The appearance of the coronavirus has caused many companies to have to implement telecommuting among their employees in order to continue operating within “normality”:
El coronavirus provoca el mayor experimento de teletrabajo de la historia
Epidemias como el coronavirus o las catástrofes naturales podrían resultar decisivas en el futuro para consolidar este…
However, not all companies or teams are prepared to face this change, so I have encouraged myself to compile the main applications or tools that I use in my day-to-day life when I telecommute (most of the time). I hope you find them useful and that you are encouraged to add yours in the comments to complete the list.
Let’s go see them!
1. Google Suite
I am a strong advocate of the Google Suite as it provides a wealth of tools for working remotely and collaborating with the rest of our teammates.
Among the tools offered by this set of applications are:
- Gmail and Google Hangouts. About Google’s email tool, I think there is little to say: for me it is the best email manager available. In addition, with it we are offered the Google Hangouts chat, which although not as powerful as other alternatives (Slack or Microsoft Themes), allows us to be in communication with team members at all times.
- Google Meets. Having remote meetings I think has never been so easy. Just go to meet.google.com, enter our name and invite people via a link or even a phone number they can dial to join the meeting. In addition, within the video call it is possible to share screen and chat. One of the best tools offered by the Google suite.
- Google Drive. If Gmail is the king of email for me, Google Drive is the king of online document management. It offers all the tools that we can ask an online file manager: user collaboration on documents, sharing files or folders by assigning different levels of collaboration, synchronization with our computer and, for a while now, the creation of shared units so that all members of a team have their workspace.
The organization of the tasks of a team is basic, especially if we use agile methodologies and / or systems like scrum.
Trello is a web application that allows us to create boards, lists and cards and assign members to them to collaborate. In addition, it has numerous plugins that allow you to add extra functionality such as setting deadlines or assigning effort points to tasks. All this with a very careful but simple interface, so that your learning curve is very fast.
In addition, being an Atlassian tool, it has full integration with other applications of the group such as Bitbucket.
3. Slack / Microsoft Teams
In the event that you need a more powerful tool for the teams to be well communicated, you can turn to both Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Slack could be defined as an online collaboration center where we can create channels to assign team members. Within these channels, it is possible, in addition to chatting as if it were a chat, sharing files, having video calls or defining bots that automate certain actions. Additionally, functionality can be expanded by integrating other tools within Slack.
As an alternative to Slack we have the Microsoft Teams tool, integrated within the Office 365 suite. Its appearance is more similar to a chat of a lifetime and, although at the moment it does not have the power of Slack, it will allow us to manage the mode in which the team communicates as it provides the main tools for it.
One of the most complicated tasks is usually coordinating the design team with the development team, especially when implementing the designs.
To solve this problem a few years ago the Zeplin application appeared. This tool allows you to upload designs made with applications like Figma or Sketch and give developers access to them from there so they can view them. In other words, it is no longer necessary to install applications such as Photoshop in order to see the designs.
In addition, this web application improves with the passage of time. They have recently added the possibility of deploying what they define as “connected components” and in a short time it is likely that this tool will also be integrated with Bit.dev.
5. Bitbucket / Github / Gitlab
I think that at this point nobody will be surprised that it includes GIT as one of the fundamental tools for working in teams and remotely.
Applications such as Github or Bitbucket have been appearing around this tool that allow us, in addition to versioning our code:
- prepare continuous integration and deployment systems
- creation of pull requests to facilitate code review and what is approved to go into production.
- a very careful interface to manage the projects of a team and the permissions that each member of the team has.
The well-known Github and Bitbucket have recently been joined by the Gitlab application, expanding the range of options to integrate GIT in our projects.
Bonus track. Visual Studio Code
You may be wondering what a pure development tool does here.
However, I did not want to miss the opportunity to mention the Live Share extension, which will allow us to connect two computers with Visual Studio Code installed in order to be able to program on the same project as if it were a Google Docs.
The extension will allow us to generate a link that we can share with the person with whom we want to develop and that will be enough to start the pair programming session. Really useful, right?
As you can see, there are numerous applications that allow us to facilitate the implantation of a culture of remote work wherever possible. For my work I have focused some of these tools on the sector to which I belong. However, both GSuite, Slack and Trello believe that they can fit perfectly into any company regardless of their activity.
Finally, I would like to recommend an article published this week by Adrián Alonso Vega talking about Ngrok, an application that allows us to expose our computer’s ports in a domain so that other computers can connect:
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