If there is one industry that has always been prepared for the new work-for-home normal, it has to be the software development domain. It is not uncommon for developers to work remotely on projects especially considering how the projects are normally outsourced by the western nations to their eastern counterparts.
Nonetheless, there are many software development agencies for whom this is indeed a new norm. And they are still taking time to get adjusted to it. But with remote software development becoming more of a continuous practice than a COVID-19 driven trend, developers have started seeking tools to make their everyday work process unaffected and equally efficient.
In this article, we are going to look into some of the best remote working tools for software developers. For the ease of understanding and recollection, we will be dividing them into categories. Let’s get on with the best productivity tools for mobile app developers without further ado.
When we talk about establishing communications between software teams, the one tool that is common amongst all the lists is Slack. It is a communication platform which allows you to work in chat rooms and send, receive direct messages in addition to giving you the ability to organize messages according to topics. The best thing about Slack is that it can be integrated with multiple tools like Jira in addition to other productivity platforms.
Management of Tasks
There are a number of task management platforms that make the process of managing tasks efficiently even after being in separate locations, convenient. There are multiple tools that developers rely on, like Asana, Trello, and Jira.
Let us talk a bit about Trello, the one tool that developers from across the world rely on. The platform is considered best in case of projects which work in collaboration. The tool is extremely flexible in nature and works perfectly well in teams that work in sprints.
Management of codes is a task that non-technical teams often miss out on. But with codes being the whole and sole responsibility of a software developer, you need to ensure that you have an effective tool in place when working from home. The two collaboration tools that we (and the software development experts) recommend are Bitbucket and GitLab.
They both enable you to add the developers, see the comments that have been made, create code branches and then merge them all together in the sprint releases.
Although there are a number of code management apps operative in the market for the developers’ community, the one that the top agencies suggest is GitHub. But what is important to note here is that the code management tool has to be aligned with the client’s needs, for they might have their own preferences.
Time Tracking Tools
In the software development domain, where projects are conducted on the basis of billable hours, it is important to track time a developer is spending on every individual module. There are multiple time monitoring tools that developers prefer to use – Hours, RescueTime, Toggl, etc. many of the tools can be integrated with project management tools to save the time of opening another application.
The tools also generally come with a dashboard loaded with a timesheet calculator which can be synced with all – Web, Android and iOS applications.
Continuous Integration Tools
CI platforms are extremely important for teams to use in a collaborative environment. In projects where multiple developers are involved, it becomes all the more important to have a tool which merges everything that is being developed.
Continuous Integration tools like Jenkins enable developers to merge their codes simultaneously while instantly detecting if there are any issues. They also enable coders to integrate the codes on the go.
Up-to-date Cases Tracking Tools
For a developer it is extremely important to keep the test cases, use cases in one place in a way that they are connected and updated in real time. The one tool that developers vouch for the task is Atlassian’s Confluence. By being integrated with Bitbucket and Jira like project management tools, it acts as both collaborative remote development and code hosting platform.
Peer Programming Tools
At a time when developers are not working in close proximity, it is important to have a system in place where freshers are able to work with experienced developers. One way it can be achieved is through the use of applications like ScreenHero, acquired by Slack. Some other examples of such peer programming tools can be Google Hangouts, Atom Teletyppe, and Mac Screen Share or VNC, etc.
In addition to having enormous mentoring benefits, the tools also help developers to work together on projects that are more or less uncharted territories.
While every single of the tools listed in the article is a developer’s favorite, having an access to them is not enough. Developers would also have to take other things into consideration. Some of the key ones of them are:
Plan ahead of time – you shouldn’t keep the task of prioritizing your work day on the day you have to work. By planning your day in advance, you can get a much better head start.
Fix schedules – when working from home, it can be pretty easy to get distracted. And while you cannot help it 80% of the time, it does help to fix a schedule and share it with your family and colleagues, so that they know when you’re available.
Get off your workstation – while it is tempting to follow a bed to workstation and back routine, we cannot emphasize enough on why it is important to do physical exercise. So, set up time in your work day to take some off-screen time.
Here were the different tools and tips to help developers chart the new normal without losing productivity and motivation. Think we missed any? Or know of any tools that developers can benefit from? Share with us in the comments below.
Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Technology and 2 years of work experience in a mobile app development company, Jason White is focused on making technology digestible to all. Being someone who stays updated with the latest tech trends, he’s always armed to write and spread the knowledge. When not found writing, you will find him answering on Quora while sipping coffee.