Top 11 Auxilary Tools for Software Development Teams to Boost Productivity

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Everyone wants to get more done in less time. And when it comes to software development, not only frameworks like Spring or various testing tools can boost your productivity. From automation to reducing friction, many other auxiliary tools can help you create a collaborative environment and enhance productivity. Top 10 Auxilary Tools for Software Development Teams to Boost Productivity - 1Just imagine, when you're working offline, you can grab your team and lock all of your folks in the meeting room once you get a great idea. But what if you are working in a remote development team? Luckily, you can use many collaboration tools to streamline team communication and ensure better time management. Ahead, we have narrowed down the list to the top 11 groups of different productivity tools to improve your performance.

1. Project management tools

There's more to productivity than just coding quicker. Code quality can't be determined by the number of code lines, either. In reality, productivity is ultimately a team effort when it comes to development. The key is to maintain a streamlined process and organization. The best way to achieve that is to use project management tools to track progress. They can help you set goals, keep an eye on each employee's work, generate reports, and perform many other useful functions. It's quite easy to get confused with tons of software products designed for project management. So, what are the key features to look for in project management tools? It's better to consider tools with visuals like graphic dashboards to show how your team is progressing. You can try more sophisticated tools like JIRA if you want to up the ante. It's a powerful development team management software with sheer flexibility and many great options for programmers. For example, it easily integrates with code repositories and Continuous Integration/Continuous deployment tools to automatically track the development of the new code. That said, it works best when backed up with Hipchat (or Slack), and other Atlassian tools. Otherwise, it may not integrate into management workflow that smoothly. Asana is a powerful competitor to JIRA. Though this task manager is not as comprehensive, it's very intuitive and streamlined. For those who don't want to mess up with the manuals and spend pretty much time setting things up, Asana is a great option. Trello is another popular impromptu project management tool with the simplest Kanban board among its main advantages. Take note, it lacks any concept of Sprints and may suffer performance issues when there are more than 100 cards on the same board, but if your team is not that large, Trello will work in a pinch for you. Connecteam is one more all-in-one employee management app worth attention. You can track time with an easy clock in and out features right from a mobile phone, improve payroll, boost timesheets, and easily collaborate with your remote team. Teamwork may also catch your fancy. It's a management tool full of useful features like Kanban boards, ready-made templates, and Gantt charts to make the development process extra simple. Plus, it also allows your team to interact in real-time. Just like Asana, it boasts an easy-to-use interface and doesn't call for lots of on-board training to set up and run. For those who'd like to improve the productivity of a remote team, time tracking and task assignment tools are a must. Basecamp is currently our fave, and that's why it's awesome: It allows you to set to-do lists, create a message board for each team member, enter chat rooms to resolve all work-related issues simultaneously, create customized schedules, store documents and files, build check-in questions to automate all of your stand-up meetings, and many more.

2. Version control tools

Version control is an integral part of a development team's working process. Generally, you can choose between local, centralized, and distributed version control systems to manage changes made to source code over time and keep track of every modification. Simply put, version control tools can rewind time if someone in your team made a mistake and fix that error. Such tools are often platform-agnostic and can be used with almost any operating system. Among the most widely-used version control tools, we can highlight Git, Mercurial, CVS, SVN. Git is the most popular DevOps tool representing a free, open-source version control system used to handle small to large projects. It allows multiple developers to collaborate and supports non-linear development through the thousands of parallel branches. What is GitHub/GitLab/Bitbucket then?

3. Continuous integration tools

GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket are CI (continuous integration) tools allowing developers to work independently on different project features at the same time and then merge them into the single, end product independently. These traditional Git-centric collaboration platforms currently take center stage, and it's easy to see why. Like its core, Git, they manage the versions of source code written in a repository, which makes them powerful tools for writing software together. It's worth emphasizing that GitHub now houses the world's largest open-source community, which on its own is the largest "remote developer team." People there build Bit with people from different continents while getting code, feedback, issues, and contributions from specialists all across the globe. What is Bit? It's a popular platform for teams that build with UI components (can be hosted, updated, and used in different projects by different teams). Anyone can easily add new components and find existing ones to use in their projects. And to streamline the whole process, the platform provides automated API documentation. It even offers you to try each component before using it in your code.

4. Continuous testing tools

Continuous Testing is also a very important process in any project. Its goal is to get feedback on the potential risks associated with any new software release. Development teams typically need to define their tests early, optimize test coverage, run tests, and implement the best practices to achieve the best results. And that's where special CI/CD tools come into play. The brightest examples are JIRA, Selenium, Bamboo, Jenkins, Docker, and Tabnine. The latter tool, Tabnine, is becoming particularly popular right now. It's an AI-driven code completion tool used by over 1 million developers in different programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, Python, C++, TypeScript, PHP, Go, and Rust. And the best part is that Tabnine plugs right into all the most popular IDEs (IntelliJ's suite, Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime, and even Vim).

5. Continuous deployment tools

A continuous deployment (CD) process is needed to estimate whether a change made to the code is correct and stable or not. And CD tools can deftly automate that deployment process, enabling companies to focus on writing code rather than worrying about their infrastructure overhead. Example tools: Jenkins, Bamboo, GitLab.

6. Remote software dev team collaboration tools

Besides the said tools, there are some universal software development collaboration services that allow you to store, edit, and share documents within your team, which is especially relevant for those who are working remotely. Dissimilar to classic Office, they allow you to work on the same project in real-time rather than sending files back and forth. Google Drive Who doesn't know Google Drive? It's the dominating collaboration suite that offers:
  • Google Docs. It's a perfect platform for working with documents online, allowing you to take notes or collaboratively edit documents.
  • Google Sheets. It's widely used for task management.
  • Google Slides. If you just need a presentation for your remote team, it's a perfect option.
  • Google Drive. A very easy-to-use UI allows you to store all your documents in one online space. Perfect for file sharing among team members.
Dropbox is a direct competitor to Google Drive. Though it has a bit more primitive collaboration tools, it excels in its scanning tools and catches malicious files that Google Drive can not. So, if you don't care that much about document editing, Dropbox can be a great alternative.

7. Screen sharing tools

When working in a remote team, it's often relevant to show how to do something instead of explaining it in words. Which is to say, you'll need to share your screen, and that's where TeamViewer or Join.me can come in great handy. Teamviewer is the most popular screen-sharing tool in the world, and for a good reason. It boasts cross-platform remote control, VPN-like encryption, file-sharing protocol, and some additional extras that might be interesting to your IT team. The only thing to note is that both you and your collocutor(s) should install the Teamviewer client on your devices. Join.me, on the other hand, uses a different approach — it's a web app, meaning you just open the page in your browser, sign in, and share your screen with your team members. By the way, Join.me also works as an audio/video conferencing tool with up to 250 participants per meeting.

8. Video conferencing tools

As we have already touched the topic of audio/video conferencing, it's worth mentioning other tools like Whereby, Skype, and Zoom. Very similar to Join.me, Whereby is a simple one-click web conferencing tool that puts an emphasis on video. So, if you need a dedicated video-first chat for a productive remote working process, it's a great option. Speaking about Skype, it's a free, serviceable messenger that is used and loved by millions of remote working stuffs. No need to sing praises to it. Zoom is another well-known corporate communication tool with screen-sharing and file-transfer options, becoming extremely popular in the Covid-19 era. It's available for smartphones, tablets, computers and is very streamlined overall.

9. Remote communication tools

Ok, we have just talked about video conferencing tools. But what if your team members work in all the corners across the globe and online video meetings is not an option? Then, you may be interested in remote tools like Slack and Troop messenger. Slack is the staple communication platform in the remote IT industry. It seamlessly integrates group chats, direct messages, and third-party apps to deliver the ultimate experience to every company. That is to say, you can create chat channels that will act as rooms for topic-based conversations, share information about projects with all your team members, or create one-on-one discussions. And that's just the tip of an iceberg. Slack lets you create time blocks in your hours and inform others when you're available to communicate based on your current status. Troop Messenger is one more interesting team chat application that can help you keep the collaboration/communication within the team at the same pace. It enables you to send or receive text, files, images, media, and other essential data without hassle. As a nice touch, Troop Messenger is accessible over the web and mobile apps to perform tasks on the fly.

10. Reward management tool

Needless to say, rewards are a great way to engage your co-workers and boost their productivity. Wooboard is a good example of a reward management platform to create a lovely atmosphere in your company and motivate your folks to work harder. It comes with an integrated Rewards Store where employees can cash in the points for days off, company merchandise, and other nifty bonuses.

11. Security tools

Finally, as a bonus, let's talk about security, as it's extremely important when working on sensitive projects. Among the best security tools, we can highlight LastPass and Cleverfiles. LastPass is a great password manager software, enabling you to manage access credentials across the team. It even points out if you're using the same password on different websites and helps you to generate random passwords. Cleverfiles, in its turn, can help you recover any deleted files from Windows or Mac OS (media files, documents, text messages, etc.). It can even restore data from USBs, HDDs, or any other disk-based storage places. When these two security tools are combined, no cyber-attacks should scare you.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this brief article has helped you understand what a modern software development lifecycle looks like. Managing and working in remote teams might seem challenging at first sight, but all these collaborative tools can work miracles for you while keeping your team communications focused and effective. The above list is a mix of code, project-management, collaborative, team-based, and personal tools that can help you streamline and make your work in the same space more effective. Just bear in mind that being a productive developer is more than just focusing on the code. It's about finding the right tools for your software development processes. Also, it's about improving yourself, being more disciplined, and always being open to something new. That's the beauty of coding and collaborative work! Top 10 Auxilary Tools for Software Development Teams to Boost Productivity - 2
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Anonymous #10941050 Level 0, Germany
16 March 2022