Best 10 Free Collaborative Tools For Programmers
Programmers rarely code in isolation anymore. Development projects typically depend on input from a slew of team members–management, designers, marketing, and even external stakeholders. It is no simple task to consolidate feedback from a multitude of sources. That’s why collaboration tools are critical, especially for more complex projects. Whether you’re a freelance developer or you work in-house, these collaboration tools will help keep you on-task.
Listed in no particular order of importance, provided below are the top 10 and free collaborative tools for programmers.
GitHub is a web-based Git repository hosting service and officially the largest code host in the world. It offers all of the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding its own features. It greatly encourages an open source mindset by making all code projects available to public by default. GitHub provides a Web-based graphical interface and desktop as well as mobile integration. It also provides access control and several collaboration features such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and wikis for every project.
GitHub offers both plans for free accounts and private repositories. If your projects can live in the open, then GitHub is free for you to use. However, if you want a private repository on GitHub, you need to pay. All paid plans support unlimited team members.
Bitbucket is a free web-based hosting service that uses either the Mercurial or Git revision control systems. Bitbucket offers both commercial plans and free accounts. It offers free accounts with an unlimited number of private repositories up to five users in the case of free accounts. Bitbucket is written in Python using the Django web framework. Depending on the team size, pricing is fixed, which is at $200 per month for unlimited team size.
Snowy Evening is a bug tracker that integrates effortlessly with GitHub and Bitbucket. However, if you aren’t using either of those, then you can use it on its own.
The tool is a pleasure to use due to its modern design and clean organization, but the real advantage is the interface it provides between developers and clients. Clients can submit and discuss certain issues and developers can handle those issues all in one place.
Free plans support unlimited public projects and one private project and no team-wide file storage. Further, there are plans from $9 per month to $99 per month for more private projects and more storage space.
Slack is a messaging system that can be thought of as a formal business ICQ. The concepts of channels and groups are similar to ICQ. Private messages are also available. It’s easy to send files and other digital assets back and forth using Slack, but Slack’s best quality for development teams may be that it saves discussions and creates a database of topics that have been discussed. While Slack is a cloud-based, it has official apps available for Android, iOS, and Mac. A Windows client is also in beta production.
Gitter is a great social chatting tool for Github users. However, the login system requires that you have and use a Github account. It’s basically a contemporary web version of Internet Relay Chat: lots of different chatrooms you can join and converse in.
There are three types of chat channels: 1) channels tied to Github teams, 2) channels tied to GitHub repositories, and 3) individual channels created directly by users. Channels can be public or private, but private user channels require a Premium account for $2 per month.
Cyberduck is an open source client for FTP and SFTP, WebDAV, OpenStack Swift, and Amazon S3, available for Mac OS X and Windows (as of version 4.0) licensed under the GPL. Cyberduck is written in Java and C# using the Cocoauser interface framework on OS X and Windows Forms on Windows. It supports FTP/TLS (FTP secured over SSL/TLS), using AUTH TLS as well as directory synchronization. Cyberduck is good at transferring files to and from servers, repositories, appliances, storage systems, and development workstation.
Trello is the fastest, easiest way to organize anything, from your day-to-day work, to a favorite side project, to your greatest life plans. An easy-to-learn interface with instantaneous actions lets you dive right into–and stay on top of–your workflow. Trello functions as a to-do list, community bulletin, lesson planner, information repository or anything you need it to be. Trello is a browser-based application, which includes key features such as card-based organization system, attaching files, images and documents to cards, task lists and project meters for goal tracking, customized labels for easy navigation, and much more.
SourceTree is that free GUI client for Git and Mercurial repositories, which allows you to work with repositories at a variety of services. Since it removes the CLI requirement, It reduces the macho quotient. However, it makes up more than that by allowing you to collaborate with people who haven’t been programming since early Emacs days.
SourceTree is a perfect tool if you are either using Windows or Mac OS X for your development platform, as it could make version control easier and much more visual.
Todoist is a project management application for personal and professional productivity. It allows users to manage their tasks from a smartphone, tablet or computer. The app is free and fast, though additional features to enable collaboration are available in a paid version. You can upgrade to Premium for $29 per year to get features like task reminders, custom filters, productivity tracking, automatic backups, project synchronization, and more.
Notepad++ is a text editor and source code editor for use with Microsoft Windows. It is a Windows replacement for NotePad. It’s written in C++ (hence the name). Unlike Notepad, the built-in Windows text editor, it supports tabbed editing, which allows working with multiple open files in a single window.
Whether you’re a brand new programmer or someone who’s well on their way towards programming mastery, these web tools will surely come in handy. Each of them will boost your productivity in one way or another and help you immensely.