9 Essential Tools for Agile Product Development Teams
The primary weapon for entrepreneurs building game-changing tech to take on large competitors is an efficient, productive development team. The big advantage of startups taking on a Goliath is the ability to go from concept to market faster and more efficiently. On the flip side, startups are often working with smaller budgets, fewer resources and shorter runways, which means the difference between failure and success can balance on the performance of a dev team. Either way you look at it, the pressure is always on to deliver.
Communication and managing projects are big deals but sooner or later work has to get done. Here are the tools our dev team uses to get the day-to-day work done.
Tmux: This tool allows developers to switch between multiple tasks in one terminal., which helps productivity and general sanity. Tmux one of the best session tools out there. Think of this as multiple Chrome tabs on a single screen.
Sublime Text Editor: Since developers spend a majority of their time writing code, a high performance and customizable text editor is an essential piece of tech. Sublime Text allows your team to build beautiful, functional code, with plugins to hack increased performance and speed at writing code, down to inline Guard tools.
New Relic: Your software won't change the world unless your users have a good experience. New Relic gives your team a way to track how your software is performing in real time. That allows you to troubleshoot issues and look for ways to improve your software every day.
Wercker: To avoid bottlenecks in the development process you need to test early and often. Werker allows your dev team to setup automated testing and deployment of new features.
GitHub: This gives your development team an easy way to store code in the cloud. It's also used for in-depth code reviews and discussions.
Is your team being productive and getting things done? An efficient development squad has a process for managing projects and ensuring that features ship on time and on spec.
Trello: Based on the Kanban method adopted from Toyota, Trello allows you to visually track projects as they move from idea to shipped. Trello provides a lot of functionality for dev teams that are trying to ship features faster. One of those features is a communication thread specific to a project. A dev team not using some kind of software to manage and communicate about each specific project isn't as efficient as they could be.
Google Docs: Google Drive is an easy way for your startup to build an internal wiki. Our dev team has a standard operating procedure for testing features before they go live to users. This ensures that they don't have to answer the same question over and over again about testing procedures and allows them to ship updates faster.
Communication is always a challenge, especially when you have some dev team members working remote. As long as you have the right communication tools in place your dev team won't skip a beat.
Slack: There's a reason Slack has experienced amazing growth; it's easy to use and allows teams to communicate easily no matter where team members are working. They can quickly and easily bounce ideas off one another and ask for help if they're running into issues with a particular feature or bug.
Screen Hero: This screen sharing software works well with Slack (who recently bought by them). Screen Hero allows members of the team to share their screen in real time, and to allow multiple cursors so you can actually pair program on someone else's machine.
Talk to your dev team to see what tools they need to work efficiently and communicate with each other better. One of the best investments you can make in your business is ensuring your engineers have the tools they need to do their best work.
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