Developer teams succeed or fail largely depending on what their development process is. A good process raises all boats and sends them happily steaming to success; a bad process or one that’s overly complicated for the project or the size of the team or complexity of the software makes everything harder, slower, and more painful than it should be.
Most of the developers reading this post are very familiar with GitHub (My sincere condolences if you’re stuck with BitBucket.). It’s a super solid way of running your master git repo, raising and addressing issues, and creating pull requests whether you’re making a contribution to an Open Source project, on a startup software team or just trying to find good code.
For the past 6 months or so, I’ve been keeping my eye on something new: ZenHub.io. ZenHub’s interface is a Chrome or Firefox extension that runs when you’re on GitHub. It adds some very, very useful features seamlessly to GitHub: Epics composed of GitHub issues, a Kanban Board for those issues (take that Trello!), and a burndown chart per sprint that gives real meaning to the term velocity in Agile projects. These take GitHub to a whole new level of functionality, all but killing the need for a serious (and complicated) Agile Project Management app like Pivotal Tracker.
Since I’ve been doing a lot of development on KeyboardBrains these past couple of months, I’ve been using ZenHub-enhanced GitHub for my solo development efforts. It is solid, it is helpful and GitHub should just do the Right Thing and acquire ZenHub, in my opinion.
But before they do, go grab ZenHub’s brand new and free GitHub Project Management Guide. It’s succinct, very well written, and really digs deep into using GitHub not just to manage your repos but for software project management. Granted – it includes lots of ZenHub-specific content. But the parts I found really interesting have to do with the modern realities of developing software using an Agile Process (how to make point estimation really work), plus some things about plain-old GitHub that are immediately useful (Creating pull request templates and creating issue templates to name two things).
If you need a refresher on the ins and outs of managing software the Agile way, grab this pdf.