The Best Tools for Lazy (but Successful) Developers

Productive and lazy can be used in the same sentence. Today, our guest blogger, Tom Jager explains why lazy developers are successful with the right tools.

Last Updated: July 11th, 2018 • Develop •
Person sitting on a couch with a laptop

Laziness is a desirable trait for software developers, and they admit so themselves. For example, Philipp Lenssen, a well-known German-born developer who ran a successful blog Google Blogoscoped, once wrote:

"Only lazy programmers will want to write the kind of tools that might replace them in the end. Only a lazy programmer will avoid monotonous, repetitive code. The tools and processes inspired by laziness speed up production."

In addition to developing tools that help others, each successful developer also has a special kit of must-have tools that allow them to enjoy a little laziness by taking on some of their responsibilities.

In this article, we’re going to review the best tools that you can also add to your own kit.

1. Rescue Time: For Effective Time Management

If you’re not taking advantage of time management apps, you’re definitely missing some great opportunities to improve your daily schedule and free more time for doing other things than work.

Rescue Time is a great option to use. This time management app gives you a clear picture of how you’re using your computer throughout the day, thus helping you to understand your daily habits.

To help you improve your daily routine, the app generates a daily report to show you what things are stealing your precious time. Most users of Rescue Time say they are shocked to discover how much time they waste every day that they could potentially use for something better.

2. LocalStack: For Online Developing and Testing Cloud Apps

The next item on our list is a great local AWS cloud stack that provides an easy-to-use and test framework for developing cloud applications. LocalStack creates a testing environment on your local computer while allowing to maintain the functionality of the real AWS cloud environment.

The free version of LocalStack has core AWS services, community updates, bug fixes, and other helpful functions so you can enjoy cost-effective testing on your local machine for no cost.

3. Topol.io: For Creating Responsive Emails

Email marketing continues to be a big source of revenues for online businesses in 2018, so more and more companies are looking for developers to design responsive emails for their campaigns.

That’s where Topol.io comes in. A visual, drag-and-drop HTML editor for creating such emails has a wide variety of elements to attract the attention of receivers and entice them to click on CTA buttons.

The tool was developed by professional marketers and web designers and provides a number of templates for you to work with (you can also start from scratch). The editor has an intuitive environment, so you’ll be creating beautiful emails in no time.

4. Kur: Descriptive Deep Learning

This is an internal deep learning tool designed for developers looking to get their ideas off the ground more easily. According to the developers of Kur, it allows to design, train, and evaluate deep learning models without ever needing to code, which is something that can accelerate the process of building and training deep learning models.

Collaboration on models and shared learning is also possible with the tool, so anyone interested in getting more knowledge of deep learning can share their models and work with others.

Scott Stephenson, CEO of Deepgram, the company that developed Kur, had this to say about the usefulness of the tool: "You can start with classifying images and end up with self-driving cars. The point is giving someone that first little piece and then people can change the model and make it do something different."

5. UnDraw: Collection of SVG Images

If you’re looking for a great alternative to stock images, you just found one. unDraw is essentially a large online collection of beautiful images that any developer can use free and without attribution to create apps, websites, and other products.

Each of the images has an editable code so you can animate with plain css and change colors to make sure that the image fits your project. Also, you’ll enjoy the fact that you can scale the images on UnDraw without quality change, add own colors, embed codes directly into your html, and use on-the-fly generator to customize main color.

6. Google Fonts: For Beautiful Fonts

This is one of the most valuable resources in terms of web typography. The quality of font selection is unbelievable and you can use them for personal purposes such as formatting a professional essay and commercial purposes such as website fonts.

Since the use of typography as an essential design element is a huge trend in web development now, Google Fonts will be a highly useful tool. Moreover, all fonts are optimized for interfaces, reading on mobile devices, and UI-optimized.

Here are some examples of a beautiful use of Google Fonts from WebpageFX for your inspiration.

7. Castor: For Data Presentation

A useful tool for developers who need to present data on various screens. It provides the tools one needs to present data in a professional and attractive way on any screen, from a tablet to a wall-mounted TV.

Drag-and-drop tools, premade widgets, and many other features allow to edit data easily and quickly.

8. Slack: For Team Programming Assignments

This tool is one the most advanced team collaboration hubs for programmers out there. Organized conversations, searchable history, channel for collaboration, file sharing, voice and video calls, drag-and-drop images, videos, PDFs and other files, feedback, and easy threat management – all of this is possible with Slack.

Programmers who use Slack for team projects also love that it allows integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, SalesForce, and many other apps they use in their work (over 1,000 apps can be connected).

9. Passbolt: for Effective Password Management

According to Q4 2017 Website Security Insider analysis from SiteLock, an average website is attacked 44 times a day, and about 1 percent of all websites out there is hacked every week. A major reason of why a large share of these websites are hacked is a weak (or even not-so-weak password).

Passbolt is a free, open source, self-hosted password manager that protects passwords using the latest technology and is specifically built for teams of developers.

10. Visual Studio Code: for Cross Platform Code Editing

The last item on our list is a go-to code editor of choice for thousands of web developers around the world. The reason why they chose Visual Studio Code is its extensibility, customizability, integrated Git Control, IntelliSense, and many other helpful features, all for free!

Conclusion

As you can see, lazy doesn't have to mean unproductive. Most developers are work-aholics so they don't have to work.

Do you have an tip or trick to make your life easier as a developer? Which tool makes you lazy? Post your comments below and let's discuss.

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Picture of Tom Jager

Tom Jager is a professional blogger. He works at A-writer. He has a degree in Law and English Literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. You can reach him at Google+ or Facebook.

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