Lateley, I’ve been looking for new coding tools, because I switch between front end and back end regularly. Previously, I had been using Eclipse with various plugins, and also Zend Studio (based on Eclipse).  While both of them are quite good, there were a few things that I wanted that they didn’t have, so I went on the search for other tools.  The first I downloaded was PHPStorm, which handles PHP and JavaScript equally well, and was pretty happy with it – as I am with most JetBrains tools.

In the end, though, I ended up choosing the Atom editor from GitHub because it’s free.  I don’t mind paying for software, and I would definitely recommend both PHPStorm and Zend Studio if you want a quality IDE for a decent price.

I know Atom is not an actual IDE, just a coding tool with a crazy amount of plugins that I can add to suit my needs.  But when it comes to JavaScript, my IDE is generally the developer tools tab in Chrome, and when it comes to PHP, my framework provides enough error logging and notification; I also received a free Zend Server developer license because I got certified as a ZCE, and I primarily use the Z-Ray toolbar for debugging (for a free version of something similar, and with considerably fewer features, you might try the PHP Debug Bar).

So far, I’m quite pleased with the Atom editor.  If I find any glaring limitations at some point, I’ll update this post.

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