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Best Tools for Programmers that you (probably) Don’t Know About!

By Nikos Rzewucki, Frontend Developer II

People that work in broadly defined IT, use a bunch of tools everyday to deliver their work easily and quickly. Sometimes, a good tool can save us dozens of hours yearly and an immeasurable amount of energy.

Below you can find a list of a few handy apps, tools & extensions that Kitopians use in their everyday work. Take a moment to browse the following article - there may be a solution that suits your needs 👀

Most of the tools presented are open source or free to use, because, as someone once said, “Free is a very fair price!”

Excalidraw is a Visual Studio Code extension for quick sketching and drawing. It allows you to easily export sketches in a number of formats, including SVG, and add them to the repository so they can be included in your code documentation. You can also use it in your browser.


Shottr is the MacOs app to level up your screenshots. It allows you to annotate, take measurements and pick colors before exporting in various formats. One of the features that will make life easier for web developers and designers is the ability to take scroll screenshots of an entire page. It is very useful when you need to check with your PO/PM, UI/UX or client.


Warp is terminal on steroids for the Mac environment. It gives you all the options that a standard terminal won’t: multi-selection, easy navigation between commands, clear command hints and much more. It also has A. I. - supported natural language processing, which is definitely worth a try.

Developer calls CyberChef a “cyber Swiss army knife”. It easily handles all encoding, decoding, parsing and data processing operations directly from your browser. The usage logic is based on setting a recipe, providing input data and waiting for the result. It's very handy when you need to quickly process a JSON or a text for various purposes.

VisBug is a really interesting browser extension for web designers & developers. It gives you the ability to “live-edit” web pages on production. Theoretically, it gives the same functionality as the browser's built-in DevTools, but way easier. It actually temporarily makes a WYSIWYG editor out of Chrome or Firefox.

Todoist is a simple but powerful to-do list app. A variety of extensions and plugins is what makes it so handy. It is possible to add a task directly from mail client, communicator, or virtual assistant, so you won’t forget a thing anymore. The free version covers most of the features.

If you’re a VS Code user and you don’t know GitLens yet, it's time to change that.

GitLens is super-powerful extension with dozens of features, such as:

  • Git history GUI

  • Compare branches

  • Git blame in the lines and on status bar

  • Interactive rebase tool

And many more! It gives a lot of customization options, so if you don’t like or need some of them you can easily turn them off.

Rectangle is a very helpful app for Mac users with large external screens. It facilitates switching between windows and splits your screen between multiple apps at once. It is also possible to assign a handful of shortcuts or configure areas that set the dimensions of a window when you drag in it.

If you don’t use a password manager yet, you should start right away.

A password manager is an app and a repository where all your passwords, protected with one master password, are stored. As a result, each of your services can have unique and complex passwords that you do not have to remember.

There are a number of free and paid password managers on the market. One of them is Bitwarden. It is free, open source, has a nice UI, and supports all popular OSes.

The free version covers most of the features. The paid has extended U2F with a security key.


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