When it comes to building software, tools are almost as important as the talent behind the code. In the spirit of sharing these are some of the tools that we utilize for managing and designing our products and codes in order to share and create with our clients

Why not one platform?

Well – we did look into adopting one central platform to manage EVERYTHING in terms of a project (like the ONE RING). But then you come across particular problems. For example, we do use Confluence a lot – and we could have used Atlassian for the whole stack (from Bitbucket to Jira) – but what we realized was that utilizing the entire stack while proffering advantages – also handed us challenges:

  1. While aspects were exemplary – others were either just too overpowered and disrupted flow, or did not meet our use case. For example, Jira was too confusing as an issue tracker (though powerful) and we ended up being more comfortable with simplicity. However, Confluence did meet our needs exactly as we do a lot of drafting in Word and import it into Confluence for sharing and collaboration.
  2. Actually being used is much more important. Having a product with 5,128 wow-look-at-me features is useless if the features are not being used, and in fact detrimental if it confuses users. Much better to for a tool to do ONE thing well then 100 things not-so-well. So why invest in a tool that checks all the boxes on a list of features – when it won’t get used in the first place?
  3. Team comfort levels and culture – again, it all boils down to usage – and your team might bring habits and cultures from their previous experiences that either add to the collaborative environment, or harm it (in which case change is necessary).

Slack

Here we have a love/hate relationship with Whatsapp. On the one hand, it’s almost assured that a client or a new team mate would be on Whatsapp. On the other hand, my groups on Whatsapp are running amok.
At Brazn – we utilize Slack to take advantage of document features, sharing features, pinning features and a whole bunch of other stuff that Whatsapp doesn’t and was not designed to support. Plus – those extra features don’t confuse.

Gitlab

Source control management is essential, vital and crucial. And although we’ve used Github before – with their new pricing plan we found it much more effective and scalable to use Gitlab – especially with distributed teams. In addition, we use it to track issues as we are proponents of small teams working on small services.

Atlassian Confluence

However, for documentation purposes – we really like Confluence to keep track of the documents that we create on a daily basis. Having a Wiki format (plus the invaluable import from Microsoft Word feature) makes it a go-to for our documentation and document collaboration needs. Even more so as here at Brazn we see ourselves in the line of designing technology – and that entails a lot of communication and drafts and prototypes.

Trello

For task and project tracking – we utilize Trello for it’s easy Kanban features – making it easy to add, track and assign tasks in an agile manner. Why? Because it is dead easy.

Just Use It

However, in the end – it doesn’t really matter what you use (as many other blog posts across the Internet will tell you). The only thing that matters in the end is that it actually gets used. In our experience, there will never be a perfect tool. So – Just Use It!