old tolls that are still working well.
To help you with what tools you can learn in 2019, I have come up with this list of 10 essential tools for Java developers thatI am going to share with you guys in this article. In the past, I have shared some useful testing tools for Java programmers, and this article is an extension of that, as it covers much more than automation testing tools.
The tools we will discuss include essential coding tools like IDEs, Project Management tools, including JIRA, source-control essentials like Git, and build tools like Maven and Gradle. There is a good chance that you are already familiar with some of these tools, and in that case, you can simply ignore them or further improve your understanding of them.
These are the essential tools for a Java developer in 2019; many companies expect that you already know these tools and they often screen your resume to find references to these tools. Most employers will even ignore your resume if you forget to include your experience and knowledge of these tools.
Lastly, this is my second list of tools for Java developers. Last year, I shared the top 10 tools used by Java programmers in their day-to-day life. If you need more tools, you can refer to that article to get more ideas.
When I say essential tools, I mean something that you must know, but the list also contains some tools that are more advanced, and even if you don’t know them well, knowing them will further enhance your reputation, make you more valuable, and possibly advance your career, particularly if you are looking to become a DevOps engineer.
I have tried to include tools from code repository, project planning, build and deployment, testing automation, and infrastructure automation. As a senior Java developer who is responsible for managing the project end to end, these tools will help you to do your job more effectively.
Anyway, without any further ado, let’s look at some of the essential tools for Java programmers.
I think Git and GitHub should be the most essential tools that all Java programmers learn and master. I know many of you already know Git, but those who are still working in SVN and CVS seriously consider learning Git and GitHub this year.
There is no way you can avoid Git anymore, even if you don’t use it in your current project. It has become a standard for source code repository and the newest development is using Git.
If you are a beginner, I suggest you check out the GitHub Ultimate course to start with. Even if you know Git, you can still learn things, e.g. the Git command line, to further improve your knowledge. All the time and money you invest in learning Git will pay off in the long run.
After Git, I think JIRA is the second most important tool for any Java developer or, say, any programmer out there. It has quickly become the #1 planning and bug tracking tool for many organizations.
If you are working on an Agile team, following Sprint schedules, and attending Scrum meetings, then JIRA is even more important. With all its capabilities to support Agile methodologies, its a must-know tool for Agile teams.
You can even impress your manager and colleague by knowing JIRA in-depth. You can help your team to create Sprint dashboard. If you are serious about learning JIRA, check out this course Learn JIRA with real-world examples to get you started.
This is another essential tool for Java programmers, which helps you build and manage your Java projects. It’s been there for quite some time, and there’s a good chance that you may have already heard about Maven.
It not only helps you build your project, e.g. compile source files, but it can also run your unit tests and deploy your artifacts or deliverables to live environments. It also helps with managing dependencies, e.g. all third-party JAR files you use in your projects.
Jenkins is another essential tool for Java developers, particularly those who are hoping to become a DevOps professional. This is a continuous integration tool, which means it can continuously build, test, and deploy your projects.
In our case, Jenkins automatically runs the build every time someone checks in to their code. IT also has a scheduled nightly and hourly build to automatically build and test our project.
If you are a senior Java developer, e.g. someone with more than 5 years of experience, and you don’t know Jenkins, then you should seriously consider learning it. If you decide to learn Jenkins, the Learn DevOps: Jenkins CI/CD with Docker is a fantastic course to start with.
It provides a playback tool for authoring tests without the need to learn a test scripting language. It’s becoming very popular nowadays, and that’s why learning it will not only help you write better code but can make you more valuable.
Docker is a tool that allows users to quickly assemble apps from components and work collaboratively. If you are working on web development, e.g. developing and deploying applications on the cloud, then Docker is an essential tool to learn.
This is appropriate for managing containers of an app as a single group and clustering an application’s containers to optimize resources and provide high availability. If you are serious about learning Docker, then I suggest you first go through this Docker and Kubernetes Complete Guide before using it in your project.
This is another important build tool for Java developers. Similar to Maven, it also helps you to build, test, and deploy projects. It also manages dependencies, like Maven does, but it uses Groovy to write build script, as compared to XML, which is used by Maven.
This means you can write more powerful and cleaner build scripts than Maven.
This is another useful monitoring tool that many companies are introducing in their development life-cycle. This is meant to help you write better code by indexing your log files and using machine learning to analyze the content.
It turns machine data into answers with the leading platform to tackle the toughest IT, IoT, and security challenges.
Many companies are using Splunk to search, monitor, analyze, and visualize machine data.
This is another great tool for infrastructure automation to build a new server and install your application. The chef is a configuration management tool written in Ruby and Erlang.
It uses a pure-Ruby, domain-specific language for writing system configuration “recipes.” With Chef, you can manage servers with a large number of serves easily.
Time-consuming activities like manual patching, configuration updates, and service installations for every server can all be automated. In short, this is a good tool for both senior Java developers responsible for managing their environments and DevOps engineers.
Finally, the most important tool for a Java developer is an IDE. I am sure you have already used an IDE, as I hardly know a Java developer who doesn’t use an IDE, but most users just learn one IDE, like Eclipse or NetBeans, and simply ignore others.
The IntelliJ IDEA is one of them, which is ignored by many Java developers who use Eclipse, but it offers a lot more, and you can learn it to further improve your productivity if you happen to know Eclipse already.
I have generally found that many complex projects are better to work on in IntelliJ IDEA; their Java 8 support is also much better than Eclipse.
That’s all for now on some of the most useful tools Java developers can learn and master in 2019 to make themselves more valuable and improve their productivity. As the saying goes, “you are only as good as your tools,” it becomes increasingly important for Java developers to get familiar with modern tools that can improve coding, unit testing, development, deployment, infrastructure automation, and continuous integration, especially if you want to become a DevOps Engineer.
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