What Computer Programs Do Software Engineers Use?

Irene Olsen

As a software engineer, it is essential to have the right tools and software programs to make your job efficient and effective. In this article, we will explore some of the most commonly used software programs that software engineers use.

Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)

An Integrated Development Environment or IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities for software development. IDEs are designed to maximize programmer productivity by providing an all-in-one solution for writing, testing, and debugging code.

Some of the popular IDEs used by software engineers are:

  • Visual Studio: This is a Microsoft product that is widely used by developers for building applications for Windows, Android, and iOS platforms. It supports multiple programming languages such as C++, C#, F#, VB.NET, and TypeScript.
  • Eclipse: Eclipse is an open-source IDE that is widely used for Java development but also supports other languages such as C++, Python, and PHP.

    It has a rich set of plug-ins that can be customized based on the developer’s needs.

  • IntelliJ IDEA: IntelliJ IDEA is a Java-based IDE that offers features like code completion, refactoring, and debugging. It also has support for other programming languages like Kotlin, Groovy, Scala, and more.

Version Control Systems (VCS)

A Version Control System or VCS is a tool that helps developers track changes to their code over time. VCS allows multiple developers to work on the same project simultaneously without interfering with each other’s work.

The most commonly used VCS in the industry are:

  • Git: Git is an open-source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. It is widely used in the industry and has a vast community of developers who contribute to its development.
  • Subversion: Subversion is another popular VCS that is widely used in the industry.

    It has a centralized architecture, which means that all changes are made to a central repository.

  • Mercurial: Mercurial is also an open-source distributed version control system similar to Git. It is easy to learn and use, making it an excellent choice for small to medium-sized projects.

Text Editors

A text editor is a program used for writing and editing plain text files. While IDEs come with built-in text editors, some software engineers prefer using standalone text editors for their simplicity and speed.

Some commonly used text editors are:

  • Notepad++: Notepad++ is a free source code editor that supports several programming languages. It has features like syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and macros.
  • Sublime Text: Sublime Text is a popular cross-platform text editor that supports multiple file formats and programming languages.

    It has features like distraction-free mode, split editing, and command palette.

  • Vim: Vim or Vi Improved is an advanced text editor that runs on Linux, macOS, and Windows. Vim offers powerful features like macros, split screens, and plugins for customization.


In conclusion, software engineers use various programs to make their work efficient and effective. Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), Version Control Systems (VCS), and Text Editors are some of the commonly used software programs by developers worldwide.

As a software engineer or developer, it is essential to choose the right tools based on your project’s requirements and your personal preferences.