A Critical Tool for Modern Web Development and Debugging
July 19, 2019

A Critical Tool for Modern Web Development and Debugging

Jan Peterson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Chrome DevTools

All of the full stack developers use Dev Tools in Chrome for identifying and diagnosing weird problems with the web sites. We use it to identify where resources are loading from, track down configuration issues, and interpret the performance of loading pages. We also use it to interact directly with the JavaScript console.
  • Being integrated with the browser, DevTools lets me access elements of the loaded page easily and directly. I can see what my page looks like in the browser while I fiddle with various parameters directly in the page through DevTools.
  • DevTools lets me identify all of the artifacts that are loaded by the current page (images, scripts, media, etc.). I can easily determine if some third party package is getting in the way of my own content loading correctly.
  • DevTools gives me direct access to the JavaScript console so I can run JS methods directly. This lets me visibly see how certain interactions can look and feel to the user.
  • The Network tab gives me visibility into what the page is doing "behind the scenes". This is very helpful when working with dynamic content as I can see where and how things are loaded.
  • While Chrome DevTools has a good REST sniffer, allowing me to see REST requests that my web app is making, it does not provide a general interface for constructing REST requests. I would like to see some functionality similar to Postman integrated with DevTools.
  • While the Security tab allows visibility of the certificate associated with the site itself, it could present more information about the certificate and protocols in use. I would like to see full details of the entire certificate chain.
  • Some items (such as Network conditions, Sensors, etc.) in the More Tools menu could be expanded upon.
  • I would like to be able to connect to some external tools. It would be nice, for example, to be able to easily see traceroute (or mtr) output directly in the interface. I realize that some of these capabilities require elevated privileges, but that could probably be worked around be forking off a terminal instance to run the tool with Sudo or something similar.
  • DevTools has streamlined our debugging process when "weird" things happen on our site. We have encountered at least one instance where a third party module caused our main CRM page to fail to load. We were able to quickly identify the problem request using DevTools and mask the offending site with a firewall rule that got our site back in operation for our internal customers quickly (albeit without the third party functionality) until the third party was able to correct the issue with their integration. This allowed us to get our sales organization back in operation quickly, which had a definite impact on our bottom line.
Unable to enter Firefox Developer Tools above, but that was the main alternative. We do still use it on occasion as sometimes things look/work well in Chrome but not in Firefox. In general, however, Chrome DevTools are more commonly used as that is the browser most of our users are familiar with and use.

We do test with BrowserStack, but it is not necessarily a tool that competes directly with DevTools. It does offer some instrumentation and automation that we like.
Given that DevTools is always available, it is well suited to impromptu inspections and investigations. It is less useful for automated testing where running Chrome may be more difficult (in a headless environment, for example). It would be nice to see some type of headless interface to DevTools where it could be accessed via some type of external API.