For most developers and engineers, the working week is pretty hectic. You have a long list of tasks to complete, and only so many hours to get them done. Perhaps this is why developer productivity tools are so popular. If you choose the right apps, you can save yourself a big chunk of time and a whole heap of hassle.
Keep reading for a run-through of the standout solutions — from communication platforms to top code repositories.
No matter what you’re working on, staying organised as a team and keeping track of issues are both absolutely essential. Here are some trending tools that can help you to maintain complete control over your process.
Another up-and-coming issue tracking tool is Linear. This platform has won plaudits for its sleek interface and lightning-fast performance.
While Stepsize provides inline issue tracking, Linear is closer to a project management tool. It can handle tasks, sprints, lists, and boards — and it even works offline.
Perhaps the best feature in terms of developer productivity is Linear’s keyboard navigation. Using shortcuts, you can access almost anything within the app.
Pricing: Free, paid plans from $8/mo
While Asana has been around for many years, the popular project management app is now gaining new followers, thanks to some great productivity features.
In particular, Asana can adapt to pretty much any management framework: Kanban boards, Gantt charts, Agile sprints, and so on. You can also work in roadmaps, and track bugs, all within an app that has collaboration options.
Just as importantly, Asana has embraced automation, with conditional workflows and streamlined approvals.
Pricing: Free, paid plans from $10.99/mo
With features that allow Engineers track issues in the editor, Stepsize has been a hit with developers lately.
Our platform works with VSCode and JetBrains editors to make it easy to link code to issues. It helps engineers to prioritise codebase issues, such as technical debt, and any problems they might come up during the development process.
In fact, Stepsize is specifically designed to be placed on top of your existing toolkit. This means that adopting this platform causes zero disruption to your process. It works with Visual Studio Code, Asana, Github, Jira, Linear, and many more apps.
Pricing: Free, with paid plans from $15/mo
Keeping strong lines of communication is vital for any development team, particularly in remote companies. These top tools should help you and your coworkers to stay connected.
While live messaging still has a place, many teams are now switching to asynchronous messaging, which allows people to collaborate across different work schedules and timezones.
Twist is one of the apps leading this change. Designed specifically for asynchronous communication, it can best be described as a slower, more considered version of Slack.
There are no notification dots and no presence indicators, and the UI is very clean. It strikes a really nice balance between encouraging teamwork and avoiding distractions.
Pricing: Free, paid plans from $5/mo
We can’t really talk about collaboration without mentioning Slack.
Like Asana, this chat platform has been a major player for some time now. However, Slack keeps improving.
Just within the past year, the app has added instant audio meetings (“Huddles”), scheduled messages, and easy screen recording. You can also now message clients and external partners from within your Slack workspace, while the list of integrations continues to grow.
Pricing: Free, paid plans from $6.67
For remote teams, video calls are an essential form of communication. Unfortunately, people don’t always join from a serene office — so everyone else has to concentrate hard to hear what is being said above the sound of barking dogs or the hubbub of a busy coffee shop.
Krisp is designed to solve this issue. The app uses artificial intelligence to enhance the voice you’re trying to hear and reduce the background distractions. It also cuts out the annoying echo you sometimes get.
It works on Windows and Mac, with support for over 800 communication apps.
Pricing: Free to download, paid plans from $5/mo
While task management and communication are important, you’re probably going to spend more time in your chosen code repo. Here are some hosts that will help you get things done.
The reason Github is on this list? Well, it’s always trending — and for good reason.
This wildly popular host is packed with useful features, such as bug tracking, personal and private repositories, release binaries, access management, and a long list of automation commands. Just as importantly, both Git and SVN are supported.
The other attractive elements of Github are the community aspect, and very generous pricing — you can host unlimited free repositories.
Pricing: Free, paid plans from $40/mo
While Github is a little more biased towards public repositories, Beanstalk is designed specifically for teams that want to host private repos.
In other respects, these two hosts are quite similar — although developers appreciate the easy FTP deployment provided by Beanstalk.
As used by Intel and Citrix, this solution also offers a slick interface and nice code review tools. It’s definitely a rising star to watch.
Pricing: Free, paid plans from $15/mo
If Github is the market leader in repository hosting, BitBucket is probably the standout alternative. Powered by the behemoth that is Atlassian, this platform gives developers greater control over branch permissions and workflows.
While Github is well catered for in terms of integrations, BitBucket also offers deep support for third-party APIs. Teams that use Trello will be particularly pleased with the level of integration.
One other area in which BitBucket excels is for projects that rely on big files, as the platform provides full support for Git Large File Storage (LFS).
Pricing: Free, paid plans from $15/mo
Some of the hosts mentioned above provide simple deployment features. But if your project is complex or beyond a certain scale, you may find that these dedicated apps provide a more robust option.
In many respects, Gitlab is a next-generation deployment solution. It combines the essentials of planning, packaging, and release with DevOps features like configuration and monitoring.
Gitlab is optimised for the cloud, with full Kubernetes integration and a container registry. The platform can also adapt to your CI/CD preferences, while managers can take full control thanks to a single permission model.
These features could work for any team, but Gitlab is particularly optimised for remote teams.
Pricing: Free, paid plans from $19/mo
Okay, so this one is a bit niche: a DevOps solution designed specifically for Salesforce apps.
But the truth is, Flosum can’t be ignored. This platform has received almost universal praise from developers, including teams from Visa and Amazon.
The features that make Flosum stand out include native version control, strong security, and unmatched integration with Salesforce, such as full support for Lightning Components.
Plus, it works with Git, Selenium, Jira, Azure DevOps, and other third-party tools.
Pricing: Free trial, paid plans on request
Given the popularity of using AWS for cloud apps, CodeDeploy is an obvious inclusion for this list. The service helps to automate deployment to EC2 or local instances, and even Lambda functions.
In fact, CodeDeploy can handle almost anything you throw at it. The list includes code, multimedia files, executables, scripts, and much more. And like most other Amazon services, it’s highly scalable.
While CodeDeploy is somewhat lacking when it comes to third-party integrations, it’s a worthy choice for any AWS-based setup.
Pricing: Free for cloud deployments to AWS, or $0.02 per on-premises instance
Testing is an important part of the development process, and it’s an area that is seeing a lot of innovation. Here are a few of the tools that are leading the way right now.
In many cases, testing for web applications can be completed using local browser tests. But there are limitations to this approach. In particular, you need someone with good technical knowledge just to run such tests.
Ghost Inspector makes the process much easier and quicker. Through one clean interface, you can create and manage tests for a wide range of web technologies.
With an eye on productivity, the platform can run over 50 tests concurrently, and it integrates with HipChat, Slack, PagerDuty, and other apps.
Pricing: Free trial, then paid plans from $89/mo
Another service that is aiming to simplify testing is TestSigma. This fresh-faced tool allows developers and QA teams to build comprehensive testing stacks without a single line of code.
The tests can be created using written commands, or by recording actions, and you can run them online or in the cloud. TestSigma covers over 800 browsers and 2,000 devices, with detailed real-time reports and nice debugging features.
This app even has an “auto-pilot” feature, which lets you hand over maintenance tasks to AI.
Pricing: Open source for local testing; free in the cloud, with paid plans from $349/mo
Offering support for over 3,000 browser and operating systems, LambdaTest is a truly comprehensive testing platform. You can use it on web and mobile apps, and the platform claims to be even faster than local testing.
Other notable features include powerful debugging tools, and the option to test geo-location.
Pricing: Free, paid plans from $15/mo
Even outside the categories mentioned above, you can find great software development tools that enhance productivity. Here’s our pick of the bunch.
Remember all the data you have been storing in oversized spreadsheets? AirTable provides a much more flexible platform for storing and sharing information. Just as importantly, the platform offers deep integration with all your favourite apps.
Pricing: Free, paid plans from $10/mo
In simple terms, Prettier is a code formatter that makes your code...well... prettier. In addition, the one-click formatting finally puts an end to debates over styling. It works with most popular editors, languages, and frameworks.
As we have seen, productivity tools for software developers come in many forms. In this post, we only had space for just a few highlights.
If you are thinking of upgrading your workflow, ask yourself — which tasks are currently slowing you down? Which tasks could be automated? And could investing in a new solution actually save you time and money in the long run?
The answers you come to should reveal where tools can improve your productivity.
Once you have identified some areas for improvement, be sure to create free or trial accounts at a few different providers, and keep an eye on sites like Product Hunt and Refactoring Library to spot fresh new solutions.