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Increase your productivity with these five tools for cloud architects. Simply incorporate each one to your daily routine, the results may surprise you. Roman, AWS Cloud Architect, shares five of his favorite tools for staying on top of your workload.
MS Teams: I have to say that I am a big hater of Microsoft and all its products. I don’t particularly like Windows, SharePoint, MS Office and the rest of Microsoft technologies and products. Nevertheless, here comes a big but. I am always surprised just how smoothly MS Teams works. It is the first thing created by Microsoft, and I like it. I used MS Teams for over 3 years during my studies and didn’t come across any issues while using it. I appreciate the opportunity to create a hierarchy of people in the company, but these features are not the most important for everybody. Video calls work well. The only problem is the internet connection of each participant in a call. MS Teams provides an interactive way to schedule calls between users, and the schedule assistant works excellent. Yes, it is pretty strange when I notice myself giving praise to any Microsoft product, but it is true.
MS Visio: I have been using the Draw.io application my entire life, but around eight months ago, I had to create an AWS diagram in the MS Visio application. As many people know, I am a big Microsoft products hater, and my boss told me to create a diagram in MS Visio. It was a pretty hard pill to swallow, but I gave it a shot. I was pretty confused during the first hour for sure, but I started to enjoy the program. I really appreciated the program’s power. It only took a couple of days of using it before I realised that I actually prefer MS Visio over Draw.io! The connectivity between elements is adopted automatically, elements can be extended, and the lines do not cross. There is only one negative that comes to mind. The complete resources are available only in a paid version.
Focus To-Do: Even though I’ve been called a machine by many, I am not. I’ve simply set up my work routine based on my preferences. I use the Pomodoro technique. I tried to find the best ratio between focus and break time. After a few trials and errors, I realised what worked for me. I fixed my working time to 25 minutes and break time to 5 minutes. I know it can seem hard to adhere to such a strict schedule on a consistent basis, but I do my best. Yes, it is challenging to follow this schedule in between so many calls, but I try my best. I installed the application Focus To-Do on my computer, and during the calls it was funny to see the sentence “It is break time” pop up. So I deleted the application and installed it on my iPad Air 2020. By the way, the application is free, and I highly recommend giving it a shot. I can work extra hours with the Pomodoro technique without feeling completely exhausted.
IntelliJ: IntelliJ is a very well-known IDE that needs no introduction as many programmers already use it. Personally, I use IntelliJ for two purposes. The first is for writing python code. I write the Lambda function daily and IntelliJ provides many valuable features to help you write a more straightforward, faster code. The second purpose is to write Terraform code. In a project that I am involved in, we try to automate things as much as possible and avoid doing things manually. A significant part of the IntelliJ program is a built-in extension of GitHub. I do not need to write any GitHub command. I choose from a list of predefined options in the menu, and IntelliJ does the dirty work. Simple, innovative, and intelligent tool.
However, when programs have a huge user base and great features, it costs a fortune. IntelliJ is not a cheap IDE, but it is worth it. If you do not want to pay for IntelliJ, there are many other IDE, such as a free Visual Studio Code.
MinimaList: During the day, I need to process a lot of information. I am not going to lie, I am not always able to handle everything. My boss had a funny saying : “If you are stupid, take notes”. He had three notebooks where he would write all the notes. I used to take notes on a tablet and the MinimaList application. There are many applications for note taking in the Apple or Google store, so you can try lots of them out. Let me know which ones you prefer. MinimaList is entirely free and has no hidden costs. All the features are intuitive and it works very smoothly.
If you have any questions or use valuable tools or applications, I would love to hear about them.
Have a lovely rest of the day. Roman.
Follow Roman's blog about about education, fitness and programming on Medium.