Having killer programming tools at your disposal makes all the difference when it comes to running a software startup. They allow you to spend less time working on mundane programming tasks and more time wowing your new customers. It also gives you a chance to try your hand at that whole work life balance thing, which is apparently quite important.
As a self-confessed workaholic, I won’t comment on the work life balance part. But I’d be happy to share a few of the helpful programming tools that I’ve used along the way as a full-time entrepreneur.
GitHub is one of the best programming tools for collaboration between development teams. As changes are made, you can choose whether or not to have the code updated across your platform based on your desire to tweak and test every component of your web platform.
Everything is always up-to-date in the cloud, giving your entire team visibility on what’s being developed across the office, or around the world. And, when things go wrong, it’s almost effortless to go back in time and reset your code.
The easiest way to keep track of time spent on each aspect of your project, across your entire team, is a web-based and mobile app-based tracker called Toggl. It’s simple interface betrays how powerful it is as a tool for creating accurate invoices and measuring productivity.
Each user has their own account where they can log time spent, with detailed descriptions. The time can be assigned to a project, which makes invoicing a lot easier at the end of every week.
Project planning is complex for software developers. There are so many moving parts, with specialized programming tools based on different coding languages and platforms. JIRA brings everything together into one place.
Where basecamp is incredibly powerful for startup organizations, JIRA focuses every aspect of their suite on dev infrastructure and communication. Boards make sharing code and insights easy. For overseeing software dev from a distance, accept no substitute.
Arguably the best test case management tools are offered by QASymphony. Creating the code that makes technology roar to life is one thing, but testing that code is something else completely. For managers, working with teams of specialized devs, rolling out tests to the end-user is just one more thing on their list of daily time eaters.
By utilizing qTest Manager, companies are able to ensure test case schedules are maintained, without following up with each team member individually. The color-coded dashboard allows management to spot-check project status with a glance. And, if they need more detail on which area of the test is falling behind, they can drill down to get further details.
Trello is like having all your index cards with random ideas organized into a single place that’s accessible from anywhere. The interface is so simple, it’s almost idiot proof. You can use it to supplement other project management software as well. As inspiration strikes, or a random insight is gained on a conference call, you can whip open Trello and make a note.
As the project unfolds, Trello’s drag and drop / open interface allows for additional notes and observations to be added. Team members can check-in on what’s going in with notes that relate to their projects, and quickly add their own thoughts for your consideration the next time you open the app.