As a developer you’re always looking for new ways to become more efficient and improve your workflow. Whether it’s the operating system you use, the device, your development environment or the location you develop in. It’s all about how to get the most out of yourself. There is one challenge that everybody faces. From the developer in a coffee shop using a macbook to the developer in a corporate office using a 6 screen desktop, they both need to manage their task and bug tracking.

It doesn’t matter if you are working on your own on a small project or working in a large team to make a larger project, It is always essential to keep track of what you have done, what you need to do and any bugs that you see along the way that you need to fix.So, how do you track all of that in a clean and tidy way that doesn’t suck the life out of you just looking at? Well here are a few solutions for you to consider:

JIRA

JIRA is a web tool for tracking the progress of a project, starting from the original planning all the way through to end release. It is also made by Atlassian, the same people that make Bitbucket, which gives any team or company that uses Bitbucket as its main point of storing repositories an advantage, as it gives direct integration to any project repository.

JIRA has a vast array of features, some of which include; Scrum Boards, Kanban Boards, Agile Reporting, Portfolio Planning, Custom Workflows and Developer Tool Integrations.

JIRA has mobile applications for both Android and iOS, which enables people to update and monitor the progress of a project from their phone.

Teams have two pricing options, a monthly fee with JIRA hosted on Atlassian servers or, depending on team size, a one-time payment or yearly subscription to host a JIRA server themselves. Self hosting means setting up and maintain a server, which will take time and money.

JIRA_scrum_board

Trello

Trello is the “list of lists, filled with cards” that has taken the internet by storm, since its release in September 2011. Their tagline; “Simple on the surface, with more under the hood” perfectly sums up my experience with Trello.

Trello isn’t built with the sole purpose of aiding development teams like JIRA and does not integrate directly with Bitbucket/Git. However, it makes up for this with other functionality and ease of use. You could put this in front of anyone and they would understand how to use it. They might not be able to use the board to its full potential straight away but they would definitely be able to make something that works for them.

The best feature of Trello has to be how customizable everything is. You can mix and match any combination of cards and lists together to fit your needs. Having one large scrum board makes it easier for teams to see what stage each task is at.

It is easy to manage Trello boards on the go with their Android and iOS mobile apps.

Trello has several different pricing options. Basic membership provides full functionality but limits file upload sizes. ‘Business Class’ and ‘Enterprise’ memberships increase in price but provide more features such as different app integrations, file size limits for uploads, 2-factor authentication, encryption, custom backgrounds and many more. A full list can be found here. There is also Trello Gold, which is mainly directed at people that work on their own on boards but still want some premium features.

trello

YouTrack

YouTrack is an issue tracker made by Jetbrains, the creators of PHPStorm. YouTrack is more focused on Development Tasks and Issue tracking than JIRA and Trello which cover the whole development process. Jetbrains also offer other tools to manage the rest of the project such as, TeamCity and Upsource.

Youtrack has an extensive array of integrations, including; Github, GitLab, Bitbucket, JetBrains IDEs, Slack and many others. This will make it easier to tag tasks and bugs and monitor their progress in different environments you work with.

YouTrack also has two types of pricing, you can either pay to have it hosted in the cloud by JetBrains or you can pay for a license to then host on your own server.

youtrack

Methodology

If you go down the route of using one of the tools that we have mentioned above you are probably going to end up using a scrum or kanban board to monitor your tasks. My recommended workflow for a scrum/kanban board is; TODO, WIP, IN REVIEW and COMPLETED.

Every task should fit in one of these categories so it is easy to glance at your board to see the status of the project.