Effective Tools for Technical Teams

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Among the tools of Stone Age’s Fred Flintstone, collaboration was the most effective. It didn’t always catch him the largest mammoth, but it improved his and Barney Rubble’s chances of bringing home some food for their wives. Several thousands of years later, we catch deadlines instead of mammoth. Still, sometimes, when we work with our teams across the globe, we find ourselves captive in that prehistoric city of Bedrock. If this is also your case sometimes, here’s what you can do.

43 percent of the users feel “frustrated and overwhelmed by their current collaboration tools”, a Siemens study found. And this is understandable, as the most used tools by virtual teams are email (93 percent) and phone (89 percent). Half of the participants to this research find this combination unsatisfactory. For those of you who are about to rock, we drew out a list with best collaborative tools that improve productivity in a virtual team.

First of all, we like Stack Overflow. It’s a Q&A tool that provides quick answers to a wide range of topics in computer programming. In December 2014, it housed more than 8,500,000 questions, the top most discussed topics being Java, JavaScript, C#, PHP, Android, jQuery, Python and HTML. Users can earn reputation points and badges for helping others in need of a solution in no time. In short, Stack Overflow is a learning tool that provides a quick answer, and this is time saving, as you don’t have to search for that info in a stacks of paper. But StackOverflow is a public site where all the questions and answers are visible to everyone. Plus, they don’t provide an offering to companies for their own use.

Our Quandora is similar in a way. It’s a Q&A tool designed to work within your team only. You can use it to share knowledge and experiences, but your questions and comments aren’t public. ‘Cause every company has its proprietary knowledge that has to stay inside the company.

Quandora is like Asimov’s Encyclopedia Galactica from the Foundation series, that book that sums up the whole valuable knowledge your team uses for its projects, in case something goes wrong in the galaxy. Quandora’s aim is also to help carry on a project even if an important team member decides to change jobs or switches to a different time zone.

Another tool for tech teams is Jira, a software that helps you plan, track and build your projects without working yourself into a lather. You hatch out a schedule in no time, you assign work and follow everyone’s activity. It also has a mobile interface, for the restless travelers.

Zendesk is another name that pops into our minds when we think about collaborative tools. It takes pride in supporting better customer service. Technically, it brings all your customer’s emails, texts, tweets and so on, in one place. This way are easier to manage. And it’s easier for you to improve the way you work.

Slack on the other hand is a tech tool that aims to help you be less busy. It’s a platform your team can use to communicate. It does this by creating open channels for your projects, where you can write messages, attach images, videos and files, or write comments. It even integrates with services like Twitter, Dropbox, Google Drive and our own Quandora.

Your technical team probably also needs GitHub, the largest code host in the world. It’s a web-based Git repository hosting services that, unlike Git, has a web-based graphical interfaces and mobile integration. It now has around 3.5 million users.

Campfire is another example of software that can be used for team collaboration. It has real time chat, you can share text, files and even code. So far, more than 100,000 people have used Campfire to keep in touch with their colleagues or their clients.

If you hate writing (or receiving!) lengthy emails or spreadsheets, Trello promises to help you work easier and better. Your team only needs to drag and drop little cards between lists. The screen can easily be customized to accommodate your team’s needs. The idea behind Trello is simple: just look at the board and see real-time updates of the project.

More tech tools to look at: Redbooth, ActiveCollab, Basecamp, Redmine, Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Anymeeting, Logitech LifeSize, Skype, Join Me, Lync, Jabber, Prezi, Yammer, and Chatter.

Not only that we use ourselves internally some of these wonderful tools, but we also built integrations with most of it (Zendesk, Jira, Slack, Github, Campfire, Yammer…), so that the customers we share with these other companies can get easier access to information and improve their overall productivity.

Happy Knowledge Sharing!

Looking for a great way to ask questions and build knowledge with your co-workers? Quandora enables simple, efficient knowledge sharing with your team, way more fun than a mailing list or a forum. Try Quandora

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