Developer Collaboration: 10 Tips to Make App Development More Efficient

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-12-03 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Developer Collaboration: 10 Tips to Make App Development More Efficient
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    Developer Collaboration: 10 Tips to Make App Development More Efficient

    by Darryl K. Taft
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    2 - Centralize Your Team's Information
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    Centralize Your Team's Information

    The average employee receives more than 300 emails weekly, checks his/her email three-dozen times per hour, and spends 16 minutes refocusing after dealing with email. Teams can be more organized and productive by centralizing information in one location, rather than burying it in email or spreading it across multiple applications. Information that is stored in a structured hierarchy is easy to navigate and search. Collaboration platforms such as Atlassian Confluence unite content creation and shared information with everyone in an organization, making it easy to find information and get work done.
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    3 - Many Hands Make Light Work
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    Many Hands Make Light Work

    Working in isolation is old-fashioned. Product requirements are living documents that regularly change as team members iterate on their original idea, and keeping track of these changes can quickly become complicated. Start the development process by defining requirements in a content collaboration platform so they can be shared with your team for immediate feedback. By storing all discussions and changes in one place, information is easy to discover and teams can keep moving product forward.
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    4 - Drive Collaboration With Social Features
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    Drive Collaboration With Social Features

    Everyone is familiar with social features like @mentions and "Likes" from Facebook and Twitter. These features have made their way into enterprise software, and they're here to stay. @mentions are an easy way to pull teammates into discussions and "Likes" are a lightweight way to validate feedback and express approval.
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    5 - Facilitate Work With Real-Time Chat
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    Facilitate Work With Real-Time Chat

    Conversations in real time are ideal, but what if the person you're trying to reach isn't sitting next to you? Instant messaging makes it easy to connect with colleagues whether they're across the office, town or the globe. Added functionality such as secure group and 1:1 chat, persistent and searchable chat history, and @mentions with mobile push notifications (available in chat services like HipChat) make modern messaging effective for business use.
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    6 - Make Meetings Count or Don't Have Them at All
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    Make Meetings Count or Don't Have Them at All

    Teams often kick off sprint or development cycles with a meeting, but a sad fact is that the average employee spends 31 hours in unproductive meetings each month. Don't add to this statistic. Crowd-source a clear agenda on a single page, outline goals for your meeting and share it with participants ahead of time. Record notes during the meeting and make progress by assigning action items. Or eliminate meetings altogether by posting updates on a meeting notes page where each person can contribute when able.
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    7 - Go Agile—Plan and Track Work in One Place
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    Go Agile -- Plan and Track Work in One Place

    Agile development has exploded in popularity as a best practice for planning and tracking work and delivering value. Turn requirements into stories on your backlog and track their completion on a rapid board, whether with sticky notes on a whiteboard or issues on a Scrum board using issue management software like JIRA and JIRA Agile. It will keep everyone in the know about who is responsible for what and the status of work.
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    8 - Quickly Share Files You Need to Get Work Done
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    Quickly Share Files You Need to Get Work Done

    True collaboration goes deeper than text conversations, especially for developers. Sharing files and documents is crucial, but doing so in email can be slow, and often difficult to find and organize. The average knowledge worker receives 53 emails with attachments every day. Share files and documents in real time with an instant messaging solution that offers persistent and saved chat rooms where you can easily find them again later.
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    9 - Keep Distributed Teams Connected
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    Keep Distributed Teams Connected

    As development teams become increasingly distributed across time zones, geographies, applications and devices, collaboration can become more difficult. Stay connected with chat services that offer native apps to provide a seamless experience across varying operating systems and devices. Employees can chat, share files and more from their mobile phone, laptop or the Web without interruption when using a chat solution like HipChat.
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    10 -  Reflect and Improve With Retrospectives
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    Reflect and Improve With Retrospectives

    The best teams learn from mistakes and make improvements on their next sprint or project. Running collaborative retrospectives and assigning action items is key to continuous improvement. Make a best practice the easiest practice by creating and storing retrospectives in a central collaboration platform, such as Confluence, where they can be easily accessed and referenced at any time.
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    11 - Stay on Top of Everything With Notifications
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    Stay on Top of Everything With Notifications

    Everyone uses a variety of products to develop software. So having products that can talk to each other through integration makes the process much easier. For example, receive automatic notifications in chat when a test fails or a new issue is opened. Integrations that link collaboration products make it easier for teams and outside stakeholders to stay informed and up to date.
 

As development teams become increasingly distributed across geographies, time zones and projects, they have to adopt new methods of working. More companies now allow and even encourage employees to work from home, and fewer companies enforce the rigid 9-to-5 schedule around which prior generations built their lives. So how do developers and their teams adapt to these changing working conditions? According to collaboration software specialist Atlassian, a new style of work requires a new set of tools that allows for both asynchronous and real-time collaboration, and supports agile methodology from concept to launch. New products for knowledge management, team chat and issue tracking combine to offer development teams an effective set of collaboration tools that help alleviate common workplace issues. Even so, many companies are slow to adopt new software. Check out this eWEEK slide show for examples of how a modern development team should work together using software that allows them to stay informed, connected and collaborative—from the start of a project to the end.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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