The Best Online Collaboration Tools for Developers

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June 17, 2021 | 9 Mins Read

what are the best online collaboration tools for developers

Whether you need to keep on track with a new product roadmap, share code or review the user story files, being able to access a one-stop hub for efficient team collaboration is crucial for productive software development teams.

With tight deadlines, a heavy workload and a need to create wiggle room in your schedule for deep work, devs need a collaborative solution that helps them to simplify their workflow and free up time for true focus. 

In this post, we explore the importance of collaboration for your developer teams. Covering project management alternatives to solutions such as Trello, Asana, or Basecamp, and those designed to empower more efficient communications, we highlight some of the best tools and integrations that specifically meet the needs of software developers

What is online collaboration?


Online collaboration is the art of communicating with your team, clients, partners, and stakeholders on a specific project or a common goal. 

With multifaceted, complex workflows involved, being able to communicate quickly and efficiently online makes work projects much simpler. 

With instant messaging apps, audio conferencing, file sharing, and video calling all playing a key role in our everyday online collaborations, having a one-stop tool with all these key features under one roof make collaborating much easier, as workers can communicate via their chosen channel at a time that suits them.  

Importance of online collaboration for software developers


The role of the developer team is to understand, build and realise an exceptional user experience for their product. That means being able to fully understand complex briefs and multi-layer user journeys at concept level. 

From the point of gathering requirements from the product manager to designing and finalising the software in beta mode, engineers must collaborate and liaise with many different departments, colleagues and partners to effectively work together. 

Benefits of collaboration tools


Being able to conduct all your project collaborations efficiently online has many advantages. 

With team collaboration tools that store files, enable instant messaging and video calling, software engineers can gather and store all the information they need with files accessible in an instant. 

With features such as screen sharing, users can share their work, brainstorm, and gather feedback with their team members, and capabilities such as call recording mean devs can keep key briefing calls on file to access again and again when they need to. 

How to pick the right collaboration tools for your teams


Finding the best tools for your teams can be challenging. With a vast range of team communication tools on the market, it’s important to first identify what problems your collaborative tools could solve. 

Identifying the key challenges of your software development teams is an imperative starting point. Whether it’s enabling instant video calls, instant chat to help troubleshoot queries, screen sharing for better visibility, or file sharing and storage, so developers have access to all the key files they need without delving into the depths of their inbox, many solutions offer a range of features to help your software engineers streamline their workload.

What are the best online collaboration tools for developers?


With a niche set of skills and requirements, developer teams need to choose the right tools to address their specific needs. We’ve put together a list of some of the most effective collaboration and project management solutions that meet the needs of your developer team members.

  • RingCentral 

Whether you’re discussing the key objectives of new features, sharing code snippets, or quickly jumping on a video call, RingCentral’s all-in-one solution gives devs a virtual workspace hub for all their communications needs. What’s more, project managers can create, manage and assign tasks to their teammates to keep all colleagues aligned.

  • Jira 

Jira is a popular solution with developers for its issue and bug tracking capabilities. While it is a holistic work management tool for a number of functions and departments, it has become popular among software development teams for its ability to be used for coding, general collaboration, test case management, and release stages, as well as its intuitive integrations with key add-ons. 

  • GitLab

Acclaimed by DevOps teams, the web-based lifecycle tool offers teams a Git-repository management solution with issue tracking and continuous deployment and integration pipeline capabilities. Used for source code management and security, GitLab ranked in fifth place as one of the highest acclaimed software development tools, according to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020. 

  • Trello

Another popular tool used for general project management is Trello. Loved for the ability to organise projects into boards, offering a visual way to manage and streamline developer workflows, the Kanban-style collaboration solution helps teams keep track of information, list actions, and organise cards for each project. 

  • Confluence 

Confluence allows developer teams to collaborate, generate new work, and organise projects and workflows. Offering seamless information flow, users can transfer information from impermanent conversations to company-wide knowledge, make use of multiple devices adopting an asynchronous communications style, or make use of a dedicated collaborative workspace for real-time reviews and feedback. 

 Why is RingCentral the best tool for developers? 

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Bringing together your core phone, messaging and video conferencing capabilities in one unified communications platform, RingCentral offers a holistic, collaborative ecosystem for devs looking for the best way to work seamlessly together from afar.

1. Easy-to-use

With a smooth user journey in mind, our dedicated collaboration platform allows teams to hit the ground running. With user-friendly desktop or mobile apps, the intuitive solution is easy to set up, easy to use and off-the-shelf, or custom integrations mean it can slot in with your other day-to-day essential tools and work routine, so developer teams can be up and running in minutes.

 

2. Integrated

With a number of options for integration and an open-source API platform designed to help you customise the tools you want to connect with, RingCentral enables developer teams to sync their communications with hundreds of essential tools, including Microsoft 365, Google Workspace tools such as Google Docs, Google Drive and any integral developer solutions they use to manage projects and conduct their best work. 

 

3. Secure & scalable collaboration

With security at the fore, RingCentral’s comprehensive communications solution brings together phone capabilities, audio conferencing, video calls and instant messaging along with key collaborative features such as screen sharing, whiteboard functions, file sharing and storage. With a secure, agile and scalable communications solution in the toolkit, developer teams benefit from all their collaboration features in one scalable platform, built to grow in tandem with your business.

 

4. Designed for teamwork

Keeping devs on the same page, aligned and working towards a common goal is crucial when you’re on a product deadline. Our core features are built with efficient, effective teamwork front-of-mind. Enabling your team members to set dedicated threads for projects, specific topics, or per team, colleagues can effectively work together and streamline communications to ensure no one gets messages that aren’t relevant to them. What’s more, being able to exchange media files for better context ahead of a meeting, you can keep everyone connected across different teams and time zones.

 

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5. Improve teams productivity

Implementing a single, unified application that brings together meetings, phone features, messaging as well as storage of docs and screen sharing can work wonders for your team’s productivity. RingCentral’s intelligent software eliminates the need to switch between multiple platforms. That means developers can focus on the tasks that matter, benefitting from a better quality of deep work in between interactive collaborations. 

 

6. More than just a team messaging app for developers!

The rise of hybrid or remote teams means that many different team members are based across separate office locations, as well as from home or remotely. That means bringing your developer team together in one virtual workplace is crucial. 

Our all-in-one virtual working environment gives your dev team access to the functionality they need as they conduct remote work on projects from wherever they are in the world.  

 

    • Message teams

Communication becomes more efficient with instant messaging in real-time, whether it’s being able to fire quick questions to colleagues, share code snippets, or brainstorm ideas within your devs message thread.  

 

    • Meet in one-click

Access to unlimited video calls enables you to get valuable face-time with colleagues, share your screen to outline plans for your key product features or use the helpful whiteboard feature for further brainstorming and visualisation. 

 

    • Manage tasks

In addition to key communications tools, RingCentral also enables users to take advantage of task management tools. Create and assign tasks to specific team members straight from the flow of your team messaging thread, tag a colleague and set one-off or recurring deadlines for key tasks. 

 

    • Store & work on files

Allowing for uncapped file storage, RingCentral also offers an ideal virtual hub to store and work on key product files. Revisit the product roadmap, review the backlog, make comments on a user story or wireframe, generally keeping files organised and discussing tasks in real-time. If you need a separate space to sync your files, RingCentral also integrates with solutions such as Dropbox or OneDrive for additional cloud storage.  

 

    • Code from anywhere!

With RingCentral’s easy-to-use app, teams can take software development on the road. Whether you’re on a Mac, PC, iOS or Android mobile device, our accessible apps work across any device to allow teams to stay connected regardless of your location. 

 

Discover more RingCentral features >>

 

7. Plans and pricing that meets developer teams needs

Regardless of budget, RingCentral offers a solution that meets your needs at a price that’s manageable for you. 

With a number of pricing plans on offer, RingCentral allows you to choose a manageable plan in accordance with your needs and your budget.

Essentials Standard Premium Ultimate
₤7.99
/user/month
₤14.99

/user/month

₤19.99

/user/month

₤24.99

/user/month *

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Explore RingCentral solutions


Looking to offer your developer teams a better collaboration solution, screen sharing video, or simply a tool that enables more efficient file storage and context access, RingCentral offers the key capabilities you need to connect and empower your DevOps teams.

Video conferencing

RingCentral Video allows small startups or global workforces the chance to meet face-to-face in real-time, helping engineers to join forces, and work together on product roadmaps, features and key briefs remotely. Our video platform offers the high-quality audio and video every team can expect from a high calibre communications platform, enabling better connections between colleagues and stakeholders across multi-functional teams.

Find out more about this solution>>

 

Cloud Phone Systems

RingCentral’s hosted PBX phone system means you and your team benefit from seamless connectivity, whether you’re picking up the phone from a chat thread with your colleague or conducting an audio conference with the wider team. What’s more, users can keep their work life and private life separate. With a dedicated RingCentral business number, your team members don’t have to take calls from a personal number even when they use their mobile device. 

Find out more about this solution>>

 

Customising your developer team’s platform with key integrations


With the communications functionality your software engineers require, RingCentral can offer a number of integrations that enable you to build your own collaborative ecosystem. With all your core digital tools brought together in one unified app, teamwork becomes leaner and colleagues can be more productive just by eliminating the need to switch between various platforms.  

With a range of tools and platforms specifically built for developer teams, there are a number of solutions that may have become indispensable for every member of your DevOps team.

We’ve highlighted just a few of the key integrations you can easily build into your RingCentral collaboration hub:

GitHub

GitHub for RingCentral is an indispensable integration for many developer teams. Enabling users to stay on top of key updates, pull requests, bug fixes and code reviews, all without leaving the RingCentral collaboration app, users can even view and respond to any GitHub event straight from their team messaging thread.

Jira

Pulling the popular bug and issue tracking features straight into your team messaging app, Jira for RingCentral allows developer teams to receive updates of created and updated Jira tickets directly from within your messaging thread. This enables devs to collaborate more seamlessly and discuss tracked issues quickly and easily from within your communications app.

Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source automation server designed for developers. Allowing software development teams to build, test and deploy their software, Jenkins for RingCentral has become a crucial integration for developer teams looking to streamline their software testing processes further. Jenkins for RingCentral posts notification messages straight to your pre-set team messaging thread so you can view and act on updates in real-time.

New Relic

New Relic for RingCentral allows teams to receive post notifications from New Relic updates and tag co-workers directly from within the team messaging app, consolidating your work environment into a single view. Designed to support software engineers in delivering and implementing the perfect software, New Relic combined with RingCentral’s core collaborative features helps developer teams drive better productivity with updates all in one place.

Confluence

Confluence allows users to create, share and work together on projects all from the same platform. Confluence for RingCentral posts a notification to your team messaging conversation of choice when a Confluence page or comment is updated. This allows teams to easily pull updates into the team messaging app instead of receiving multiple email notifications.

Allyn Jayawon

Author

Allyn is the SEO Specialist for EMEA at RingCentral, the leader in cloud communications solutions.

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