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4 developer tools to keep you productive

Apr 24 '15

Since starting at Third & Grove, I have worked with Drupal, Wordpress, Java, Android, Node.js, and Laravel. Jumping around and working on so many different projects has been a great learning experience, and it has really made me appreciate the developer tools that I use to get things done.

The Eclipse Platform

Rather than jump into the holy war that is Vim vs Emacs, I primarily use Eclipse (with the Aptana plugin) as my primary IDE and text editor. Why? Because it works and I’m used to it. What I like about Eclipse is that I can work in Java and get all of helpful hints and class definitions from the context menus. After that, I can start working in PHP, and still have the same luxuries. Best of all is that my key commands are the same, syntax highlighting and error detection is consistent, and it has an integrated terminal. (

developer tools eclipse spectacle

Vagrant Manager

Most, if not all, of the developers at Third & Grove use Vagrant in order to spin up a development environment. Vagrant has really shaped the way I do web development.

Vagrant Manager is a nice little developer tool that sits on top of Vagrant and keeps track of all of your Vagrant boxes. It comes with a nice little menu that sits in your system tray and shows you which instances are running, and the others that are not. Additionally, it comes with options to start and stop those instances with a click of the mouse. This saves me time as I don't have to hunt down the directory of the Vagrant file for the project I need to work on. I can just start working. (

Developer tools vagrant manager


Developer tools spectacles halfSpectacle

Although its not really a developer tool, I would hate to go a day with out using Spectacle. Spectacle allows you to resize and manipulate your windows via customizable key commands. I use it in order to split my windows so that I can always see the documentation of the code I’m working with on screen at the same time. Rather than switching windows, I can just glance to one side of my screen, and generally have what I’m looking for. (


Sometimes the terminal within my IDE is not enough. I may need to open another to modify my hosts file, or to recompile some CSS whenever a change is made. I like to use iTerm because it supports tabs. I can have all of the shells I need for a given project grouped together in a single window. (

Developer tools iTerm