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24 Best Software Development Tools for Startups in 2021

Here are our 24 top picks for software development tools for startups and small businesses in 2021. Agile teams will benefit from these virtual solutions.
Table of Content


    In this article, Fred Wilson explores the Best Software Development Tools for Startups in 2021. 


    What Are Software Development Tools?


    Known as either a software development tool or a programming tool, this is a computer program that is used by software developers to support other programs and applications by creating, debugging, maintaining – so on and so forth.


    The term usually is used to refer to fairly simple programs, which together can achieve a task.


    These programs may be executed separately as discrete programs or are an ‘Integrated Development Environment’ (IDE), which is when this program is a part of a single large program.

    Uses of Software Development Tools


    1. Making Program Information Available to Humans


    The high complexity of software makes it difficult to understand a whole program at a glance.


    Programming tools allow software developers to find bugs in the programs they are working on and allows them to avoid creating new bugs when they are extending a program.


    Such tools enable software developers to properly envisage different kinds of information about the program they are working on.


    2. Translation from Human Language to a Computer Language


    Programing tools translate a program from a human-readable source language into a language that can be executed by a computer through a user interface.


    Most Popular Tools Used in Agile Software Development


    To make decisions easy for you, we have curated a list of popular tools used in agile software development and programming tools so you can get an idea of what each of them offers:


    1. Linx


    Linx - software development tool


    Linx is used for APIs, automation, and, application development. It is a low code development platform used to build and automate backend applications as well as web services.


    Linx allows you to simply and swiftly build processes that allow you to control and rewrite data across multiple systems.


    Linx is part of the mainstream when it comes to agile software development tools.



    • Design applications using the prebuilt components to automate workflow
    • Create processes to implement logic, integrations and business rules
    • Visual debugging features
    • Speed up application delivery with the provided programming functions and services
    • Help develop event-triggered apps, database apps and much more



    • IDE desktop designer plan is free
    • Application server plan in $149 per month


    2. Cloud9


    AWS Cloud 9 - best software development tools


    Cloud9 is a software development environment to integrate online. Supporting multiple programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, PHP, and other Cloud9 is a great diverse option for developing software.


    As of 2016, Cloud9 was acquired by Amazon Web Service and has undergone major improvements and offers more opportunities than its starting in 2010.


    Cloud9 is one of the best tools for software developers.



    • Usable for scripting, running and debugging code in the cloud
    • Code together in real-time with the collaborating options
    • Easy to write, run and debug serverless applications
    • Quick to run commands and access AWS services directly
    • A broad selection of run configurations




    3. NetBeans


    NetBeans - web development tool


    NetBeans is an open-source IDE that allows you to develop desktop, mobile, and web applications.


    The tool is written in Java and allows you to quickly and easily create and develop applications.


    NetBeans is our top choice in the drag and drop software development tools category and web developers love it.



    • Tools for JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3
    • Community provided plugins
    • Ability to write bug-free code
    • Fast code editing
    • Supports multiple languages



    • Free



    9 Free Best Code Editors for Windows & Mac In 2021


    4. Atom


    Atom best code editor


    Atom is an all-around text editor and useful software development tools. It is an open-source that can be used and customized to do anything without the added effort of modifying the configuration file.


    Based on its suitability for the development of management tools we’ve included Atom in our software development tools category.



    • Cross-platform editing
    • Smart autocompletion allows for faster coding
    • In-built package manager
    • Comes with 4 UI and 8 syntax themes
    • Easy to customize and style



    • Free


    5. CodeLobster


    CodeLobster - modern software development tool


    CodeLobster is a PHP IDE. The software can be used to develop a web application.


    CodeLobster supports HTML, Twig, CSS, Smarty, and JavaScript. This is one of the favorite tools for JavaScript developers.



    • Simplifies the software development process
    • Supports WordPress, Magneto, Joomla, etc.
    • CSS code inspector
    • PHP debugging facilities
    • Advanced autocomplete options allow for easy coding



    • Free version
    • Professional version for $79.95 per 3 activations
    • Further updates cost $19.95 per year


    6. GitHub




    GitHub is a development and collaboration platform devoted to code. GitHub allows for both code review and code management.


    The software provides the rights tools needed for development jobs and allows users to build applications and software as well as host code, review code, and manage projects. It definitely warrants it’s ranking in our commercial software development tools category.



    • Build, test, deploy and run CI/CD automated the way you want your workflow
    • Development teams from different places can work together to secure the world’s software supply chain
    • Get alerts about your code’s vulnerabilities
    • Automatically update those vulnerabilities
    • Code review



    • Basic plan for free
    • Team plan for $4 per user per month
    • Enterprise plan for $21 per user per month


    7. Codenvy


    codeny web development software


    Codenvy is used to code and debug applications. The software is on a cloud development environment that allows for project sharing and collaboration in real-time.



    • Create workspaces starting with production runtimes
    • Develop with any IDE
    • Collaboration option with your team members
    • Agile-driven



    • Free with 3GB RAM and an additional $10 per GB per month
    • Free for 3 developers and an additional $20 per user per month


    8. Bootstrap




    Bootstrap is a framework for developing CSS, JS, and HTML. With many in-built components, Bootstrap is a great software development tool to easily develop responsive web pages.



    • Use readymade blocks of code
    • An extensive list of components
    • Customizable options



    • Free


    9. Jira




    Jira is popular in the software development industry. This software development tool can be used by agile teams. Agile teams can use this software tool to plan, track, and release the software they develop.



    • Create user issues, plan sprints and distribute tasks among your team
    • Prioritize and communicate with your team about their work
    • Keep up to date and informed
    • Reports on team performance
    • Create workflows
    • Extend the software with apps or integrate apps you already use



    • Free plan
    • Standard plan limited to 11 to 100 users, for $7 per user per month
    • Premium plan limited to 100 users, for $14 per user per month


    Check this out: 

    Top 24 Jira Alternatives for Smarter Project Management in 2021


    10. GitLab


    Gitlab - software development workflow software


    GitLab is a complete DevOps platform. The software allows for project planning, source code management as well as CI/CD and monitoring.


    GitLab claims to be the first single application for the entire DevOps lifecycle.



    • Manage and optimize software delivery with insights into your business performance
    • Planning tools to keep everyone on the same page
    • Create, view and manage code
    • Automatic testing and reporting features
    • Built-in package management allows you to keep a dependable software supply chain
    • Security capabilities
    • Ship code with zero-touch
    • Configure applications and infrastructure
    • Automatically monitor metrics



    • Free plan
    • Starter plan for $4 per user per month
    • Premium plan for $19 per user per month
    • Ultimate plan for $99 per user per month


    11. Zend Studio


    ZendStudio - software development app


    Zend Studio is the next-generation PHP IDE. The software allows for faster coding and easier debugging.


    The software allows users to create apps for boosting the developer’s productivity.


    The tool can be used as a standalone server or in conjunction with the Zend Server for a wholly integrated solution.



    • PHP profiler and debugging
    • Code editor
    • Built-in tools including PHP unit testing and source control
    • Integrate with other software
    • PHP framework supported
    • API integration
    • Cloud deployment


    12. Bitbucket


    bitbucket jira atlassian


    Bitbucket is a tool for version control. It is one tool for all your needs from code to deployment.


    Bitbucket integrates well with Jira, an application we spoke about above which is popular for software development.



    • Code review and collaboration
    • Provide granular access control to your team
    • Integrated CI/CD tools
    • Deployment permissions



    • Free plan
    • Standard plan starting from $3 per user per month
    • Premium plan starting from $6 per user per month


    13. CodeCharge Studio


    Codecharger simple software development platform


    CodeCharge Studio is among software development tools for quick web application development. The software is a web application development and web reporting tool.



    • Pre-built solutions
    • Database to web converter
    • Visual IDE and code generator
    • Web reports, galleries, calendars, charts, Ajax, etc.



    • Prices start from $139.95


    14. Eclipse


    Eclipse - simple software development tool


    Eclipse is a developer workspace server as well as cloud IDE. The software allows a combination of multiple languages and other features with their default packages.



    • Can be used to create web, desktop and cloud IDEs
    • Refactoring, code completion, syntax checking
    • Error debugging
    • Easy to integrate with other frameworks


    15. CloudForge




    CloudForge is a collaborative cloud development platform. CloudForge is a Software as a service or SaaS, which can be used for application development.



    • Version control hosting
    • Ability to collaborate and connect with others
    • Bug and issue tracking options
    • Granular permissions and project access



    • Standard plan for $2 per user per month
    • Professional plan for $10 per user per month


    16. Azure


    Microsoft Azure


    Azure by Microsoft is a software development program for developers to build, deploy, and manage web applications.



    • Supports multiple operating systems
    • Supports multiple languages, frameworks, and devices
    • Detection and mitigation of threats
    • Proactive app management




    17. Spiralogics Application Architecture


    Spiralogics Application Architecture is a software development tool that is cloud-based. It allows you to build applications out-of-box.



    • Access controls and permissions
    • Deployment management
    • No-code
    • Software development
    • Web app development



    • Free trial
    • Price starting from $25 per month per user


    18. Postman




    Postman is a collaboration platform for API development. The software allows you to streamline collaboration and create better APIs faster because of the simpler step by step application.



    • Send REST, GraphQL, SOAP requests
    • Automated testing
    • Generate and publish documentation to make API easier to consume
    • Monitor API performance
    • Collaborate in real-time



    • Free plan
    • Team plan for $15 per user per month
    • Business plan for $30 per user per month
    • Enterprise customizable plan


    19. Axure


    Axure prototyping and developer app


    Next up in the software development tools list is Axure. Axure is used by IT consultants, product managers, and business analysts across the globe. Axure provides features to be able to produce wireframes, create documentation, and prototypes all without code.



    • Generate HTML prototype and share with links
    • Collaboration facilities
    • Create and maintain widget libraries



    • Pro plan for $29 per user per month
    • Team plan for $49 per user per month
    • Customizable enterprise plans


    20. Visual studio


    microsoft visual studio


    Visual Studio is a tool to make app development easy for any platform and language. This software development platform makes it easy to plan, build, and ship software across different platforms.



    • Write code fast
    • Debugging and diagnosis with ease
    • Frequent testing
    • Customizable options
    • Collaborative features



    • Professional plan for $45 per month
    • Enterprise plan for $250 per month


    21. Zapier




    Zapier is a software that allows for fast and automated work in your developer lifecycle. This software allows you to move between web applications automatically allowing you to focus your attention on other work.



    • Create workflows
    • No coding required
    • Integration with other applications



    • Free plan
    • Starter plan for $24.99 per month
    • Professional plan for $61.25 per month
    • Team plan for $373.75 per month
    • Company plan for $748.75 per month


    22. Kotlin




    Kotlin is an open-source project and among well-known software development tools. Kotlin is a modern programming language that allows for ease in a developers’ work.



    • Provide output in optimal size
    • Provide output readable by JavaScript
    • Provide interoperability with existing module systems


    23. HeadSpin


    Headspin software development platform


    HeadSpin is a Connected Intelligence PlatformTM, and one of the first in the world. The platform provides Mobile, Web, Intranet of Things, and 5G solutions.


    The software allows unifying of testing, monitoring, and such functionalities across applications, devices, and even networks.


    HeadSpin allows for optimized connected experiences for development, operations, and product teams alike, thus ensuring digital business success.



    • More than 30 automation frameworks
    • Ability to test in real user conditions
    • Ability to run multiple tests in parallel
    • Intelligent alerting
    • Proactive root cause analysis
    • Remote debugging
    • Locally debugging and code profiling




    24. Buddy


    Buddy software development tool


    A CI/CD tool for web developers Buddy is designed to drop the entry threshold to DevOps.


    The software uses delivery pipelines to build, test, and then deploy code snippets/ apps without any hassle.


    These pipelines are created with over one hundred ready-to-use actions that can be customized according to your liking.



    • Fast configuration
    • Quick deployments based on changesets
    • Supports different languages, frameworks and task managers
    • Ability to support parallelism and YAML configuration
    • Ability to integrate with other software



    • Free plan
    • Pro plan available for $75 per month
    • Hyper plan available for $200 per month
    • Additional cache storage 10GB for $10 per month




    We hope this list helped you to some extent. Don’t forget to match up the software development tools features against whatever your company or project requirements are.


    Often times, the inability to purchase the right program leads to project failure in the long run. As a result, PMs normally don’t admit their mistake; they blame the “recommended” software instead.


    According to Develux,  the software provides the rights tools needed for development jobs and allows users to build applications and software as well as host code, review code, and manage projects. It definitely warrants it’s ranking in our commercial software development tools category.

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