Development Environments


man working at multiple monitors

Application developers use many tools to go from nothing to a working app. One primary tool they use is called an IDE (integrated development environment). An IDE helps a developer rapidly develop the code, test it and debug it. Some are designed as broad-based tools where you can develop on different hardware (PC, Mac, Unix) for many programming languages. Others, like Android Studio, are designed to work on Android apps. If you’re interested indeveloping your own app, you’ll probably want to use an IDE. Following is a list of the most popular IDE packages and a brief description.


NetBeans is a popular IDE which can be installed on Windows, Mac & Unix machines. It is a broad-based IDE supporting many programming languages out of the box. The editor is extensible so additional languages can be supported. A large community of users has created quite a few NetBeans plugins. So if the functionality doesn’t come with it, there may be a plugin for it.

Find out more about NetBeans

Aptana Studio

Aptana is an open source IDE that can be installed on Windows, Mac or Unix machines. It’s a broad-based IDE supporting many programming languages but not as many as NetBeans out of the box. Aptana is a very popular IDE.

Find out more about Aptana

Ninja IDE

Ninja IDE is also an open source IDE and can be installed on Unix, Windows or Mac computers. Ninja IDE supports multiple programming languages and plugins. Ninja is geared to Python developers so it’s not as widely adopted as Aptana or NetBeans.

Learn more about Nina IDE


Komodo IDE

digital devicesKomodo IDE is a commercial IDE that support quite a few programming languages. It can be installed on Mac, Windows and Unix machines. Extensions and Add-Ons are supported by a Firefox system.

Learn more about Komodo IDE


Cloud9 is an online (cloud) IDE that supports numerous programming languages. No installation is necessary since it’s online. You can use whatever device you want to develop. Cloud9 allows you to share your workspace with others.

Learn more about Cloud9


Vagrant is software installed on your local computer that creates virtual development environments. For example, installing Vagrant on your Windows PC will allow you to create a virtual Linux server running PHP, MySQL and a WordPress website. You can configure many different environments. Vagrant can be used on Windows, Linux & Mac computers.

Learn more about Vagrant


VirtualBox is similar to Vagrant in that it creates local environments on your Windows, Mac or Linux machine. It is open source software so it’s free. Like Vagrant it allows you to set up different environments for developing and testing your code.

Learn more about VirtualBox