Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle may not have been thinking about remote working tools for software development teams when he wrote, “Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools, he is nothing; with tools, he is all”.
However, the statement is apt in this age of the internet with hundreds of thousands now working from remote locations. The statement is especially true for team leaders charged with the herculean task of managing remote software development teams. Remote working tools, to borrow a phrase from Madonna, make the world go round.
A recent report, The Impact of Technology on Small Business, published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, found that various technologies play a critical role in the growth and survival of small businesses. The report revealed that businesses that fully embrace technology outperform their competitors.
Remote working tools for software developers are a set of technologies and platforms that enable developers to collaborate, communicate, and work together on software projects from different locations. These tools range from Git tools like GitKraken Client, to project management software like Trello or Asana, and team communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Other tools that may be used for remote working include video conferencing software like Zoom or Google Meet and virtual desktop environments that allow developers to access their work computers from remote locations.
According to a survey published by Buffer, 77% of respondents use a variety of tools and technology for remote team collaboration.
Fortunately, the market is filled with a wide range of technological tools, systems, and platforms designed to streamline the management of remote software development teams. Your choices will be largely dependent on your business goals.
In this article, we will look at the top tools in the following categories:
- Digital Communication Tools
- Project Management Tools
- Time Management Tools
- Human Resource Management Tools
- Git Tools
Digital Communication Tools
Digital communication tools are technologies that facilitate communication and information-sharing through digital platforms. In other words, these are tools that facilitate communication among software development teams.
Several studies showed that using tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and project management software can improve team communication and collaboration. Furthermore, these research studies have highlighted the importance of establishing clear communication protocols and guidelines for remote software development teams, as well as providing training on the use of communication tools. Overall, the use of communication tools can be beneficial for remote software development teams, but it is important to use them in a way that promotes effective communication and collaboration.
Outlined and enumerated below is a list of digital communication tools for software development teams.
Slack is a messaging platform enables remote teams to communicate and collaborate in real time. Businesses use Slack to help employees connect and work as a unified team. During an informal survey, a software developer shared that he and his team members shared software tools, tips, and insights through Slack.
Brosix is an instant messaging platform designed to help teams communicate more easily. Brosix gives its clients a private team network, which provides an exclusive and secure collaboration space. Its software allows teams to work together more effectively and share real-time information. Brosix file transfers and screen-sharing features can help remote software development teams stay connected.
Zoom is a video conferencing tool that helps remote teams connect, share and exchange information. With Zoom, users can communicate with each other using audio and video channels, or text messages. This unified communication ecosystem can provide remote team leaders with insights into the progress and challenges of their teams.
Microsoft Teams is another collaboration platform with video conferencing, instant messaging, and file-sharing features. Users can have conversations and meetings and share files with everyone on the app. Remote team managers can use Microsoft Teams to coordinate work, edit task lists, and schedule projects.
Google Meet is a video communication tool developed by Google as one of the two apps that replaced Google Hangouts. It offers video-conferencing and collaboration features that allow for messaging, screen sharing, and file sharing, as well as integration with other Google tools and services.
Flock is a team communication tool allowing messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, and integration with other devices and services. The Flock app can help a remote team manager organize all conversations and track your team’s work in one place. Flock has a built-in video and voice-calling system to keep your team engaged across all devices.
RingCentral MVP is a unified remote video collaboration tool that enables a global workforce to work from anywhere on any device. With an all-in-one app, users can send messages, host video meetings, and call their teammates to collaborate more effectively. Its advanced VoIP features allow them to manage, record, and forward calls. Not only that, they can also share files and use the whiteboard feature during video meetings to illustrate ideas.
Ultatel is a great tool for remote software development teams as it provides a comprehensive suite of features that make it easy for teams to stay connected, collaborate, and work efficiently without having to be in the same physical space. With Ultatel, remote teams can make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, and even host video conferences. It also offers a host of other features, such as voicemail, call forwarding, auto attendant, and more, that can help remote teams stay organized and productive. Ultatel offers solutions for remote teams of all types and sizes and can help your team stay connected and productive.
Project Management Tools
Project management tools are used to plan projects and can help remote software development teams share a virtual space to collaborate and exchange information.
One study published in the International Journal of Project Management found that using a project management information system (PMIS) that includes a database management component can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of project management. The study found that PMIS with database management capabilities can provide project managers with real-time access to project data, which can help them make more informed decisions and improve project performance.According to an anonymous software developer, “Productivity increases when other software developers recommend the most reliable object browsers, the best SQLite editors for oracle, important commands, the best management tool for Oracle, and so on.” This developer further explained that search engines often take him down rabbit holes, serving more as a distraction than a source of help.
Some popular project management tools include:
Oracle Primavera is a web-based project management tool designed by Oracle for planning, scheduling, and managing projects of all sizes and complexity. The tool offers a user-friendly interface and many features, including resource management, task tracking, and project collaboration. Additionally, Oracle Primavera can integrate with other Oracle products, such as Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Cloud, and Oracle’s Autonomous Database. Remote development teams can also use third-party management tools for Oracle. Some good examples include SQL plus, Beekeeper studio, Toad, SQL Developer, and SQL Navigator.
Nifty is an award-winning project management and team collaboration solution that empowers teams of all types and sizes. By organizing Tasks into Milestones that automate progress reporting as they’re completed, your initiatives will fall perfectly within the project management triangle of scope, cost, and time. Nifty’s ease of use means everyone on your team will maximize Nifty’s impact on your workflow, even without any previous project management experience.
Asana is a web-based mobile application that can help remote teams organize and manage their projects. With Asana, remote team managers can track individual tasks and define workflows. Asana is built for all kinds of teams, including software development. However, if you specifically want to handle a remote software development team, Jira is a better option compared to Asana, which we will discuss next.
Jira is a software development tool that can help remote software development teams collaborate on different tasks. You can use it to plan, track, and manage software development projects. As a remote team leader, you can easily manage your team by assigning tasks, monitoring progress, and reviewing work done by each team member.
Trello is a visual project management tool that helps managers organize their workflows and automate and track tasks. Trello can help boost remote team productivity by allowing you to lay out team members’ jobs and check who needs help. You can keep your team connected by allowing them to brainstorm on the app.
Time Management Tools
Successful software development teams use time management tools to schedule, monitor, organize, and prioritize their projects and tasks.
A growing body of evidence suggests that using an agile project management tool, such as Scrum, can improve time management for development teams by providing clear goals and deadlines, and allowing for more frequent check-ins and adjustments to the project plan. Another study found that using a tool for automated time tracking and analysis can help teams identify and address inefficiencies in their work processes.
Listed below are examples of time management tools that can boost the productivity of software development teams.
Time Doctor is a time and project management tool used to monitor workforce productivity no matter where they are. With the Time Doctor app, you can view the summaries of your team members’ time on tasks. Time Doctor also allows remote team managers to customize features as needed for each team member.
Toggl is another time-tracking app that can help remote team managers track the daily activities of their team and identify areas that need improvement. You can maximize your remote team’s productivity by accurately tracking spent on tasks. Toggl’s time tracking app prioritizes privacy as the features are non-invasive.
Clockify is a time-tracking app for tracking work hours across projects. Managers can use Clockify to track workers’ productivity, attendance, and billable hours. For remote team members across different geographical regions, Clockify allows you to track time regardless of time zones. Custom fields allow you to create timesheets, weekly reports, and time entries.
Human Resource Management Tools
Several human resources management (HRM) tools can be used to support software development teams.
Using an applicant tracking system (ATS) can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the hiring process for development teams by automating the tracking of resumes and applications, and allowing for more efficient communication between hiring managers and candidates.
Additionally, a performance management system can help software development teams identify and address issues related to employee performance, by providing a standardized process for setting goals, tracking progress, and providing feedback.
Furthermore, HR management tools such as employee self-service portals, employee scheduling systems, and employee survey tools can also help improve efficiency and communication within the team.
It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for software development teams. Remote leaders need to evaluate the different options available and select the tools that best meet their specific needs.
To simplify this task, we have listed examples of human resource management tools.
A cloud-based HR and payroll software that provides solutions for small, medium, and large businesses. ADP offers various HR services, including talent management, payroll, benefits, and compliance. This app provides an effective payroll system, as you can easily calculate the payments of your remote team workforce.
Agentnoon is a workforce planning software that automates HR workflows. This software helps organizations plan and manage their workforce effectively. It allows businesses to identify and forecast their workforce needs and to make strategic decisions about hiring, training, and development.
Agentnoon typically includes the following features:
- Workforce analytics and reporting: Allows organizations to track workforce data, such as headcount, turnover, and skill sets, to identify trends and forecast future workforce needs.
- Demand forecasting: Helps organizations to predict future workforce demand based on historical data, trends, and business plans.
- Supply forecasting: Helps organizations predict their workforce’s availability based on retirement, promotions, and expected external hires.
- Scenario planning: Allows organizations to test different workforce planning scenarios, such as changes in demand or supply, to see how they would impact the organization.
- Succession planning: Helps organizations to identify key roles and to plan for the development and promotion of current employees to fill them in the future.
A cloud-based HR software solution that provides various services, including talent management, financial management, and planning. Workday has an integrated workforce scheduling feature that allows you to manage your team by checking attendance and notifying them when they miss milestones.
SAP SuccessFactors is a Human Resource software that provides a variety of services for employee engagement and recruiting. It has a combination of software capabilities to help you manage team members’ attendance, time, and benefits. SAP SuccessFactors allows managers to create a space where their team members can find everything they need to be productive.
Oracle HCM Cloud
A comprehensive, cloud-based Human Capital Management solution with talent management, payroll, benefits, and compliance platforms. This software has a remote systems administration feature that helps you support your remote teams. Oracle HCM Cloud also provides a single HR platform for managing and meeting your remote team’s expectations.
This cloud-based HR and payroll software has talent management, payroll, benefits, and compliance features. It offers solutions for small, medium, and large businesses. Ultimate Software can improve your team’s working experience by making it easy for them to access their pay, benefits, and other personal information.
Employee Self-Service Portals
Employee Self Service is a part of many Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS). Remote workers can access many work-related information like payroll, personal data, contact, and banking details. These solutions allow remote workers to access their pay stubs, benefits information, and other HR-related documents.
Movavi Video Editor
Movavi Video Editor is a powerful and easy-to-use piece of software for creating professional and quality videos. Software remote team leaders can use video editing tools like Movavi Video Editor to train their staff by creating and sharing high-quality training videos. With Movavi, you have access to a variety of powerful features such as background replacement effects, motion tracking technology, object animation, and slow-motion options. You can create interactive content that provides valuable information to your remote employees.
Best Git Tools
There are numerous tools available that simplify the use of Git, making it more accessible and user-friendly. These tools enhance Git’s functionality by providing visual aids, collaboration features, and other conveniences. In the following paragraphs, we will explore some of these tools and how they can improve the Git experience for developers and teams.
GitKraken Client is the best Git client for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is a GUI client tool that allows you to interact with Git repositories in a user-friendly way rather than simply using Git’s command-line interface. GitKraken provides a visual representation of your repository, streamlining the process of navigating and understanding the structure of your code. It also includes features such as a built-in merge tool, a file manager, and team features that facilitate easy collaboration with your team members. This tool is free for public repos and offers paid options for private repos
See how GitKraken Client compares to other Git GUI tools in this guide for the Best Git GUIs in 2023.
GitLens for VS Code
GitLens is a popular Visual Studio Code (VS Code) extension that adds powerful Git capabilities directly within the code editor. It makes Git easier to use by providing a visual interface for Git operations, such as viewing Git blame annotations, exploring repository history, and performing Git actions from within the code editor. GitLens also offers paid features like the Commit Graph, Interactive Rebase Editor, Visual File History, and more that help developers and teams streamline their Git workflow and supercharge Git.
Git Integration for Jira
Git Integration for Jira is a tool that integrates Git with the popular project management software. Jira. This tool makes it easier for administrators and developers to track their progress on key projects. The integration provides a comprehensive view of Git information directly within Jira, eliminating the need to switch between tools. Admins can see the status of important tasks and code changes in real-time, making it easier to manage project timelines and dependencies. For developers, the integration saves time by linking Git information directly to Jira issues, making it easier to track work and collaborate with team members.
The internet has made a global village of the world. And so long as this trend continues, some software development teams will prefer to work for companies that have adopted the remote working model. It behooves business leaders to find ways to increase the productivity of their software development teams. This is where remote work tools come in.
Remote working tools allow developers to work from anywhere, which can lead to improved work-life balance and increased productivity. With the right human resources and workforce planning software, companies can hire top talents from anywhere in the world. Overall, remote working tools can help companies and developers to be more efficient and productive while also improving the quality of life of the developers.