Dev Tools Round Up #1: June 16, 2017

Published June 16, 2017 09:50 | By Robert Gibb


This is a new series that showcases the most popular new tools that were added to StackShare recently, that are most loved by the community. We ask the developers of the past week's most popular tools three questions about the inspiration behind their tool, how it compares to other similar tools, and we ask them about a tool they love (aside from their own).

Our first post in the series 🎉

Letting you know about new and noteworthy tools isn’t a new thing here at StackShare.

For some time now, subscribers to our newsletter, StackShare Weekly, have received a list of the newest tools added to StackShare each week, plus the most popular tools added the week prior. Now we’re taking this a step further...

After finding out which new tools are the most popular on StackShare for any given week, we reach out to the creators of those tools for a quick peek behind-the-scenes- we ask three short questions. The goal here is to help you understand why these new tools were created. how they stack up against existing tools, and help you discover some hidden gems.

We hope you enjoy! Please send us your feedback at robert@stackshare.io!

The hottest new dev tools 🔥


#1: Standup

Automated engineering status reports

Standup automatically processes data from your source control and project management software to deliver daily engineering progress reports. The tool was created by the team at Mesh Studio, a consultancy based in Seattle that helps companies implement machine learning and natural language processing technology.

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Here’s Kevin Coleman, founder of Mesh Studio, with more on Standup and another tool he recommends...

Why did you create Standup?

We were doing some contract work for a customer that had stringent reporting requirements. Compiling their reports was a manual, time-consuming process, but they were super high value for the customer. We decided to build a tool that would automate this report building process.

How does Standup compare to similar tools?

There aren’t many tools on the market that are similar to Standup, or at least that we are aware of. Standup is a super focused product that does one thing really well. We think the simplicity and focus resonates with users. Software development is also an inherently opaque process. There are few tools on the market that provide zero configuration, out-of-the-box insight like Standup does.

What’s one tool that you use and love?

Metabase is an open source BI tool that we have used on several projects. It is very easy to set up and provides a visual querying interface that allows technical and non-technical folks to start building dashboards. We recently used it to create an internal metrics dashboard for Standup.


#2: warp

Secure and simple terminal sharing

warp lets you securely share your terminal with one simple command: warp open. When connected to your warp, clients can see your terminal exactly as if they were sitting next to you. You can also grant them write access, the equivalent of handing them your keyboard.

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Here’s Stanislas Polu, a software engineer at Stripe, with more on warp and another tool he recommends...

Why did you create warp?

I wanted to be able to have high-bandwidth interaction with with my remote co-workers.

How does warp compare to similar tools?

It's just simpler to use than tmux over SSH. It works from anywhere and does not require access to a shared server.

What’s one tool that you use and love?

Gmail plain text mode (bottom right arrow when you're writing an email).


#3: Draft

A tool for developers to create cloud-native applications on Kubernetes

Draft makes it easy to build applications that run on Kubernetes. It targets the "inner loop" of a developer's workflow as they hack on code, but before code is committed to version control. It was created and open-sourced by the Microsoft Azure team.

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Here’s Matt Fisher, a software engineer at Microsoft, with more on Draft and another tool he recommends...

Why did you create Draft?

Draft was created to make it easy to build and develop applications for Kubernetes. While our team was developing Deis Workflow (the product we worked on before we were acquired by Microsoft), it was incredibly difficult to test a local change. Draft simplified that workflow (heh) dramatically.

How does Draft compare to similar tools?

As far as I know, there aren’t many tools identical to Draft. I know Datawire wrote a tool called Forge which builds the image similarly, but utilizes its own “deploy to Kubernetes” workflow whereas Draft utilizes Helm (another tool we wrote) to perform the deployment steps.

What’s one tool that you use and love?

I’ve recently switched over from being a long-time Sublime Text user/lover to Visual Studio Code. VSCode has been surprisingly stable and snappier than Sublime Text, is open source, and has been very accommodating for any language I’m writing in. If I can think of it, there’s usually a plugin available in VSCode.


#4 Istio

Open platform to connect, manage, and secure microservices, by Google, IBM, and Lyft

Istio is an open platform for providing a uniform way to integrate microservices, manage traffic flow across microservices, enforce policies, and aggregate telemetry data. It’s control plane provides an abstraction layer over the underlying cluster management platform, such as Kubernetes and Mesos.

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Here’s Varun Talwar, a product manager at Google, with more on Istio and another tool he recommends...

Why did you create Istio?

We created Istio since it’s hard to connect, manage, operate, and secure microservices across environments and get uniform observability. Istio is a service mesh that forms a layer of infrastructure between a service and the network and can enable policy driven devops while while freeing developers from having to bake solutions related to connecting, managing, and securing microservices into their code.

How does Istio compare to similar tools?

There are not many tools in this category. Linkerd is a similar tool we are aware of, but it takes more resources to run, does not address services security, and is less pluggable.

What’s one tool that you use and love?

grpc. This is A high performance, open-source universal RPC framework.


#5 docsify

A documentation site generator tool without the static html files

docsify generates your documentation website on the fly without generating static html files. Instead, it loads and parses your Markdown files and displays them as a website.

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Here’s Qingwei-Li, a web developer and avid open source contributor, with more on docsify and another tool he recommends...

Why did you create Docsify?

I used a tool similar to GitBook to write a documentation website for my project but this was tedious to use before each release needed to compile. Many times I just modified a few words. Maybe we can put the script in CI, but that’s complicated. I knew we could make it easier to write documentation.

How does Docsify compare to similar tools?

Compared to GitBook, its usage is simpler. You only need a little frontend knowledge to start using it. It’s very lightweight -- the compiled core code is only 20Kb -- and also has a lot of features.

What’s one tool that you use and love?

Sometimes I write frontend projects, but I hate the complex configuration of Webpack. Then I met Poi, a highly encapsulated Webpack configuration tool. You don’t even need to write a line configuration to start developing and compiling your project.


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