The software engineering community has to evolve in response to technological advancements continuously. Moreover, the changing industry dynamics and varying customer preferences require engineers to adopt improved tactics. To gain a sustained competitive advantage in the market, even seasoned practitioners have to keep abreast of the latest developments.
Additionally, it becomes vital for organizations and professionals to remain productive while addressing business challenges. And software engineering tools offer an excellent means for tasks like life cycle management.
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The Top Productivity Tools for Software Engineers
GitHub is routinely described as the Google Drive for software projects. It is a repository hosting service where you can find open-source code or upload public and private projects. Over the years, the GitHub community has emerged as a vast group of developers who discover, share, collaborate, and build better software.
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2. Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow is a place for programmers to learn, engage, and advance their software development careers. Both beginners and experienced practitioners use this forum to get answers to their technical queries and doubts. It boasts of a large online community of 50 million developers. About half of these active monthly users are professionals and university students. The company’s 2022 survey highlights that the usage is exceptionally high among profiles like back-end developers, front-end developers, full-stack developers, DevOps specialists, mobile developers, and database administrators.
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It is a free version control system that allows developers to handle their projects with efficiency and speed. As Git is an open-source distributed system and easy to learn, it is widely used even among beginners in the software engineering space. When a developer has to regularly alter the code, keeping track of the changes can seem like an added burden. Here, Git can prove useful as it saves all the changes until you get to the last version. Also, you get to contribute, collaborate, and access a copy of every developers’ code.
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It is a leading web-based tool for DevOps lifecycle management. It provides an integrated solution for modern software development, covering issue tracking, code review, version control, CI/CD, monitoring, and security. So, GitLab is an easy-to-install application that helps developers accelerate their projects with its extensive feature-based system.
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Jira is an agile development software used for planning and managing projects. It helps customize workflows, track team backlogs, visualize progress, and generate performance reports. It has a large number of use cases, including coding, test management, release planning, issue management, roadmap sharing, project-level configuration, etc.
Jenkins is an open-source automation server known for its orchestration capabilities for deploying applications. This Apache software runs in servlet containers and takes care of development, testing, deployment, and continuous integration. Therefore, Jenkins is a reliable tool for monitoring the CI/CD pipeline.
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Docker is a platform catering to web developers and system administrators. It is a container that lets you package your software as a file system, including libraries and other dependencies. It conquers the complexity of the application development process and assists in building, shipping, and running distributed apps. Docker also facilitates the isolation and security to simultaneously run multiple containers on a given host or virtual machine.
It is integral for software engineers to keep up with the latest trends and technologies in their domain. For this reason, they follow several authors and tech blogs. In the current age of information overload, it can be quite challenging to choose what to read. Organizational tools like Feedly play a significant role in ensuring that you do not miss out on content that interests you. You can use Feedly to create a list of your favorite publications, news topics, YouTube channels, and blogs. It is basically a cloud-based aggregator service that arranges your feed according to your priorities.
Slack is a communication platform developed by Apiumhub team members. It is a trending tool for software engineers, allowing them to share information, interact with project collaborators, and get things done. Slack enables the creation of chat rooms based on topics, privacy settings, and direct messaging. It is also touted to be more secure than email for sharing files and documents. You can assign tasks, set reminders, and check things off your list.
Moreover, it is tricky to stay focused on specific topics when you receive different emails in a day. Slack lets you form a common channel for everyone, along with separate channels for other purposes. For instance, you can have a group chat with all the employees and another channel only for developers. If a particular sub-group is interested in blockchain or cloud technologies, you can have a free-standing chat room to cater to such topics. You can also initiate a one-on-one conversation with any member.
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Confluence is a web-based tool for team collaboration and contribution. Built by Atlassian and written in the Java programming language, it works with most databases. It enables a shared workspace where software engineers can put together project ideas, product teams’ requirements, and software documentation.
11. IntelliJ IDEA
It is a Java IDE that professional developers use to build commercial and non-commercial products. Developed by JetBrains, the IntelliJ Platform also includes language-aware developer tools and plugins. The core components of this project are:
- Text Editor
- Virtual File System
- User Interface Framework
- Debugger and test runner
Trello is one of the most sought-after project management tools for software engineers. This Kanban-style application represents projects in the form of boards and lists. Furthermore, every list has movable cards with drag-and-drop functionality. You can perform the following tasks with Trello:
- Set due dates
- Prepare checklists
- Add attachments
- Insert colored labels
- Write comments
- Integrate with other apps
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Code Project is a fantastic learning community for software engineers. It offers free source code and tutorials on web development, software development, programming languages, C++, Java, etc. You can also find relevant information through articles, project ideas, and other resources available on the platform.
14. Sublime Text
It is a sophisticated, cross-platform text editor with a Python API. It supports most programming and markup languages and also allows additional functions via user plugins. With Sublime Text, you can open files and jump between lines with great ease. Furthermore, it boosts developers’ convenience through short-cut functionalities like multiple selections, search options, and project-switching ability.
15. Chrome DevTools
It is an excellent collection of web development tools built directly into Chrome. You can use DevTools to create quick websites, diagnosing problems, and editing pages on the fly. You can check out the video demos to get started with this software engineering tool and improve your productivity.
16. Pivotal Tracker
Pivotal Tracker empowers software project managers to collaborate in real-time around prioritized backlogs. Tracker divides the project into manageable parts and lets you visualize them as stories and virtual cards. You can also use it to discuss the scope and deliverables with clients and predict the estimated time of completion.
It is a task management tool that organizations generally use to track the progress of remote and distributed teams. It presents several opportunities to plan, share, organize, and monitor work assignments. You can create a workspace and divide it into different groups. Every task would have its notes, attachments, tags, and comments. Asana is a user-friendly application, and its usage is free for up to 15 members.
Axosoft is an agile solution for software development teams. This scrum tool is typically used for bug tracking and delivering fully functional software at the scheduled time. It aids software engineers in the following duties:
- Constructing the steps
- Release scheduling
- Version management/control
- Sprint planning
In the last few years, scrum frameworks have become the cornerstone of modern software development and agile project management. Axosoft’s Kanban solution is perfect for developers who also want integrated tools. It permits synchronization with tools like GitHub Issues and Slack.
The tmux application can access multiple terminal sessions on a single screen/window and run more than one command-line programs simultaneously. This multiplexer software is also a useful tool for controlling virtual consoles and remote sessions.
The Binfire software has two key sections, namely, task management and real-time collaboration. We have mentioned some of these features below.
- Task management: Issue tracking, bug management, and document collaboration
- Real-time collaboration: Project folder, message board, interactive whiteboard, burndown charts, collaborative PDF markup, notifications, status updates, and much more.
LinKit is an enterprise-level project management solution, which is highly sought-after among agile teams. Its advanced Kanban capabilities, custom board templates, enhanced security, and multi-device accessibility make it stand out as a convenient workflow mapping tool.
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22. Code Climate
Code Climate is an extensible solution that lets users automate the code review process. Software development professionals can effortlessly maintain the quality of their code using this platform. It takes care of issues like duplication, style, complexity, and security. Besides, it provides support for test coverage and promotes data-driven engineering and organization-wide sharing.
ProofHub is a straightforward collaboration software preferred by non-technical users. It can prove useful in the following areas:
- Team communication
- Project centralization
- Workflow, boards, and timesheets
- Custom project reports
24. Crimson Editor
Crimson Editor a freeware that serves as an ideal replacement for text editors like Notepad. It supports most programming languages, such as C, C++, Java, and Perl. Its clean interface, built-in FTP, and syntax highlighter, among other intuitive features, make it one of the most user-friendly software engineering tools.
BitBucket is another web-based revision control tool and repository hosting service. It allows coders to collaborate with pull requests and inline comments. Since Atlassian owns it, it works well with other tools like Jira and Confluence.
26. Adobe Dreamweaver CC
With Adobe Dreamweaver CC, it is a breeze to build, publish, and manage websites and mobile apps. This versatile tool helps deliver creative solutions faster with its dynamic code editor, in-context CSS documentation, code introspection, and other features.
IFTTT is a web-based social media management service available in enterprise, subscription, and freeware versions. Its free cloud software can synchronize web services like Gmail, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, news and weather services, voice assistant, etc. With IFTTT, you can connect all your devices and apps and create applets according to your preference.
Codenvy an online IDE with multi-user remote development functionality. This open-source and flexible workspace is built on Eclipse Che. Codenvy’s integrated platform has several features like automated workspace, version control, resource limits, APIs, language plugins, and extensions.
With this comprehensive list of the best tools for software engineers, we have given you a fair idea about using technology for productivity management in modern workplaces. We picked the above examples in keeping with their attractive features and popularity. There are many other programming and management tools out there (both free and paid) to help you with specific tasks and goals.
Once you are familiar with the standard offerings, you can select the option that aligns with your day-to-day needs. So, use the above compilation as a guide map and ascertain what you are looking for in a software development tool. Then, match your requirements against the pros and cons of individual software. It is best to do your prep before investing your time, effort, and money into any particular tool.
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How is productivity measured?
Productivity is simply the output a company generates in a specific amount of time. It is used to determine the efficiency of the production process of an organisation, which includes its machines, factory, and human resources. Productivity is measured by dividing the average output of the company in a certain period by the inputs consumed like expenses incurred or resources needed during that time frame. The output here is mainly measured by the sales generated during the specified time frame or the number of services and goods produced. A company's productivity can be determined by measuring its net sales against the employee effort hours.
Is it very stressful to be a software engineer?
A career in software engineering is generally associated with lower levels of stress most times. However, the stress levels might vary depending on various factors such as impending deadlines, demanding clients, and complex applications. But overall, the job of a software engineer is quite rewarding and offers a good deal of scope for learning and career progression. You will be working on the development and maintenance of software applications, work on unique and challenging projects, learn new concepts, and get to control many aspects of the project from start to end. You will also get to collaborate with different kinds of people as colleagues, mentors, and managers.
Does meditation help you become more productive at work?
Meditation is an excellent practice that comes with manifold benefits. It not only brings about spiritual benefits but also helps boost physical and mental wellbeing. Even though you might say that the world of business and spiritualism are mutually exclusive, you cannot deny that work can be impacted if we are unwell mentally or bodily. Interestingly, meditation is said to infuse work satisfaction, thereby boosting our workplace productivity and infusing a general sense of happiness. It helps beat stress, stimulates creativity, calms our minds, and helps improve interpersonal relationships as well as our self-awareness.