I have been hearing great things about Panic’s Coda since it came out, but as a broke college student doing web sites on the side I was put off by the $99 price tag.

Up until now I have been using the fantastic and free Smultron and Cyberduck apps to handle my text editing and file uploading needs.

After starting my first full-time software development job last week, I found myself in need of a solution that would let me edit files directly on a development server.

Connecting to the server via ssh in order to edit files in vi got old fast, so I tried mounting an SFTP volume using macfuse, but found editing files to be slow and occasionally unreliable.

It was then that my employer provided me with a license for Zend Studio and got me thinking about an all-in-one solution. Zend Studio is fine if a bit clunky, but I found myself wishing for features I missed from Xcode and for a more Mac-like experience in general.

Enter Coda, the app that promises “one window web development” and oh my god does it deliver. I won’t go into the complete feature list here, but suffice it to say that I was blown away by how fluid and streamlined my work flow became while using it. The key commands I use in Xcode, cross-file find, fantastic code completion, it’s all there.

I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I fully intend on plunking down my $99 when my two week trial is over. As far as I’m concerned the folks at Panic earned it.