In this episode of The Polyglot Developer Podcast I sit down with two of my good friends, Raymond Camden and Simon Reimler, and discuss developer tools and strategies for being successful. Episode #3: Developer Tools that can Make You More Productive Towards Your Next Release covers a lot of ground and is broken up into three main sections:
This podcast episode is not specific to any programming language or release platform. In other words, whether your a web developer, mobile app developer, or game designer, you will be able to find this information valuable.
Because many of you would much rather read than listen, I’m going to summarize a lot of the material we discussed in the episode.
In case you’re not familiar with my guests, I’ll give you a little background.
Ray Camden is a guy I’ve been following since my Adobe ColdFusion days because he pretty much wrote the book on that language. When ColdFusion began to fade away he switched gears into mobile development, primarily on hybrid web technologies like Apache Cordova, PhoneGap, and Ionic Framework. He is now working as a Developer Advocate at IBM doing a lot of cool stuff with their MobileFirst platform. Ray runs a blog that contains a lot of useful development material.
Simon Reimler is a guy I met back in 2014 when I had just started getting serious about building mobile web applications. He currently lives in Germany and is a front end and mobile developer for a major international service provider. Simon doesn’t just develop mobile web applications. He is a pro when it comes Objective-C and Swift. Simon also runs a blog that contains a lot of useful development material.
Both these guys were featured in my 2015 post for top hybrid mobile bloggers to follow. Don’t be fooled though because they are developers as well as bloggers.
When it comes to planning, Ray, Simon, and myself shared the same thoughts on what tools and strategies to use. All three of us use the free tool Trello for placing ideas and managing our projects. Trello allows you to create columns which could represent a different part of your applications life-cycle. Then in each column you can create cards or tasks that can be moved between the columns as development progresses between them.
Simon also mentioned that he uses a tool by Atlassian called Jira. I personally use this tool at my day job, but not in my after hours development. It too is a great tool that I find to be similar to Trello, although, I find Trello to be more pleasant when it comes to projects.
In terms of idea seeking, my guests mentioned it is useful to use a blog or email list as a tool. With these forms of social media you can ask potential customers what they’d like in an application.
When it comes to development and design, everyone has their own preferences. I personally prefer to use Atom by GitHub as my editor of choice, but Ray mentioned that he uses the free and cross platform Visual Studio Code.
In terms of UX and UI, we were all skeptical about certain tools ability to perform while creating clean code. Simon sometimes uses the Storyboard Editor of Xcode, I sometimes use the UI editor of Android Studio, and Ray sometimes uses Ionic Creator for creating the UI for Ionic apps. None of us are too thrilled about any of these tools, but they are options for anyone looking for a drag and drop solution.
Applications in any form need graphics. I personally use Pixelmator for Mac, but Simon says that he uses Adobe Photoshop. I think both are pretty good solutions.
This was a bit of the grey area for us because as developers we aren’t as strong when it comes to marketing. Many companies have teams for driving the success of applications. However, as independent developers we shared some of what we do in this category.
When it comes to getting the word out, both Simon and Ray use Buffer for scheduling social media messages. Like I mentioned in a previous podcast episode, you’re an unknown most of the time. People aren’t just going to find your web and mobile application or game. You have to work hard to drive the success on your own.
The three of us also had a discussion on code maintenance and upgrading to more recent versions of a development platform.
We discussed a lot of things and I got different perspectives from developers in the field in regards to what tools and strategies they use for developing applications. This was of course an opinion based podcast episode, but I’d like to think it should prove very helpful regardless. It should give you a lot of ideas to drive productivity and development success.
This blog post was of course a summary to the podcast episode and I encourage everyone to listen to it.
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