There are lot of new tools available to help you effectively manage the work of remote team members. Those tools will help you to improve communication, project management and development setups.
1 – Chat rooms: Slack/Gitter/flowdock
Slack, Gitter and Flowdock are effective communication tools that allow you to create channels to talk about specific topics. These are fantastic tools when you have workers all around the globe. It’s a good way of making communication less overkill and you can assign users to channels according to your needs. They also have voice/video calls for free.
2 – Cloud storage provider: Dropbox/Google Drive
Your team needs to access documents, and Dropbox and Google Drive are the best option to do it. They are simple apps. The user just need to drop a new file and assign permissions to others users that will be notify when changes are made. They also have multi edit functionalities that enable two or more users to edit the same document simultaneously.
3 – Issue Tracker: Jira
Issue trackers like Jira have a lot of plug-in that help your team to manage requirements and projects. This helps teams to organize work, document and prioritize tickets. Define releases and dates. Jira integrates well with code repositories like Git, so when a developer closes a task, the ticket will be automatically updated. Managers can create their own dashboards to see the status of each ticket, and you can use some Tempo plugins to load hours. This is a must in any remote development team.
4 – Software container platform: Docker
Docker.com says “Developers use Docker to eliminate “it works on my machine” problems when collaborating on code with co-workers. Operators use Docker to run and manage apps side-by-side in isolated containers to get better compute density. Enterprises use Docker to build agile software delivery pipelines to ship new features faster, more securely and with confidence for both Linux and Windows Server apps.”
Basically you can create docker containers that will include all the dependencies and products you need to build your software and distribute them to your developers in a very easy way. That will make developers life easier.
5 – Continuous Integration tools: Bamboo/Jenkins
This CI tools will help you to build your software and run all your test to detect issues sooner. With distributed teams you don’t want to have your repository broken. These apps will help you to maintain your repository in a good state, and they can build and publish your app directly to test environments. If we integrate this with JIRA and Git, a developer can push a fix to a bug in Git that will automatically move the ticket in JIRA to “Ready to Test” and Bamboo will build the app, run the tests, notify if something went wrong, and publish the app to QA. This is a great feature when you manage remote teams.
When working with remote team members you want to automate all your process to avoid blocking someone’s work. These apps help you to make that possible and to have everything on the cloud. Each member will know where to go to get the information and how processes work. I strongly recommend to use these apps no matters if your team is remote or not, because with these apps you can highly increase your team performance . Now, for a remote team, this should be a must.