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. Just 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 toolsThere'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 toolsVersion 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 toolsGitHub, 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.
5. Continuous deployment toolsA 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 toolsBesides 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.
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