Working as a team in developing software requires a decent and reliable communication tool. Before the emergence of project management tools like Backlog, software developers used to use tools like a mailing list to keep in touch and monitor the progress of tasks. But, a mailing list is not relevant enough in the modern era like today, where everything is connected and centralized.
You, the developer, need a better tool to work collaboratively with your team members to streamline your workflow in developing your software. Backlog, an online project management tool, is a worth-trying tool.
Backlog offers everything you need for software development. From task manager, bug tracker, version control, Git and centralized file sharing.
A brief intro about Backlog
Distributed work has been a norm these days. People work with their team members without physically sitting in the same room. Today, there are lots of collaboration tools to make this modern habit be even easier. Backlog is one of which. You might have heard about project management tools like Trello or Asana. So, what makes Backlog different from those tools?
Backlog is roughly the same as tools like Trello and Asana, where you can add tasks, manage them and assign them to your team members. The key difference is that Backlog is designed specifically for software development. If you want to develop a software project with your team, Backlog is a great project management tool you can rely on. The features offered by Backlog have been specialized for software management.
Key features offered by Backlog
As we have briefly mentioned, Backlog comes with a set of features that are ideal for software development. Adopting Backlog as your project management tool, you don’t need to use other tools. Backlog is a compilation of project manager, task manager, file sharing, bug tracker, communication tool and version control. Features like Wiki and Git are also available.
- Task and Project Management
You can start using Backlog by adding a project. The free user of Backlog is only allowed to add one project. The free version of Backlog is suited for a personal project, despite restrictions here and there. Even with the free version, you still be able to add team members up to 10 persons, which is not bad at all.
Backlog allows you to instantly see the latest changes made by your team. As you enter a project, you will see the following interface.
On the center area of the main dashboard of the project, you can see all of the changes made by your team members. On the right panel, you can see the status of issues.
Issue is probably the first term you need to familiar with when working with Backlog. There four three types of issues on Backlog: Task, Bug, Request and Other. When adding an issue, you need to understand whether the issue you want to add is a task, bug or request.
To add a new task on Backlog, you can click the Add Issue menu on the left panel or the plus button on the top bar. Just make sure to select Task on the dropdown menu.
When adding a task, Backog allows you to assign it to a team member, set the due date to keep it punctual and set the priority. You can also attach a file to each task or add sub-tasks (premium only).
You can monitor the progress of each task (and other issues) by going to the Issues menu. Clicking a task will take you to the detailed progress regarding the task.
- Team Collaboration
Team collaboration is the main essence of online project management tools like Backlog. The collaboration feature offered by Backlog is something different. Not only you can add your team members to join a project, but you can also add external partners (or your clients) to join the project. You can add third-party partners by settings their role to Guest. Speaking of role, there are three role types offered by Backlog:
- Manage members and teams
- Invite members
- See members and teams
- Create a team
- Become the administrator of the team
- See the team belongs to
Backlog itself allows you to create teams. This feature is great if you are a project manager with lots of team members. You can, for instance, create separate teams for design division, coding division, testing team and so on. This will make the workflow be more organized. The teams you have created can be added to a project.
Furthermore, another handy feature offered by Backlog to make your teamwork be easier is the ability to add a comment. You can add comments to every issue on your project. Backlog also comes with notification feature so you will always be able to see every new change in real-time.
- Bug Tracking, Version Control and File Sharing
As we have mentioned at the beginning, there are four types of issues you can select when adding a new issue to the projects you belong to; Task, Bug, Request and Other. If you want to report a bug you found on your project, you can simply choose the Bug option. Once there is a bug report submitted, you and your team can follow the thread to keep updated over every new change.
It is also possible to integrate Backlog with Git and SVN. These features allow you to easily manage source. You can, for instance, compare changes between branches to get an overview of which change will be merged.
To make it easy for you and your team members to exchange files, Backlog also comes with a file sharing feature. There are two ways to share files between team members. First, you can add a file on the comment section of an issue. Second, you can upload a file by clicking the File menu on the left panel. Backlog also makes it easy for you to find older files. You can find a file by date or user.
In addition to the key features we covered above, there are several other features offered by Backlog (you can see all Backlog features here). One of which, Backlog provides mobile apps for Android and iOS to allow you to monitor the new changes on your projects while you are on the go.
Backlog is an online project manager that is best suited to be used by software developers since it has features like version control and Git. Even so, this tool can also be used to handle non-software development projects like marketing teams, design teams, and so on. Backlog itself adopts a freemium business model. You can use this tool for free with an option to upgrade to premium for more advanced features. The free version of Backlog is great for a personal project.
Backlog is a modern project management tool to help organize your projects and all of the things related to them. Like team and tasks. Backlog is developed by Nulab, the company that also develop online diagramming tool Cacoo and team communication tool Typetalk. For developers who want to get extra money, Backlog also offers an affiliate program you can join.