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About Lukas Eder

Lukas is a Java and SQL enthusiast developer. He created the Data Geekery GmbH. He is the creator of jOOQ, a comprehensive SQL library for Java, and he is blogging mostly about these three topics: Java, SQL and jOOQ.

The Top 10 Productivity Booster Techs for Programmers

This is the list we’ve all been waiting for. The top 10 productivity booster techs for programmers that – once you’ve started using them – you can never do without them any longer. Here it is:

  1. Git
  2. Before, there were various version control systems. Better ones, worse ones. But somehow they all felt wrong in one way or another. Came along Git (and GitHub, EGit). Once you’re using this miraculous tool, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever meet a better VCS again. You’ve never used Git? Get started with this guide.

  3. Stack Overflow
  4. No kidding. Have you ever googled for anything tech-related back in 2005? Or altavista’d something back in 2000? Or went to FidoNet in search for answers in 1995? It was horrible. The top results always consisted in boring forum discussions with lots of un-experts and script kiddies claiming wrong things. These forums still exist, but they don’t turn up on page 1 of Google search results. Today, any time you search for something, you’ll have 2-3 hits per top 10 from Stack Overflow. And chances are, you’ll look no further because those answers are 80% wonderful! That’s partially because of Stack Overflow’s cunning reputation system, but also partially because of Stack Overflow’s even more cunning SEO rewarding system. (I already got 98 announcer, 19 booster, and 5 publicist badges. Yay). While Stack Overflow allows its more active user to pursue their vanity (see above!), all the other users without any accounts will continue to flock in, finding perfect answers and clicking on very relevant ads. Thumbs up for Stack Overflow and their awesome business model.

  5. Office 365
  6. We’re a small startup. Keeping costs low is of the essence. With Office 365, we only pay around $120 per user for a full-fledged Office 2013 suite, integrated with Microsoft Onedrive, Sharepoint, Exchange, Access, and much more. In other words, we get enterprise-quality office software for the price of what students used to pay, before. And do note, Office 2013 is better than any other Microsoft (or Libre) Office suite before. While not a 100% Programmer thing, it’s still an awesome tool chain for a very competitive price.

  7. IntelliJ
  8. While Eclipse is great (and free), IntelliJ IDEA, and also phpStorm for those unfortunate enough to write PHP are just subtly better in almost every aspect of an IDE. You can try their free community edition any time, but beware, you probably won’t switch back. And then you probably won’t be able to evade the Ultimate edition for long!


  9. PostgreSQL
  10. pg PostgreSQL claims to be the world’s most advanced Open Source database, and we think it’s also one of the most elegant, easy, standards-compliant databases. It is really the one database that makes working with SQL fun. We believe that within a couple of years, there’s a real chance of PostgreSQL not only beating commercial databases in terms of syntax but also in terms of performance. Any time you need a data storage system with a slight preference for SQL-based ones, just make PostgreSQL your default choice. You won’t be missing any feature in that database. Let’s hear it for PostgreSQL.

  11. Java
  12. duke Java is almost 20 years old, but it’s still the #1 or #2 language on the TIOBE index (sharing ranks with C), for very good reasons:

    • It’s robust
    • It’s mature
    • It works everywhere (almost, really too bad it has never succeeded in the browser)
    • It runs on the best platform ever, the JVM
    • It is Open Source
    • It has millions of tools, libraries, extensions, and applications

    While some languages may seem a bit more modern or sexy or geeky, Java has and will always rule them all in terms of popularity. It is a first choice and with Java 8, things have improved even more.

  13. jOOQ
  14. jooq-logo-black-100x80 Now, learning this from the jOOQ blog is really unexpected and a shocker, but we think that jOOQ fits right into this programmer’s must-have top-10 tool chain. Most jOOQ users out there have never returned back to pre-jOOQ tools, as they’ve found writing SQL in Java as simple as never before. Given that we’ve had Java and PostgreSQL before, there’s only this one missing piece gluing the two together in the most sophisticated way. And besides, no one wants to hack around with the JDBC API, these days, do they?

  15. Less CSS
  16. less When you try Less CSS for the first time, you’ll think that  

    Why isn’t CSS itself like this!?

    And you’re right. It feels just like CSS the way it should have always been. All the things that you have always hated about CSS (repetitiveness, verbosity, complexity) are gone. And if you’re using phpStorm or some other JetBrains product (see above), you don’t even have to worry about compiling it to CSS. As an old HTML-table lover who doesn’t care too much about HTML5, layout, and all that, using Less CSS makes me wonder if I should finally dare creating more fancy websites! Never again without Less CSS.

  17. jQuery
  18. jqueryWhat Less CSS is for CSS, jQuery is for JavaScript. Heck, so many junior developers on Stack Overflow don’t even realise that jQuery is just a JavaScript library. They think it is the language, because we’ve grown to use it all over the place. Yes, sometimes, jQuery can be overkill as is indicated by this slightly cynical website: http://vanilla-js.com

    But it helps so much abstracting all the DOM manipulation in a very fluent way. If only all libraries were written this way. Do note that we’ve also published a similar library for Java, in case you’re interested in jQuery-style DOM XML manipulation. Along with Java 8′s new lambda expressions, manipulating the DOM becomes a piece of cake.

  19. C8H10N4O2
  20. 764px-caffeine-svg
    C8H10N4O2 (more commonly known as Caffeine)
    is probably the number one productivity booster for programmers. Some may claim that there’s such a thing like the Ballmer Peak. That might be true, but the Caffeine Peak has been proven times and again. Have Dilbert’s view on the matter: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2006-10-19/

    More productivity boosters

    We’re certainly not the only ones believing that there is such a thing as a programmer-productivity-booster. Enjoy this alternative list by Troy Topnik here for more insight: http://www.activestate.com/blog/2010/03/top-ten-list-productivity-boosters-programmers

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8 years ago

Hi, Im’ not sure using Office 365 is more productive thant Libre Office. Thay have the same functionnalities ;)

Lukas Eder
8 years ago
Reply to  Samir

Same functionality

I’m sure they do my friend, I’m sure they do ;-)

8 years ago

“Java … works everywhere”

If there was an article somewhere that explains how to write a Windows Modern App or native Windows Phone or iOS apps with Java – I would be happy to read it, just post the link. And the JVM being the best platform ever? I lost some of my faith in them after these BIG security problems that this platform had last year.

But anyway: great article, I enjoyed reading it and will recommend it to my co-workers.

Lukas Eder
8 years ago
Reply to  Matthias

“Java … works everywhere” – well, as always, “everywhere” is an approximation ;-)

Every popular platform has security issues. You should judge it by the vendors’ eagerness of fixing, not by the fact that there was an issue.

Jordi Albert
Jordi Albert
8 years ago

Do you think that Office 365 (LibreOffice, or somelse) is for programmers?
Seriously, are you a programmer?
So long…