7 old tools teams need to dump in 2017 for better ones, to develop better

Abhimanyu Grover
February 16, 2017

Today's post is about migrations from old toolsand technologies to new and better ones. One cannot ignore how quickour technology is progressing, one small change in workflow savesenormous amount of time which otherwise is overlooked. When I saytechnology I do not mean technology on conceptual level, buttechnology which empowers common users and teams like ours. We oftenget comfortable with the set of tools we work with daily, even thoughwe really need to be more transparent and more objective with suchdecisions. We at TestCollab are often guilty of the same thing. It'scrucial to get some external feedback to see things more objectively.So that's why I'd like to share some tools you need to dump and why,along with their newer and better alternatives.

#1 CI System: Old self-hosted Jenkins to any newcloud hosted tools.

Out: Jenkins

In: Shippable


Jenkins is a mature project and while it was agreat tool few years back, it no longer works with essentialrequirements teams need today. The absence of pipelines and branchingas first class citizens, and stricter environment level provisioning– Jenkins no longer works for moving up the ladder of continuousdeployment maturity.

Apart from getting old, other issue is cost. Computing costs havegone down and most of the cloud tools provide a lot of functionalityand builds at free of cost – at a starter level. These new cloudtools are extremely scalable and provides great ROI.

Other alternatives: TravisCI, SemaphoreCI

#2 Version control: SVN to Git

Out: SVN

In: Git


In beginning, I was a bit skeptical about thegains it would offer compared to the cost it would require tomigrate. So I set out to do some experimentation and was pleasantlysurprised by source code push/pull speeds and merging. Git usescompressed network transfer mode which made pulling out 2500 or sofiles in seconds as opposed to minutes in Subversion.

Although SVN is still an active project but I doubt they'll pushsomething as innovative as Git – so this seems like a good move.

Alternative: Mercurial

#3 Project management: JIRA to any Kanban tool


In: Trello


While JIRA and similar tools make good issuemanagers to dump all your bugs in, they make a terrible projectmanagement tool. Really, think about it, what project really is?First there's your product and any iteration you do on it is aproject. Now in order to be kickass with your iterations you need tosee where everything is, along with their respective statuses and ifsomething is being worked upon for too long to quickly identifyissues. JIRA and such tools don't offer that (at least they weren'tcreated for this purpose).

With new Kanban board tools, you get to see full picture everytime you open them instead of dead index of issues. I don't knowabout others but I'm urged to push forward when I see the biggerpicture.

Alternatives: KanbanTool

#4 Test Management: Spreadsheets to TestCollab

Out: Spreadsheets

In: TestCollab


Okay, we maybe a little biased here but hey,we gotta pay our bills too. Spreadsheets doesn't work well for testmanagement tasks. Spreadsheets don't delegate… TestCollab does.Spreadsheets doesn't integrate with your issue managers, TestCollabdoes. Spreadsheets doesn't track testing time and quality metrics,TestCollab does. So I guess that's enough reason to at least tryus. Huh?

Alternatives: HPTest Manager

#5 Development environment: Desktop to C9

Out: Desktop

In: C9


Why code on your laptop when you can code inbrowser on remote workspace? Wait did I say workspace? Try tens orhundreds of workspaces. With tools like C9 you can launch as manyworkspaces as you want with clean OS and nothing else. Finally, youcan focus plainly on all things creative instead of resolvingdependency hell and desktop issues.

You can experiment more on OS level and quickly install /uninstall so many packages. Desktop lovers might be thinking, sowhat? We've got VM's and now Docker, what's the big deal? Yes it is abig deal – I can open 10 parallel workspaces and play with themwithout watching my laptop hard-drive go crazy. And another lovablefact: your packages download super-fast without hurting yourbandwidth.

Alternatives: CodeAnywhere

#6 Webhooks: Custom coded to Zapier

Out: Your hacky custom coded stuff

In: Zapier


There's no reason to code several connectorsamong different web services anymore (well in at least 90% of thecases now). Because any service you can possibly imagine will mostlikely be found at Zapier and you can make your own integrations veryeasily. It has never been this easier to connect 2 or more servicestogether and make data flow through them – it just workswonderfully.

Alternatives: Automate.io

#7 Hosted servers to Server-less computing

Out: Hosted servers

In: AWSLambda


I haven't seen a similar company as Amazon.These guys are so disruptive that they disrupt their own products –Lambda is such a product. AWS Lambda removes the need of always-onservers altogether instead your code runs in the cloud and you justmanipulate the result. Migrating an existing API to AWS Lambda hassteep learning curve and also requires some kind of shift in team'smentality but it's totally worth it. You can cut down your costs asmuch as 50-60% in some cases.

Alternatives: GoogleCloud Functions