Top Tools That Help Improve the Development Workflow

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Take a look at any high-performing software team and you’re bound to find the same thing: highly fluid and agile development workflows. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a development workflow is simply a system or process that software teams use to manage production. Development workflows span all stages of production, including planning, developing, testing, deployment and iteration.

When it boils down to it, there’s no shortage of tools on the market for improving development workflows. With so many options to choose from, picking the right tools can be challenging. 

With all this in mind, here are some of our favorite options on the market in 2021.

Communication and Collaboration

Looking to knock down silos and bring teams closer together? Consider using a centralized communication and collaboration system to share information and move projects forward. 

Trello

Trello is a leading productivity tool for creating highly customizable boards and workflows. 

Trello lets you add notes and files, tag team members, color-code assignments and move cards forward as projects and assignments progress. 

This platform works best with small teams of developers of two to five people. It isn’t ideal for large teams.

Monday.com

Monday.com offers a highly visual platform for planning, organizing and tracking work. 

The platform allows you to create custom workflows or choose from more than 200 templates. 

Use this solution if you want to visualize and manage projects and workflows across different teams. With Monday.com, you can notify team members, track progress and see where various projects stand in real time. 

Asana 

Asana is another go-to solution that project managers and engineers can use to track workflows.

You can use Asana to plan product roadmaps, simplify sprint planning and coordinate product launches.

This is a great tool whether you have a continuous development system in place or if you’re working toward a progressive delivery model. 

Asana helps make it easy to “move fast without breaking things.”

Slack

Slack is one of the most popular real-time messaging platforms on the market. 

According to a recent Stack Overflow study, 53% of developers use Slack for daily communications.

Part of what makes Slack great is you can merge documentation into channels for pre-coding decisions. You can also integrate tools to boost automation and productivity. 

Slack—which was recently purchased by Salesforce—is secure, reliable and supports more than 2,400 integrations. 

DevOps

Looking to take your DevOps workflows to the next level? The following tools can help.

Jira 

Jira helps DevOps teams create and iterate more efficiently. The Atlassian product centralizes coding, collaboration and releases.

Jira is an excellent solution for tracking issues, creating and managing customizable workflows and managing Scrum and Kanban boards. 

The software is very flexible and integrates with a number of third-party add-on services.

GitHub

GitHub is a web-based Git repository as well as a version control and collaboration platform owned by Microsoft. 

DevOps teams use GitHub to share and collaborate on open source code and documentation. It’s also useful for tracking and resolving code updates and facilitating community discussions. 

GitHub is a good option for those looking for high availability and performance.

Data Governance

Data governance is the process of managing, organizing and securing data. This is critical for busy engineering departments using large volumes of data. 

OvalEdge

OvalEdge is a tool for data cataloging and governance. 

You can use OvalEdge to centralize data within a single repository or catalog. For many teams, it’s an excellent service for data discovery and defining roles and responsibilities. 

OvalEdge also helps maintain regulatory compliance. You can use it to set up monitoring and alerts and meet specific regulations like GDPR’s right to be forgotten.

Talend

Talend offers Data Fabric, a complete centralized tool for data integration, governance and integrity. 

With Data Fabric, you can instantly determine the trustworthiness and reliability of data. It connects with virtually any data source or destination.

Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud

Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud securely collects DevOps teams with numerous data sources. Examples include data lakes, Excel and CSV files, master data repositories, data warehouses and OLTP databases, among other things.

You can use Data Intelligence Cloud for data recommendations, discovery and collaboration. The platform also integrates with business intelligence tools, giving you a bigger bang for your buck.

Testing

Software testing is becoming increasingly automated. There’s an abundance of powerful and affordable solutions available that you can use to expedite validation and bring products to market faster.

Selenium

Selenium is an open source solution for automating tests across different web browsers like Chrome and Firefox. This platform provides compatibility, performance, system, regression and integration testing. 

Use Selenium if you need to collect instant feedback, and free your developers to focus on more pressing tasks. 

Ranorex Studio 

Ranorex Studio is a solution for GUI testing across web, desktop and mobile applications.

Ranorex is highly versatile, supporting a variety of frameworks—like HTML5, Java, WinForms and .NET, to name a few examples.

Watir

Web Application Testing in Ruby (Watir) is an open source Ruby library for test automation, powered by Selenium.

This solution interacts with a web browser. It clicks on links, validates text and fills out forms to make sure everything is operating as designed.

Data Management

Engineers today need to have a direct pipeline to data. Here’s a breakdown of what some of today’s leading software teams are using to manage and connect to information. 

Apache Storm 

Apache Storm is an open source distributed runtime computation solution. 

You can use Apache Storm, which works with any programming language, to process large streams of data.

Common use cases for Apache Storm include extract, transform and load (ETL) and machine learning workflows.

MongoDB

MongoDB is an open source document-oriented database. It’s one of the most popular database management systems on the market. 

You can use MongoDB to store records regardless of data structure. 

Check out MongoDB’s developer tools, which make it fast and easy to connect and work with MongoDB data over just about any interface. 

Xplenty

Xplenty makes it easy to design ETL pipelines using a simple drag-and-drop interface. 

You can use Xplenty even if you don’t have coding experience. It connects to more than 140 data sources, including data warehouses, SaaS platforms and databases. 

Apache Cassandra

Apache Cassandra is a leading open source NoSQL distributed database originally developed by Facebook.

Developers often use Cassandra to ingest and process large amounts of structured and unstructured data. Cassandra is distributed, highly resilient, fault tolerant and highly scalable.

CloudBees: Better, Safer, Faster Workflows

CloudBees is helping the world’s most exciting companies implement fast, compliant software workflows.

To learn about how CloudBees connects software delivery directly to business outcomes, check out an overview of our capabilities.


This post was written by Justin Reynolds. Justin is a freelance writer who enjoys telling stories about how technology, science and creativity can help workers be more productive. In his spare time, he likes seeing or playing live music, hiking and traveling.

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