For every serious software development you need tools. Here is a list of tools we use to develop FreeCAD:
Platform independend tools
Great vector drawing programm. Adheres to the SVG standard and is used to draw Icons and Pictures. Get it at www.inkscape.org.
A very good and stable tool to generate source documentation from the .h and .cpp files.
Not much to say about the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Besides it can handle .xpm files which is a very convenient way to handle Icons in QT Programms. XPM is basically C-Code which can be compiled into a programm. Gimp product the free .png format used in the wiki.
Get the GIMP here: www.gimp.org
This is a proprietary git GUI that is very helpful to learn how git works if you're interested in wanting to contribute to FreeCAD. Relevant pages to research:
Tools on Windows
Visual Studio 8 Express
Although VC8 is for C++ development not really a step forward since VisualStudio 6 (IMO a big step back), its a free development system on Windows. For native Win32 applications you need to download the PlatformSDK from M$.
So the Express edition is hard to find. But you might try this link
Is a Open Source tool to record Screencasts (Webcasts). Its a very good tool to create tutorials by recording them. Its far not so boring as writing documentation.
See camstudio.org for details.
A full featured Open Source UML programm. It has a lot of features of the big ones, including reverse engeniering C++ source code....
Download here: staruml.sourceforge.net
Tools on Linux