Use these development tools when creating software solutions
When you train to become a specific type of professional, there are different tools you utilize. And, when I’m referring to tools, I’m not talking about hammers, screwdrivers, and saws. I’m referring to digital tools such as word processors, image editors, and document repositories.
For example, as a marketing professional, one of the more frequent tools I use is HubSpot. There are many plans you can use on that platform, but it’s a powerful marketing tool that provides a big picture look at our organization’s marketing activities.
When it comes to website and/or software development professionals, there are specific types of tools that are utilized on a regular basis — source control, CI/CD, and Cloud Services.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a developer. I do understand some code, but I am not a ‘coder.’ I’m a marketer. That said, I do understand the importance of version control. That concept is what source control is all about.
Source control, quite literally, is all about managing the changes to code. This process is important to development teams because code is constantly changing with every edit that is made to the project. Source controls protect the code from both human error and unexpected chaos that can happen within development projects.
In order to practice source control, you need a source control management system such as Git. Git is a collaborative tool that developers use for version control of their code. It’s free, open-source software that is widely available and used by developers around the world.
I’ve learned that there are tons of acronyms that float around in the developer world. CI/CD is one of them. It stands for “continuous integration” and “continuous delivery or deployment.”
The first part - CI - is basically an automation process for developers. This is the process that builds, tests, and merges code into a shared repository for the next part of the development process — Deployment.
The CD, or continuous delivery, refers to the part of the development process where changes to an application are automatically tested and uploaded to a repository (such as GitHub). Continuous Deployment (the other ‘CD’) can refer to the release of code changes automatically from the repository to production.
Some of the software tools InGen utilizes during CI/CD include:
- Azure DevOps: a product by Microsoft that provides “version control, reporting, requirements management, project management (for both agile software development and waterfall teams), automated builds, testing and release management capabilities. It covers the entire application lifecycle and enables DevOps capabilities. Azure DevOps can be used as a back-end to numerous integrated development environments (IDEs) but is tailored for Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse on all platforms.” 
- Jenkins: “an open-source automation server. It helps automate the parts of software development related to building, testing, and deploying, facilitating continuous integration and continuous delivery. It is a server-based system that runs in servlet containers such as Apache Tomcat. It supports version control tools, including AccuRev, CVS, Subversion, Git, Mercurial, Perforce, ClearCase, and RTC, and can execute Apache Ant, Apache Maven, and sbt based projects as well as arbitrary shell scripts and Windows batch commands.” 
- Ansible: “an open-source software provisioning, configuration management, and application-deployment tool enabling infrastructure as code. It runs on many Unix-like systems and can configure both Unix-like systems as well as Microsoft Windows. It includes its own declarative language to describe system configuration. Ansible was written by Michael DeHaan and acquired by Red Hat in 2015. Ansible is agentless, temporarily connecting remotely via SSH or Windows Remote Management (allowing remote PowerShell execution) to do its tasks.” 
Since there are so many systems located ‘in the cloud’ these days, it’s important for a developer to know how to use cloud-based application development tools. Cloud development is essentially the creation of applications or other software solutions that are purely web-based. Individuals need a strong understanding of data architecture in order to provide cloud-based solutions to clients. The biggest difference between cloud development and standard local development is that when your solution is in the cloud, it operates through a series of APIs. Because there is a lot of linking between objects, the organization of data architecture is an essential skill.
Some of the tools cloud developers use include:
- AWS Secrets Manager: “helps you protect secrets needed to access your applications, services, and IT resources. The service enables you to easily rotate, manage, and retrieve database credentials, API keys, and other secrets throughout their lifecycle. Users and applications retrieve secrets with a call to Secrets Manager APIs, eliminating the need to hardcode sensitive information in plain text.” 
- Non-relational (NoSQL) databases: “provides a mechanism for storage and retrieval of data that is modeled in means other than the tabular relations used in relational databases. NoSQL databases are increasingly used in big data and real-time web applications.NoSQL systems are also sometimes called Not only SQL to emphasize that they may support SQL-like query languages or sit alongside SQL databases in polyglot-persistent architectures.”
- Cognitive Search
- Cosmos DB
- Caching services (such as Redis): “improves the performance of web applications by allowing you to retrieve information from fast, managed, in-memory data stores, instead of relying entirely on slower disk-based databases.”
These development tools can mean the difference between a successful project engagement or a failed one. Many of these tools are used by InGen’s professionals, and we can stand behind them. If you need assistance with creating the ideal software solution for your organization, contact us.
 Wikimedia Foundation. (2021, October 11). Azure devops server. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azure_DevOps_Server
 Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, March 16). Jenkins (software). Wikipedia. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenkins_(software)
 Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, March 14). Ansible (software). Wikipedia. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansible_(software)
 Amazon. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://aws.amazon.com/secrets-manager/
 Amazon. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://aws.amazon.com/caching/DevOps