What software is required vs highly recommended for JavaScript development?

I am understanding that an HTML editor or a GUI like SourceTree are optional, but what do I need in my actual laptop to be a JavaScript developer?

Are Git and Github things you need to install as a desktop app?
If not, how do I play with my code before I push back to a project?

After what is required, I feel a bit a bit overwhelmed by the tools of the trade:

GitHub …again

from my expirience (work in software company, but not developer) most developers use Eclipse IDE or IntelliJ IDEA plus plugins (for Git, DB, documents)

Yes, having been a programmer decades ago I was amazed by the sheer volume of languages, libraries, frameworks, and supporting technologies involved. It can be overwhelming.

In theory you can build your software in a old text editor, like Notepad for Windows or whatever the Apple equivalent is. But there are also lots of free code editors, I’ve been enjoying Atom. Notepad++ is somewhere in between those. There are other good options.

If you’re just doing front end, that would just about do it. If you want backend, you’re going to need to install Node (and may need to for other things). For other languages you may need to download an IDE or two.

Github is pretty important. Yes, there are things to download for that and I find the Git Bash that I downloaded with that good for all the command line things.

But, if I may, I think you’re going about this backwards. Don’t worry about what you’re going to need in the future. Focus on what you’re doing now. You won’t know what you’re going to need in the future until you get there. Just add on what you need as you need it.

I’m guessing from your question that you’re not too deep into this. Are you working on the front end stuff? Maybe experiment with writing some stuff locally. You can use any text editor to create the files and run them in your browser. I also like to remind people that codepen will export your project to a zip that perfectly sets up all the files and directories.

Just take it as it comes. Worry about what’s in front of you. I think if you start worrying about what’s seven steps ahead as well, that you’re going to get even more overwhelmed. Those challenges will still be there when you get there, and you’ll be even better equipped to handle them.


WebStorm is the best IDE for js development imho.

I like that :slight_smile:
Not too deep yet, but I have been blessed with a nonpaid internship to make a few changes to their code. It is JavaScript, they use “things” like GitHub, Mongo (db), Sails, Node.

Talk about BootCamp!!

I imagine I can manage with NotePad ++ but I will not be as efficient, while at the same time, learning to use the editor might slow me down, but possibly a good time investment, no?

I am trying not to go download crazy, but I think I will need a code editor, or can benefit from it, and whatever I need to be able to make a copy of their code, modify it, test it and push it back…

Well congratulations.

Things are going to be stressful and chaotic, but you will come out of there knowing more than when you went in. My advice was based on the idea that you were just working on FCC. I would at least try to get familiar with all those topics, just so you don’t look like an idiot if they start talking about them.

Yeah, Notepad++ is a good basic code editor - nothing too fancy. I’m really enjoying Atom, but I think you have to install Node to get that. The main advantage is that they have a lot of addon packages that make your life a little easier. It’s pretty easy to learn a new editor.

And Github sounds like an important thing. I would hit up youtube and other online tutorials. It’s not too tough - it’s just a few concepts and dealing with a CLI. I might suggest creating some simple repos and practice pushing and pulling and all that. It would be good to get familiar with that as someone could do some real damage by mismanaging that. And it will be useful no matter where you go, including in the FCC stuff later on.

Remember that you are an unpaid intern. As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” In essence you are getting paid, with experience, but also don’t worry if you are not the most productive employee there. Just do your best, ask for help when you need it, and spend some spare time reading and researching.

Let us know how things turn out.

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You need a text editor, an understanding of the command line + a browser. Not much else needed, JS is extremely lightweight. Need to learn to use NPM as you build bigger things and need libraries. Git is very useful going forward, not at all critical while you’re learning.

Side issue, but cos its been mentioned twice: some people seem to like IDEs, but I’ve never actually met anyone professionally who used one for JS. This is bearing in mind I work on a Windows stack, and almost every one of the several hundred devs at the company uses an IDE (VS) for non-js stuff. Imo JS isn’t a language that benefits from an IDE, but maybe it’s people who come from Java, or from college courses that use Java, who’ve already learned to deal with the extra level of complexity an IDE brings? Seems insanely heavyweight, but each to their own I suppose

I highly recommend Visual Studio Code (the standalone editor, not the Visual Studio IDE).

Then install some Quokka plugin and you have real-time JS linting and evaluation of JS expressions, and debugging.

It also has Git built-in. And you can install several available JS autocomplete plugins, syntax highlighting, etc

Thank you Everybody!

I took the plunge and installed VS Code. I am going over a Git Class at Udacity and got to the step where they ask you to select and install a Code editor (Done!)

Thankfully I have worked WITH developers for years now, so I have an overall understanding of branching, merging, commits, code conflict. This way it is not all greek to me, still lots to learn of course, working WITH developers is not the same as being one!

It is stressful and chaotic. But this is good time boxed pressure to learn and hit the floor running. :dragon:

I can do this!!

To all of the people say that slack is required to do web development is full of crap.
There is NO required IDE other than a basic text editor. Notepad.exe or GEdit or Text(whatever it is for Mac)
You don’t need Git or Github. You don’t need Slack [In fact, I’m not sure how Slack (by itself) would even help you with JavaScript development.] Slack is a communication and collaboration tool. Slack is nothing without a community of other people to communicate with. … Now if you’re collaborating with another team… Slack isn’t even required. Some teams use other methods for collaboration and communication.
Do you need to use xyz IDE to work with your code? No.
Are there some good ones out there? Yes.
VS Code: https://code.visualstudio.com/
Sublime: https://www.sublimetext.com/
Atom: https://atom.io/
Brackets: http://brackets.io/

Do you need to install Git on your computer to work with your files on Github? Nope.
You can manage most of your files from the web browser.

Focus on learning the fundamentals of programming and JavaScript.

Do not add a bunch of difficult stuff to your list of things to learn and use… Then try to focus on the fundamentals.

Make stuff easy for yourself at first… Then add complexity.
For most of my time learning HTML and some CSS… I used pencil and paper to write out code. I would then take the paper to the library and type it up during the 1 hour time slot I could use the computer.

All of my learning from freeCodeCamp was done with the freeCodeCamp website editor, www.repl.it , www.pythontutor.com/javascript.html , www.jsfiddle.net/ , http://gist.github.com , github.com (the web interface)

When I write Powershell for my work I use the Windows Powershell ISE.

So, yeah… Don’t focus on the fancy stuff before you learn the basics.


beat me to it. I was going to say you can use Github right in the browser, it’s gotten a lot easier to use in the past year or so (it seems like.)

Also glad you mentioned Sublime editor. I tried a bunch of IDE’s but kept coming back to Sublime editor,…I know it’s not a full blown IDE like Eclipse or something, but it just works and looks good, and it loads fast which is nice.

I started using WebStorm a few years ago and it has only gotten better. It has its own runtime environment and also has debugging for javascript. I cannot stress how awesome of an IDE it is. Once you learn how to use it, you will never go back to a different one. This is what the pros use. https://www.jetbrains.com/webstorm/?fromMenu