Follow-up on Managing Sporadic Development Projects

Way back in December of 2012 I wrote a post Keeping Track of Sporadic Development Projects about methodologies for keeping track of personal software engineering projects that might go a month or two between spurts of work.  At the time I stated that I was going to try using MacJournal and that I'd post an update on my progress.  It's been over a year so I figure it's time to write the follow-up.

I did try MacJournal for a time.  It's a great program for journaling but it didn't meet my needs for this use.  What I really needed was a more comprehensive project tracking solution.  Keeping a journal of my thoughts on the project is a component, but I also needed a way to document the architecture more comprehensively and I wanted issue tracking.

For a while I switched to running a Redmine instance on an EC2 server but it was a hassle to manage Redmine, Jenkins, Gerrit, etc.  So about six months ago I switched to Atlassian On Demand for Confluence, JIRA, and BitBucket.  This has actually worked out really well.

In a perfect world I'd prefer not to have to pay the $40 per month, or whatever it works out to be, for a service that I only use off and on, but in truth it's a good deal and it meets my needs.  I can keep the larger architecture and planning documents in the Confluence wiki.  The source lives in BitBucket.  I've started doing proper branch-per-issue development with JIRA and git.

I'm not sure if it's due to having better project management tools or just life circumstances but I've found that after moving to Atlassian I'm actually doing a lot more development work on my personal projects than I was previously.  Having a Kanban board of JIRA issues with feature development decomposed and actionable tasks certainly doesn't hurt.

The Atlassian suite seems to hit all of my workflow requirements, with the possible exception that they don't have iOS apps for Confluence or JIRA yet.  I expect I'll stick with this toolset for the foreseeable future.