February '15: Top Developer Tools and Services

Posted on Feb 28, 2015

webdevelopment learning organisation tools browser extensions

Here we are at the last week of February and I haven't done my monthly edition of Top Developer Tools and Services. Shame on me.

I've spent many nights pondering over what I should put on this month's list and what I should omit for another month. I have just this moment decided to limit this edition to browser extensions.

Although I am an Opera/Chrome user I hardly feel it's fair to leave out Firefox users so I will try to post alternatives just for you guys as well.

If I had to pick five extensions I couldn't live without, five extensions to be stuck on an island with, they would be these listed below.

LastPass

LastPass is my life saver for managing passwords.

There are so many websites that require authentication now. To think just one small website that doesn't adhere to modern password hashing practices could lead to you losing your email accounts, spamming your friends on social media and fraudulent purchases seems completely unfair.

For this reason LastPass absolutely has to be on my list.

µBlock/µMatrix

µBlock is a lightweight ad blocker that works really well. I'm really glad this extension came along as I always get confused as to which variation of AdBlock I'm supposed to be using. They all seem to let various ads through anyway.

µBlock is for people that want an ad blocker that just works and µMatrix allows more refined control.

StayFocusd

This little extension pushes me to work on my own projects outside of work - or at least stop me from browsing Reddit all night on my computer.

Jokes aside, I really do see an increase in my productivity in my personal projects thanks to this extension.

JsonView / Var_dumpling

I group these together as they do pretty much the same thing for different languages. JSON viewer for seeing nicely highlighted JSON and var_dumpling for for formatting PHP var_dumps.

Postman

I've mentioned this extension in several articles already and I seriously love it. If you create, maintain or consume API's you need this extension in your life.

Unfortunately, this extension doesn't work with Opera (my current browser) but I love it that much that I will open Chrome just to use it.

Bonus: Opera extension for Chrome

Opera 12 was possibly the best browser of it's time. This browser had functionality that Chrome couldn't dream of and Firefox had half baked extensions for. Then Opera 15 was announced and I was essentially forced to switch to Chrome due to the lack of features.

Don't get me wrong - I actually really like Chrome now. It has some incredible developer tools. But I've always keeped my eye on Opera's development. Recently I decided to make the switch back to Opera (At the time of writing they are now on Opera 27) and quite frankly I couldn't have done it without Download Chrome Extension.

This extension lets you download Chrome extensions from the Chrome store just like you were on Chrome itself! I have only had one issue and that's with Postman App which I now open Chrome to use when I need to.

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