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Computer Programming Tools - Free Software Downloads

The latest tools used to write computer programs are very capable and helpful, allowing you to concentrate on the actual code writing instead of wasting time trying figure out how to use them. If you enjoy computer programming as a career or hobby you have probably played with several tools over the years, some may be listed here, some of the tools listed here you may not have come across. If you are new to programming then maybe you are looking for software to get started, those listed here are worth a look.

Toolbox

Code with Free Computer Programming Software

The number of tools available runs into the hundreds, if not thousands, especially if you include the various types of tools used. The computer programming software listed here are some of the tools found to be useful to design and develop systems and software. This list is mainly for computers running Microsoft Windows because that is the most common business operating system, though some of the tools will also work on MAC or GNU/Linux systems.

Hammer and Spanner

Software Design and Documentation

Unless you are writing critical software (usually for medical, military or large banking operations) spending a lot of time in detailed design is a wasted effort. As a software developer your time is best spent cutting code and shipping the results. That is not to say no thought needs to be given to design. You still need to know what the software needs to do, so ask all the questions needed to get a good view of what is required. Note down the major functionality that must be covered and produce a high level overview and block diagram. Standard office software is fine for capturing requirements and initial designs. Spreadsheets are good for making rough screen layouts. (Spreadsheets are also good for checking the output of some types of algorithms.) The designs will not be set in stone but change as the program develops, any problems encountered are overcome, and feedback from users is taken on board. Concentrate on getting the most important functionality covered first, add less important functionality in later releases.

Free Integrated Development Environments

Long gone are the days of simple text editors and command line compilers. For maximum productivity an Integrated Development Enviroment (IDE) is needed. This allows you to edit code, organise a project, bring up online help and local documentation, compile, run and debug all from one location. There are plenty of choices, here’s a few:

Java

First off you'll need the Java Development Kit (JDK):

Then try the various free IDEs:

C Sharp

The .NET C# compiler comes with Windows. Just grab an IDE to write C# programs:

C

XML

Smartphone, Tablet and Mobile Device Programming

For a list of IDEs for programming mobile devices see the article List of IDEs for Android App Development, Which is Best for You?.

Get Free Components and Code to Help Your Projects

Program Assets, Code Shipping and Management

Most of the time spent on a software project is cutting code and then testing it. Some programs will require additional assets, most commonly images, in some form, to illustrate actions, provide icons or guide users. Other programs will require additional assets such as sounds or videos. The Internet has plenty of assets available.

Free Fonts

Free Assets

Of course there will be times when you need to change an asset grabbed from the Interweb and there are tools available for that.

Media Creation and Editing

Installers for Windows

Once the software has been written and tested you will need to wrap it in an installer to ease distribution.

Website Content Management System

Now put together a web site for your users to find information on your new programme.

Other Utilities

Finally do the house keeping on the code so you do not lose any of the hard work done.

Don’t forget to keep back ups of your work safely tucked away somewhere.

Making Money from the Software You Have Written

See our post App Monetization List of Marketplaces, Advertisers and Others.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the many thousands of software developers all around the world who have made free computer programming software available for all to use for the greater good.

See Also

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