If you work within the world of software development, you’ll find yourself bouncing back and forth between a few tools. You’ll most likely use GitHub to host your code, but find yourself needing some task/priority software. This could be GitHub itself or other ones like Jira. Of course, you may also find yourself collaborating on several tools, like Slack, and several projects. Considering that it’s already hard to keep track of the progress on one of your projects, working across several of them becomes a struggle. This problem gets worse as you move up the ranks of management where it becomes increasingly difficult to assimilate and rationalize all of this information. To help combat this, Anaxi was created to help give you all the information on the state and progress of your projects in one single interface.
Why measure dev progress?
According to LinkedIn data, there are currently over 3,000 software engineers employed on average at Fortune 4,000 companies. So, how do those companies measure the progress of their software projects and the performance of their teams? After all, you can’t manage what you don’t measure, so the best of them will manually compute portions of this data on a weekly basis. This turns into a tedious and time-consuming task. In fact, this directly impacts your bottom line. Anaxi cuts out this task and may significantly improve software development efficiency within organizations. Teams will know the impact of any process change, which task they should focus on, and whether or not to anticipate any bottlenecks. This also helps reduce the loss in revenue due to shipping critical issues. According to Tricentis, there was a total of $1.7T loss in revenue in 2017 alone due to software failures and poor bug prioritization.
What is Anaxi?
Anaxi currently offers a free iPhone app that provides the full picture of your GitHub projects to help you understand and manage them better. Anaxi has a lot of features based on what they call reports. Reports are lists of issues or pull requests that you can filter as you see fit using labels, state, milestone, authors, assignees, and more. This allows you to monitor those critical bugs or see the progress of your team’s work. For each project, you can select the people on your team so you can easily see what each person is doing and help where help is needed most. It can also be used to keep track of your own work and priorities, and because it’s an iPhone app, it grants quick access to issues and pull requests that have been assigned. There’s also a customizable color indicator for report deadlines that will help you prioritize what to work on.
How to set up the app
First, you’ll need an iPhone and access to the app store. Go into the App Store and download it. Once you open the app, the landing page will appear.
To get started, press on the Connect GitHub button on the bottom of the screen and enter your GitHub credentials. Next, you’ll be asked to select projects that you want to monitor. Anaxi will automatically select some projects. There is a button you can press to edit this list at the bottom that allows you to add or remove projects from this list. If you forget a project, or realize that you don’t want to monitor a project anymore, you can change it once the initial setup is over.
When you have your projects selected, hit the Next button. It’s time to select your team. Anaxi will start by automatically selecting people that you interact with the most with for the projects you selected. Just like the previous step, you can edit this list by pressing the button at the bottom and you can add or remove team members later.
Next, you will be prompted to help set up the reports for your projects. Anaxi will also start by automatically choosing labels that are most used, but you can customize which labels you want to monitor by clicking the button at the bottom of each project. Later on, you can create more tailored reports by adding issue or pull request reports when inside of a project folder.
Now, Anaxi is set up and a view of reports appears. Mine are all green because I don’t have any activity on my selected projects. From this menu, you can see which projects have pull requests at the top. Clicking on these will pull up open tickets on these projects. If you scroll down, you can see all the pull requests and issues that are assigned to you and your team. Then you can see individual views near the bottom for all of your projects. The order of these can be changed at any time by hitting the edit button in the top right and dragging the folders around.
Let’s choose an open-source project and see what it looks like when more people are working together and there are more issues and pull requests. For this example, let’s use kubernetes/kubernetes. As you can see below, Anaxi created a report for the new project, and added it to the current full report that already existed. Now that there is a more active GitHub project present in my reports, we can see the full extent of Anaxi in action.
To edit any part of the reports, simply click on that section, and then click on the edit button in the top right. Once there, you can change filters and if you scroll to the bottom, you can change the values for when an aspect of a report displays green, yellow or red.
After using Anaxi for a little while, scrolling through my GitHub Projects doesn’t feel like a chore anymore. It’s easy to choose one project and see everything that I want to see. One thing that was slightly bothersome is every time you click on a project, it has to read the GitHub API instead of holding on to it. This results in some wait time when you are trying to switch back and forth between multiple projects in quick succession, but that’s the only downside I’ve seen so far. Changing the colors or filters on aspects of reports is surprisingly easy and intuitive. Another thing I like is that you can create a due date for a certain issue or pull request. This is great when you want to build in dates into your projects. I feel like this would really help me when I want to prioritize certain things, instead of creating Google Calendar notifications, I can do this on the project directly.
So far, I haven’t worked on any project that’s been bigger than 4 people, so it hasn’t helped me that much… yet. As I move forward in my career and work on projects with more and more people and deadlines, I feel like Anaxi will become a go-to product for me. The ability to see everything so easily and the customizability really draws me in and makes me love the product and see myself using it in the future.
What’s coming next
Anaxi currently offers an iPhone app, but don’t fret if you are a web user. The plan for Anaxi is to work on integration with Jira next to help with the technology gap between managing project and managing code. After that is completed, they are planning on creating a web app, followed by Android, and ending with native desktop apps.