People stop me on the street regularly to ask what my favorite dev tools are. After I casually remind them not to look me in the eye, I rattle-off the standard ones: GitHub for version control, GA for base-line analytics, Jira/Hansoft for project management, Slack for notifications, AWS for everything else, etc., etc., etc., …
But if they look genuinely interested and don’t appear to be a recruiter, I reveal 6 tools everyone should be using:
Think of Segment as the gateway to any other 3rd-party service. Code for an analytics event in Segment, and Segment handles sending the event to GA, MailChimp, Intercom, TrackJS, etc.. I can’t say enough good things about Segment; its wrapper around JS events saves us a ton of time in development.
You can push any type of data for your users to Intercom, then communicate with them based on their usage profile. For example, a data point can be as simple as “what’s your user’s first name?” to as complex as “when was the last time he or she clicked the ‘Forgot Password?’ link?” You can segment your audience very specifically (based on your own criteria), then communicate with them.
In my opinion TrackJS is the easiest way to find, identify, explore & solve frontend bugs. You can filter by environments too, which makes it easy to see bugs in production, and bugs only in your local branch.
Super straight forward, but Pingdom sends you either an email or text message when your site is slow or down. It’s one of those services you should have but never want to need.. Regardless, it’s a fantastic product. It is super reliable, low cost => no brainer.
Get a SUPER fast search feature WITHOUT a ton of overhead. Sync your models with Algolia and simply allow their API to handle search. Every proper MVC framework has an Algolia model package, and you can easily configure and weight the search results. VERY light on dev overhead.
Thanks to Jared for his enlightenment on a bunch of these services, and Sujoy from VisitDays for unknowingly stirring the creative juice for this post.
And as always, big ups to Greg for deleting those cron jobs.