Top Picks for Coders and Developers - Part 2

By Timothy Fletcher

In part 1 of this series we highlighted various online platforms that developers can use to upskill and share their knowledge. In part 2 of this series, we take a close look at the systems needed to promote increased productivity and efficiency within teams.

Git - Our control system of choice!

From a professional standpoint, everything is source controlled, and Git is our tool of choice! Git is a free and open source version control system. Unlike older centralised version control systems such as SVN and CVS, Git is distributed, meaning that every developer has the full history of their code repository locally. This makes the initial clone of the repository slower, but dramatically increases the speed of subsequent operations such as commit, blame, diff, merge and log.

Git also provides excellent support for branching, merging, and rewriting repository history, which has lead to many innovative and powerful workflows and tools. Pull requests is one such popular tool that allows teams to collaborate on Git branches and efficiently review each other’s code. However, the challenge with Git is that you have to host repositories, and that comes with the overhead of having people oversee the system and maintain security.

Below are my top 3 solutions:

1. GitHub

We’ve established that Git is a version control system, similar but better than the many alternatives available. So, what makes GitHub so special? Git is a command-line tool, but the centre around which all things involving Git revolve – effectively, the Hub, is, where developers can store their projects and network with likeminded people. The benefits of GitHub include ‘forking’ – a feature that vastly encourages the further development of programs in how it enables coders to create a new project based off of an existing project - and social networking which allows project revisions to be discussed publicly so that a mass of experts can contribute knowledge and collaborate to advance a project forward.

2. BitBucket

This is a distributed control system that makes it easy to collaborate with your team. It ties in with other tools and hosts the repositories. A useful feature on the platform is snippets. Snippet is useful if you don’t want to share the full projects. If you have a team working on the same algorithm, snippets is ideal to share diverse solutions within a team.

3. Slack

Slack is an msn program geared towards tech teams! One of the primary benefits of Slack is that it facilitates remote working through frequent and efficient communication channels. Slack is a real-time communication solution that empowers teams to work more productively, simply because it eliminates the need for lengthy meetings and tedious emails. The platform integrates an easy-to-use chat system with tools for committing code, making payments, monitoring backups, and more. Further Slack is fun, and what we in the tech community endearingly refer to as our outlet to share our best jokes. Perhaps this is because Slack is aimed at consumers, and many people sign up for free Slack accounts just to chat with friends.

Although the tools mentioned above have been instrumental in project collaboration and team management, I truly believe that nothing beats the effectiveness of face-to-face communication when investigating problems and sharing potential solutions. There is no silver bullet, and the success of developing technologies remains highly dependent on team dynamics. This means that frequent engagement is key to finding creative solutions to complex problems in the technological landscape!

What are some of your top picks for coders?

About the Author

Timothy Fletcher the Head of Development and hiring manager at Filmstro, a Brighton-based tech organisation that has been a client of Search Consultancy since the beginning of 2017. From large data analytics clusters to small embedded devices, he has spent 20 years tinkering with computers in one form or another. With his strong background in computer science and artificial intelligence, combined with his love of film and music, he brings a breadth of knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to the industry.

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