A recent survey showed productivity among developers has increased in the past few years, especially in regards to using multiple types of platforms, technologies, and languages. Notably, continuous delivery capabilities, or automation of pipeline, have increased dramatically, in many cases reducing a developer’s wait time during the build and test phase.
Although developers are often portrayed as introverted code monkeys, they rarely work on a project alone. Agile teams, data driven metrics, and analytics are now par for the course in the world of developers. Collaboration is key for making productive and successful builds, as most projects are too vast to tackle with only one person.
Measuring a developer’s productivity and output may be a challenge in itself, but gathering a list of productivity tools is a good start. As tech shifts and grows, new apps and software come into play to help maximize efficiency. Below are some top tools for the trade to keep developers productive within a collaborative environment, so you can keep your projects going without any major disasters.
Here is our list of top tools for developers who want to supercharge their productivity:
1. A good text editor or integrated development environment (IDE) is a developer’s canvas.
This code editor software comes in many versions for Windows, OS X, and Linux. From popular free editors like Vim and Eclipse to paid solutions like IntelliJ, text editors and their associated tools help you write better code faster, maximizing your productivity.
2. Gradle unifies cross-platform builds for up to sixty programming languages.
Its platform allows teams to collaborate on multiple projects, with built in analytics features to focus on finding problem areas and optimization. Gradle is considered the official Android build system.
3. Manage a project’s build, reports, and documentation through Maven.
As an alternative to Gradle, Maven Apache exists to make the build process easier, more uniform, and more efficient.
4. Use Stack Overflow, Quora, and Google for information repositories.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are a ton of crowdsourcing or open-source sites to keep you going if you get stuck on a problem. Let other developers who have already solved it help you. Use Stack Overflow, Quora, and Google as knowledge resources to learn as you go.
5. Github or Bitbucket for cloud hosting using Git or Mercurial.
These code repositories are a great way to share and collaborate with teams. Your preference between open source or private determines which hosting is right for you. Github makes projects public by default and encourages open source, while Bitbucket’s plans are private.
6. FTP apps to transfer files to servers are a must for developers.
Try FileZilla or Cyberduck for free, open-source solutions for all platforms (Windows, OS X, Linux). If you’re a Firefox user, you can also download the free extension add-on, FireFTP, that works specifically for Mozilla Firefox browsers.
7. Time tracking apps like RescueTime or Toggl.
RescueTime charts daily graphs to help you visualize how you’re spending your time so you can be more productive. Whether you’re working on app development, research, education, or extraneous entertainment, RescueTime helps you see inefficiencies so you can improve the effectiveness of your schedule, and even set goals. If you’re looking for a more basic time tracking solution for client projects, try Toggl. This app is great for teams as it gives you an overview on billable hours, making it a great way to track profitability.
8. Wireframing tools for UX and usability.
There are a plethora of wireframing apps to help with the beginning stages of the development process. Solidify lets you prototype multiple devices on interactive, clickable sketches or wireframes. For a more fleshed out wireframe, use Concept.ly to create fully interactive test versions of your app. Design, collaborate, and create a conceptual prototype that looks exactly the way you’ve imagined your app should look.
9. Mind mapping and flowcharts with Creately.
Mind mapping and brainstorming are crucial parts of development and you can use Creately to collaborate on diagrams and flowcharts. These tools offer a quick way to capture and organize the ideas that are bouncing around the room and to present them in a visual way.
10. Create ambiance conducive to focus and productivity with Coffitivity.
Don’t underestimate the power of background noise to help you focus and work better. Did you know the white noise found at a coffee shop helps boost creativity? Recreate this ambiance with Coffitivity. You can also experiment with classical music or other ambient genres to keep the focus. Set yourself up with a good pair of headphones and use Coffitivity underneath your music tracks to get the best of both. You can adjust the volume on Coffitivity and your music player to experiment with the best balance.
11. Bonus tool — Build native apps without writing every line of code with Dropsource.
Yes, we admit we’re slightly biased on this one, but we truly built our tool with increasing developer productivity as a core value. Dropsource helps developers to build iOS and Android apps visually from scratch, right in their web browser. This is a big advantage for the Windows user who wants to build iOS on a PC — now with Dropsource they can do that. Primary among Dropsource productivity benefits is our ability to generate editable source code for apps, which cuts down on tedious coding, and makes for big efficiency gains in development cycles.
Now Go Forth and Ship
Whether you’re in an office with other developers by your side, alone in a cafe, or working from home, you still need the best tools at your disposal to ship great software. Using these suggested tools is a great way to maximize your productivity, organize more projects, and keep on shipping. Who knows, you might even be building the next tool to make it on our list of developer productivity-enhancing tools.
Check out Dropsource for your next app development project. Our platform helps dev teams efficiently build & ship quality native apps by converting your team’s app designs into concise, extendable native source code.