In the early 2000s, the Agile software development process was conceived as a solution to a growing problem. With teams unable to meet the deadlines and projects getting canceled due to the speed of technology growth, agile was a necessity.
Today, after almost two decades, the workflow management solution has transformed the industry.
But whether you have a small local team of just ten people or are working with multiple teams across different time zones, communication is still key. What’s more, the ability to easily share and implement software solutions and test them in a prompt manner is a must. Agile just wouldn’t be possible without proper tools. That’s why we decided to share our expertise! Here’s the right set of tools you are going to need to increase the efficiency of your agile software development process.
#1. IDEs and Editors
Everyone who is slightly familiar with software development would know that generalizing the process is simply not an option. Making a PHP-based solution is far different from the development of a product based on Java. That being said, having the proper IDEs and Editors for the project your team is working on is the first step towards efficiency.
Free to Test
$70 license per user
Working over X years in the industry, we highly suggest the use of Sublime Text Editor to edit any type of code you need. Although limited to simple code editing, this tool can be customized to your specific coding habits. In fact, your programmers will have access to all the key bindings, completions, snippets and menus they’d need. What’s more, Sublime has an avid community around it, who are constantly developing new plugins and support for other tools that make the use and share of files that much easier.
Free, Open Source
Starting out as the primary IDE for Java applications and later becoming the top Android development platform, Eclipse is now one of the prime IDEs used for software development. Much like Netbeans, it supports programming in multiple languages. Yet, one of the reasons behind its popularity is the integration of multiple Cloud-based IDEs, such as Orion, and Dirigible, within the Eclipse ecosystem.
30-day Free Trial
$199.00 yearly subscription, per-user
Although most of the aforementioned IDEs do support PHP, if your projects are primarily focused on web-based software development, you won’t be wrong to get PHP Storm. A dedicated IDE for web projects, it allows to easily edit and review your code with prompt and easy refactoring and debugging.
€499.00 subscription for the 1-st year, per-user
€399.00 subscription for the 2-nd year, per-user
€299.00 subscription for the 3-rd year and onward, per-user
Part of the JetBeans family of products, IntelliJ is a IDEa that is specifically designed to increase the productivity and efficiency of the software development process. With smart predictions and built-in tools, IntelliJ is promptly becoming one of the best IDEs for agile software development on the market today.
#2. Proper Source Code Control
To achieve an efficient agile software development process, you need to have proper source code control. While the editors and IDEs will provide you with individual-based code editing, you need to have a system for easy implementation and sharing of that code.
Free for Public/Open-Source Projects
$7 monthly subscription/for developer
$9 monthly subscription/for team, per-user
$21 monthly subscription/for business team, per-user
GitHub is by far the most popular source code collaboration tool on the market today. Infamous within the developer scene, due to its functionality and affordable price, GitHub is also a great version control system tool. Among its benefits are the AWS, Azure, and GCP hosting options for the Business Enterprise subscription, the access pivoting, the ease of organization and more.
Free for 5-user teams
$2 monthly subscription/per user for growing teams
$5 monthly subscription/per user for professional teams
Although our developers often use GitHub, for our bigger projects we heavily rely on Bitbucket for source code sharing. One of the best benefits of the tool is its integration with Jira. What’s more, Bitbucket is specifically designed for professional software development and thus allows you to easily manage your projects and pipelines, while keeping your information secure with the whitelisting of IPs, two-step verification and more.
#3. Continuous Integration (CI) Tools
One of the most important steps and the backbone of the agile software development process is continuous integration. At its core, CI is the practice of a development team to integrate the code they are working on via a shared repository, allowing for the easy tracking and review of the overall development process. Such a practice is not only crucial for an efficient agile process but also necessary for the quick detection of bugs and the smooth transition of a project. The way this is usually done is through software tools that allow the continuous integration of a code within a so-called repo. A check-in of the code is performed, that is then verified by an automated build. This ensures the early detection of any problems.
Jenkins is a free, open-source based product that allows for easy software development CI automation. A Java-based program, Jenkins is extremely powerful primarily due to the variety of plugins available that make the deployment of a continuous integration and development toolchain possible. An added benefit is the fact that Jenkins works with multiple software developments, communication and organization tools, making the CI process seamless.
Free 30-day Trial
$10 Monthly Subscription for Small Teams
$800 Monthly Subscription with 1 Remote Agent
Much like Jenkins, Bamboo is a CI tool that provides you with a dedicated server for an easy and efficient CI and CD process. The tool part of the Atlassian Jira product family. While Jenkins offers better plug-in support, Bamboo is often the preferred choice, due to its native Jira functionality.
Free for 20 Build Configurations and 3 Build Agents
€299 for 10 additional Build Configurations and 1 additional Build Agent
Has Enterprise Server Discount Options
TeamCity is much like Jenkins and Bamboo. However, this CI server tool is part of the JetBrains family of products. With that in mind, Team City is often used for the development of web-based applications and the CI for teams working with IntelliJ and PHP Storm, among other tools.
#4 Team Communication, Project Management, and Organization Tools
Agile can’t work unless there is proper project management set in place. And while you can easily track your progress in-house via post-it notes, having dedicated tools to check the progress from anywhere you please is the better choice. What’s more, working with bigger teams or with offshore/nearshore software development teams, choosing the right tools to communicate, manage and track the project online is a definite must.
The Best Solution – Jira (+Bamboo, +HipChat)
Up to 10 Users – $10 Flat Fee
11-100 Users – $7 monthly subscription/per user
Free HipChat Basic
$2 monthly subscription/per-user for HipChat Plus
We are probably slightly biased as we have been using this tool for a long time, but the fact of the matter is that Jira is the only tool currently on the market that is specifically built around the agile software development process. Jira is available across multiple platforms, including mobile, and allows for an easy development workflow, continuous integration, and real-time collaboration.
Combined with its native Bamboo and HipChat apps, the tool becomes that much more powerful. Keeping your ideas secure and in-check and providing you with easy communication and CI, Jira in combination with Bamboo and HipChat is one of the most powerful sets of tools you can have for an efficient agile software development process.
We are not the only agile software development team that uses the aforementioned tools. Jira is a powerful platform built specifically for agile and currently has no competition in this category. The power of Jira lies with workflow management, allowing a software team to easily tracking issues/tasks, sprints, version, epics and much more.
Other Helpful Tools (Trello, Slack, more)
The aforementioned tools should be enough for a seamless agile software development process. Nevertheless, there are also a number of other helpful tools, each powerful on its own accord. Here are a few of them.
Business Class – $9.99 monthly subscription/per-user
Enterprise – $20.83 monthly subscription/per-user
Trello is a powerful tool that supports multiple other apps for easy project management. Although slightly limited, Trello can keep your team organized on a single project. Plus, it’s easy of use is definitely a huge plus for progress tracking.
Standard Version – $6.67 monthly subscription/per-user
Plus Version – $12.50 monthly subscription/per-user
Slack is one of the most popular team communication apps today. Allowing you to easily keep an archive of your messages, it also lets you easily integrate the project and team management process. What’s more, you have the option to have video and voice calls with up to 15 participants. Slack has also recently acquired the other popular team communication app, Screen Hero.