4 Tools Programmers Use to Boost Productivity

Posted on April 24, 2017 by .


Even the most established professional is bound to stare down a rapidly approaching deadline from time to time. So, it’s important that every workplace, regardless of industry, always be on the lookout for new ways to maximize both productivity and efficiency. Sustainable progress on these fronts is critical for the long-term health of any organization.

This holds especially true for programmers, who often find themselves on the cutting-edge. In order to truly keep innovation front and center, everything else that goes into executing well should already be deeply integrated into the routines that determine how work gets done. This includes systematizing best practices for crucial processes like communication and organization. Here are five tools many programmers leverage to boost their productivity and make the workday that much more manageable.


Widely used by organizations of all sizes and in a multitude of different spaces, Slack is a messaging application that goes far beyond the instant message basics. Designed specifically for teams and workplaces, Slack facilitates efficient communication via a robust portfolio of features. You can use Slack on many different devices and platforms, and the app allows you to accomplish an impressive array of collaborative tasks with minimal effort, including uploading and sharing files, managing group chats, creating project-specific channels, and more. In an increasingly digital world, Slack makes working well with others – whether they are on the other side of the office or the other side of the country – both simple and fun.

Oh My Zsh

With more than 1,000 contributors, Oh My Zsh is a community-driven, open source framework for managing zsh configurations. It offers hundreds of different plugin options, over one hundred themes, and an auto-update mechanism that makes it even easier to stay up-to-date with community input. Oh My Zsh also enjoys the enviable privilege of being the single most popular productivity tool showcased on GitHub. Created in 2009, the framework does emphasize keeping it simple so that people new working in a command-line environment find the tool accessible. Oh My Zsh requires OS X or Linux and Zsh 4.3.9 or a more recent version.

The Silver Searcher

The Silver Searcher (sometimes abbreviated to Ag, the elemental symbol for Silver) is a tool to help you search code. Originally a clone of Ack, an older tool designed to accomplish this same basic function, the Silver Searcher is typically as much as ten times faster than its predecessor. This is thanks to divergence in its feature sets that have been implemented since its inception. In addition to being so fast, it also ignores file patterns from your .gitignore and .hgignore. If there are files in your source repo that you would prefer not be included in the search, you can simply add their patterns to a .ignore file. The Silver Searcher is now quite stable, with most changes involving rare minor bug fixes or performance improvements.


Share X is a program that allows power users, developers, and testers to screenshot and screencast. Published under the GNU General Public License, it’s also free. GitHub’s code-sharing and code development platform hosts the project’s source code. Developers thus enjoy full access to more deeply examine code and investigate how each image, video, or text hosting APIs are utilized. ShareX even supports a number of image upload options, including Google Photos, Twitter, Imgur, and Flickr. That level of integration extends to file-hosting services too, like Dropbox and FTP.

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