However, using something just a little fancier for writing code or markup is really worth it. You can find decent free or low-cost options without too much trouble. There are even some in-browser web page development options.
Generally, this refers to one of the big 4, although there are others available.
- Google Chrome
- Apple Safari
- Microsoft Edge/Internet Explorer
I tend to primarily work in Chrome, but when testing I do open the others. There are services like Browser Stack that can offer you virtual testing environments with not only the different browsers but also different versions of those browsers.
Sure you can just type in plain text, but it’s nice to get a little help and color coding along with some auto-completion to get the job done a little faster and more accurately.
I’ve really been enjoying Sublime Text. It does cost $80, but technically the evaluation version doesn’t expire. I really get a lot of use out of it and was happy to support them by purchasing my license which I can use on as many machines as I’d like.
Code Anywhere is also pretty interesting as it gives you a coding environment as a web app, iOS, and Android.
You can find oodles of content on the web for describing how all this works. Here are a few I tend to reference quite a lot.
- W3 Schools – https://www.w3schools.com/
- Stack Overflow = https://stackoverflow.com/
- Mozilla – https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/
Asking Good Questions
Asking good questions is a skill you develop as you proceed down the path of programming. I’m constantly having a conversation with myself asking questions in my head as I proceed down a programming path.
When I run into a problem, I know it is likely someone else has already run into it and has written something about it. Asking a good question in a search will get you to your answer faster. Restructuring your question, taking out details, adding in details, pasting the error directly into the search, these are all ways to dive in and research the best answer for your problem at present.
Getting started with all of this isn’t a huge deal. Really it’s just about asking good questions and spending your time reviewing the details.