Big firms are bound to have their own set of tools or something like a toolkit that are to be used by their teams of developers. As an independent dev, however, one gets the freedom to explore. And if you are an enthusiast who loves to stay in touch with the latest tech, then you know how great it feels to install and open a new application and try it out.
Fortunately, there’s always something new to try out. Some new idea or an upgrade. That means there will always be something new to add to your list of tools. Here are some I feel would be a great addition to your list of tools.
Illustration by Scale
While working as an indie dev, you are bound to face many instances where you have to pair up with someone from your client’s team. And this can often get challenging, simply because collaborationg with someone who is not with you is tricky. Some pair programming tools that are well known are JSFiddle and TeleType. These have been popularly used for by most developers around the globe for ecosystem specific use case or UI customization. You can find some amazing alternatives for these, too: JSFIddle alternatives, TeleType for Atom Alternatives. You would also need a version control tool for a good code collaboration. And Gitlab is clearly one of the most trusted. Some alternatives you could try out are listed here. Along the same line of collaboration, try Zeplin for collaborating with your design team. It is available across platforms with ready to use code snippets and makes collaboration much simpler.
You would always want to fix whatever bugs arise in your system at the earliest. A couple tools I really like are DoneDone (some cool alternatives here) and Zoho Bug Tracker. Also, one important point mentioned in this blog which I would like to reaffirm for remote workers, is “In a remote setting, your source of truth is detailed and accurate documentation. This includes as many details as possible about how to reproduce the bug, fix deployed, specific comments on OS-related fixes, etc. Every stakeholder (Dev, QA, manager, etc.) should be cognizant of this and practice it religiously.” This clearly implies that you need the best in terms of documentation tools, too. Additor and Coda.io are some good options to consider. Successful pair programming also requires top notch communication efficiency and Humble Dot is a well known and trusted tool. Also find good alternatives on this page.
If you are into the management side of a project, too, then you know that while executing the nitty-gritty of a project, it is absolutely necessary to keep in mind the big picture, which is to get the work done. A project manager is responsible for the smooth functioning and delivery of the project, and these are only some of the responsibilities. For this, you will surely want a tool that will give you the best in terms of organization, scheduling, collaboration and data-driven analytics. Choosing the right repository for you also is necessary. Read this blog to get to know more about GitHub and GitLab so you can make a good choice. Some tools that are great for all aspects of management are Avion for user story mapping in agile teams; Hassl to avoid the hassle of multiple apps; Teamweek for planning timelines in a simple manner; and Pivotal Tracker to prioritize and smartly manage projects. You would also want your team members to be at the top of their games at all times. For this, some tools that are great are Retorio — so that your team can identify their strong and weak areas and accordingly work together and Spyrix dashboard — which lets you track any kind of user activity. Find some great alternatives to the latter here. If by chance you fall in the need to hire a new developer for your team, check out Shield GEO to compliantly employ remote workers overseas.
Another thing you would need to be mindful about is how you communicate with the team you work with. Whether you get on a Zoom or FaceTime call (decide your pick by giving this article a read), or prefer sending them texts over Slack. Choice of communication tools is an important decision you'd need to make, and so is ensuring that you do your part in smooth collaboration. Perhaps this article on avoiding mic echo may help.
Pro Tip 2: If you’re blogging (which you should) and want to churn SEO focused content easily, Chimp Rewriter is worth checking out to save your efforts & time.
What do you think of the above tools? Do you already use any of these? Do let me know your take on them in the comments!