The common misconception that some of us still have when it comes to software developers is that the job isn’t as rewarding and it’s just plain boring. Why would a software developer have the need for a task management tool to organize their work? More often then not, our narrow and ignorant view is just a product of our mindset that finds programming too hard and monotonous to even bother having that view spread.
Well, we’re here to tell you otherwise. Software developers have it hard sometimes, it’s true, but their work is actually pretty noble and very much rewarding. We can say that software developers have two great missions in their work:
- To always seek improvement
- To make everybody’s lives easier
The first reason makes them always come back to their work and do more to make everything, every instance run smooth. The second one being the developer’s great WHY in their work. They have to take interest in various parts of life and business and need to have a strong understanding of needs and demands they want to meet. This is what keeps them going and what makes their work very entrepreneurial in its nature.
All of this makes a software developer’s job pretty dynamic and very agile. Especially if they’re working on several different projects all at once, which they often do. So yes, developer’s daily life is very much a dynamic one, filled with tasks and they need to have some sort of organizing skills and tools for everything to be running just like their solutions – smooth.
What To Look For In A Task Management Tool For Developers
Well, depends on who you’re asking really. Programmers tend to be really picky and once they find something that meets their standards, they’re quite hard to change opinions.
Not like we’d want to, but we have to generalize a bit based on our experience. Software developer’s task overloaded days require a tool that’s simple as can be, not a time consuming one. Some of them like to say their organizing methods are much like their programming – divide and conquer. This means they like to divide their complicated tasks into much smaller sub-tasks which makes it easier to shuffle between different projects and assignments while reaching the end goal. All in all, they like to have a bigger picture of things so timelines and tools with codependency overview aren’t exclusive when it comes to their task management requirements.
So, let’s get down to our list of task management tools for software developers.
When it comes to both project and task management we’ve made a tool fit for every part of your team. Yep, you software developers included. Here at Toggl Plan, we like to see every team or every person of your team working as one part of the whole. This means connecting everyone under the same roof (tool) that will work for – well, everyone. We didn’t want to overcomplicate anything and made a simple, yet powerful tool for striving team of visionaries who know where they are headed.
If you’re a software developer who likes to put things into perspective and to know how they fit into the picture this one is just for you. Plan your tasks with Gantt charts that will make you use the time better and prioritize over many tasks on your to-do list. Your organizing skills are guaranteed to improve, making you more agile, responsive and ready to tackle new, demanding projects with ease. One thing’s for sure, you’ll see that this software is like a living organism, always expanding and growing better which is rewarding for the user – especially if the user is a developer who finds joy in improvement.
Now, here’s an app that can take pride in its simplicity. The main interface is comprised of the main board on the left and controls board on the right of your screen. Although it may lack timeline overview of the project, one great thing about it is that you can track time for each and every task you create or work on which makes it great to give you feedback on where you spend your time the most. Your to-do tasks are referred to as cards (can contain subtasks) that you simply drag and drop on your main board.
You can then move your cards left or right on the board to mark them as done, or to set priorities. Although Trello’s simplicity is awesome for small projects and teams (especially if you need to granulate), it’s less effective for bigger ones as you can imagine, it becomes difficult to track all those cards. They become pushed off the screen and it becomes hard to navigate. One main lacking feature of Trello is that you cannot define dependencies between the tasks.
Nevertheless, it’s a great tool for your small software development team and to keep track of the time those pesky tasks spend.
Another simple yet powerful task management software. And, much like Trello, the tasks are simply dragged over the dashboard, but Todoist offers up to four levels of indentation for sub-tasks. This one has the visual appeal, as you can color code your tasks to indicate certain group, project or a user of the task. One thing that software developers may find attractive is that you can actually code your tasks with simple !! code that marks a priority. If you want, for example, assign the highest priority level to a task, simply write !!1 which makes it priority task level 1.
Todoist is also location-aware. You can use it to remind you of the tasks you need to perform at a certain time, at a certain place, for example when you leave that feedback meeting. The notification arrives via SMS or in your e-mail inbox.
If you’re a software developer who already uses a tool for his task management feel free to leave us a comment. We’d love to hear about it!