Time Tracking Software for Developers

Time Tracking Software for Developers

Whether working individually or in teams, time tracking software is an essential aid for software developers to improve time management, meet task deadlines, and achieve better work-life balance. Developers can gain valuable insights into their productivity and work patterns through detailed reports and analysis. 

By using time tracking tools, they can identify time-wasting activities, set realistic goals, and stay focused on their priorities. 

What Time Tracking Features Should Software Engineers Look For

When considering time tracking software, you should look for the following features to meet their specific needs and enhance their productivity:

Task and Project Tracking: The software should allow employees to track time for individual tasks and projects. It should support multiple projects simultaneously, enabling seamless switching between them.

Real-Time Tracking: Real-time tracking with start/stop timers or automated tracking while working on specific tasks helps ensure accurate timekeeping.

Flexible Reporting: The software should offer customizable and detailed reports, allowing developers to analyze their time usage, progress, and task completion rates.

Integration with Development Tools: Integration with the following tools simplifying time tracking and ensures seamless workflow:

  • code editors and IDEs (Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, Spacemacs, IntelliJ IDEA),
  • project management tools (Jira, Asana, Monday, Trello, Basecamp),
  • bug tracking tools (Redmine, Bugzilla).

Mobile App Support: Mobile apps enable you to track time on-the-go, whether they are working from their desks or remotely.

Task and Project Hierarchy: The software should support task hierarchies, allowing employees to break down projects into sub-tasks for better organization and tracking.

Billable Hours Tracking: For client-based tasks, the software should provide the option to track billable hours separately and generate accurate invoices.

Offline Mode: An offline mode allows developers to continue tracking time even when not connected to the internet.

Tags and Labels: The ability to add tags or labels to time entries facilitates easy categorization and filtering of tracked hours.

Idle Time Detection: Detecting idle time and prompting developers to restart the timer upon activity helps prevent inaccurate tracking. Some progressive software also include features that help employees monitor productivity and overall work activity during a workday. Traqq helps to stay involved throughout the tasks.

Task Notes and Descriptions: Adding notes or descriptions to time entries allows team members to record details about their work and refer back to them when needed.

Integration with Payroll and Invoicing: Seamless integration with payroll and invoicing systems streamlines financial processes for freelancers or client-based engineers.

Privacy and Security: The software should prioritize data privacy and security to protect sensitive information.

Customizable Alerts and Reminders: Customizable alerts and reminders will help you manage time and tasks efficiently.

Best Time Tracking Software for Developers

Traqq

Traqq time tracker

Traqq is a software that provides you with automatic time tracking, productivity insights, and screenshot monitoring. It caters to both individual software engineers and development teams, offering an efficient way to count work hours and manage tasks effectively.

Why It’s a Good Choice

Traqq is one of the best time trackers, perfect for teams working remotely, as it allows them to select a time zone, ensuring accurate tracking across different locations.

Pros 

  1. Automated tracking
  2. Offline time tracking
  3. Time zone selection for remote teams
  4. Detailed productivity reports
  5. Screenshots and screen video recordings

Cons

  • Limited integrations

Pricing:

  • Free for small teams (up to 3 people), full functionality
  • $6 per user/month (up to 100 people)
  • Enterprise – custom

Toggl Track

ActiveCollab

Toggl Track is an excellent choice for any team due to its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with programming tools like IDEs and project management platforms. It offers real-time tracking, idle time detection, and task hierarchy support, making it easy for engineers to manage their time efficiently. Toggl Track’s detailed reports and customizable tagging system provide valuable insights into task progress and individual task performance.

Why It’s a Good Choice

ClickUp’s suite of features caters to the unique needs of developers. It offers versatile time tracking across its web app, desktop app, mobile app, and browser extension, ensuring you can monitor your work seamlessly from any platform. You can effortlessly generate clean and client-ready visuals and reports in CSV or PDF formats, enhancing your project presentations. Plus, the Insights feature provides invaluable insights into your project’s profitability, giving you the information you need to make informed decisions.

Pros

  1. Integrated with Google Calendar
  2. Easy data exchange with payroll and accounting software
  3. Detailed productivity reports

Cons

  • Editing incorrectly entered data isn’t easy

Pricing:

  • Free for up to 5 users
  • Starter – $9 per user/month
  • Premium – $18 per user/month
  • Enterprise – custom

Clockify

Clockify - time tracking and employee monitoring

Clockify is a free time tracking app that suits you with its simple and intuitive interface. It allows unlimited users and projects, making it ideal for teams. Clockify’s integration with various platforms, including web browsers and mobile apps, enables developers to track time across different devices seamlessly.

Why It’s a Good Choice

Employees can effortlessly log coding hours and maintain accurate records of their work. Clockify’s integrations with popular project management tools like Trello, Asana, and GitHub ensure seamless time recording within existing workflows. Furthermore, Clockify provides robust reporting and visualization features, enabling developers to analyze their time allocation and enhance productivity. 

Pros

  1. Unlimited tracking on a free plan
  2. Built-in communication tools
  3. GPS tracking with Pro and Enterprise plans

Cons

  • No shift scheduling 
  • No payroll functionality

Pricing:

  • Free to start with upgrades available
  • Basic – $3.99 per user/month
  • Standard – $5.49 per user/month
  • Pro – $7.99 per user/month
  • Enterprise – $11.99 per user/month

Harvest

Harvest time tracking

Harvest is a versatile time tracking tool that offers advanced features like expense calcualtions and invoicing. It provides integrations with popular project management platforms and allows developers to convert counted hours into billable invoices with ease.

One standout feature of Harvest is its expense tracking functionality. You can easily log and categorize expenses related to their projects, such as travel costs, supplies, or other billable items. This feature ensures that all task-related expenses are accurately recorded, making it convenient for developers to maintain a clear overview of costs.

Why It’s a Good Choice

Harvest’s built-in invoicing feature streamlines the process of recording time and accepting payments through Stripe or PayPal, making financial management hassle-free. Additionally, Harvest’s seamless integrations with accounting tools such as Xero and QuickBooks eliminate the need for manual invoice imports. Moreover, it harmoniously collaborates with popular software project management tools like Trello, Asana, and Slack, ensuring efficient project tracking and management within your preferred ecosystem.

Pros

  1. Multiple integrations
  2. Advanced analytics  tools
  3. Invoicing and billing features

Cons

  • There is a slight learning curve when you start out
  • Some features are only available on a subscription

Pricing: 

  • Free
  • Lite – $5 per user per month
  • Team – $8.50 per user per month

Hubstaff

Hubstaff is a comprehensive time tracking and employee monitoring software suitable for developers working in teams.

One of the key strengths of Hubstaff is its real-time tracking capabilities, allowing programmers to monitor their time as they work on tasks and projects. The software also offers activity monitoring, which provides insights into how time is spent on different activities, such as coding, testing, or meetings. This feature helps you identify potential time-wasting activities and optimize their productivity.

What Makes It Work:

Hubstaff prides itself on a user-friendly one-minute setup, eliminating any learning curve associated with time tracking and ensuring swift implementation without delays. With Hubstaff’s expense calcualtions, you can establish budgets and time limits for specific tasks, preventing your team from exceeding commitments and maintaining control while working with demanding clients.

Pros

  1. Money-back guarantee (first 60 days of use)
  2. GPS tracking 
  3. Automated desktop screenshots

Cons

  • May be overwhelming for small teams
  • No advanced reporting features

Pricing:

  • Starter – $4.99 per user/month
  • Grow – $7.50 per user/month
  • Team – $10 per user/month
  • Enterprise – custom

RescueTime

Best time management apps: RescueTime pricing

RescueTime is an automatic time tracking tool that suits peogrammers who prefer passive tracking. It calculates time spent on various applications and websites, helping developers identify time-wasting activities and improve focus.

RescueTime offers a detailed breakdown of the time spent on different activities, categorizing them as productive, neutral, or distracting. This insight helps engineers understand their work patterns and identify potential time-wasters, enabling them to make informed decisions on how to optimize their productivity.

Why It’s a Good Choice

RescueTime provides insightful reports and dashboards, offering a clear view of your productivity and identifying areas for improvement. This tracking app also allows you to set productivity goals, helping you maintain a healthy work-life balance and optimize your coding sessions. By offering a comprehensive breakdown of your digital habits and website usage, RescueTime empowers developers to make informed decisions to enhance productivity and prioritize tasks effectively.

Pros

  1. Feature-loadedl free plan
  2. Unlimited Gantt charts
  3. Team chat functionalityin real time

Cons

  • Takes some time to learn the app
  • Limited project management features

Pricing:

  • Free Forever – $0
  • Unlimited – $7 per month per user
  • Business – $19 per month per user
  • Business Plan – $29 per month per user
  • Enterprise – custom

TimeCamp

TimeCamp is a feature-rich time tracking app that offers detailed reports, budgeting, and client invoicing. It integrates with many popular development tools, making it convenient for engineers to log hours while working.

With TimeCamp’s extensive capabilities, programmers can gain valuable insights into their productivity and progress, making it a valuable tool for optimizing time management and tasks efficiency.

Everhour

everhour time tracking

Everhour is a time tracking tool and project management software designed to meet the needs of IT teams. It offers task-based records, reporting, and budgeting features to help engineer manage their time effectively.

With Everhour’s task-based tracking, you can easily monitor their work hours dedicated to individual tasks and projects. This level of granularity allows for precise time allocation and gives developers valuable insights into where their time is being spent. Whether it’s coding, testing, debugging, or meetings, Everhour ensures accurate tracking for all task-related activities.

Reasons to Consider the App

TimeCamp shines as a preferred choice for programmers due to its array of features. The attendance monitoring feature simplifies the management of sick days, vacation time, and other absences, streamlining HR paperwork and ensuring efficient workforce management. Additionally, TimeCamp offers seamless integration with over 100 applications, alongside the convenience of a Chrome browser extension. This robust integration capability empowers developers to work within their preferred ecosystem, enhancing workflow efficiency and task management.

Pros

  1. Automated time tracking
  2. Billing and invoicing functionality
  3. GPS tracking for remote teams
  4. Integration with other software

Cons

  • Bulky mobile app
  • Limited features on a free plan  

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Starter – $2.99 per user/month
  • Basic – $5.99 per user/month
  • Pro – $7.99 per user/month

ClickUp

ClickUp brainstorming app

ClickUp is a comprehensive and versatile project management tool that offers a wide array of features, including integrated time tracking functionality. Designed to cater to the needs of individuals and teams, ClickUp provides a centralized platform where team members can efficiently manage their tasks, calculate time, and collaborate seamlessly with team members.

With ClickUp’s centralized platform, software engineers can access all their tasks and projects in one place. This helps in staying organized and avoiding task overload. They can assign tasks to team members, set due dates, and prioritize assignments, facilitating efficient project management.

Why You Should Consider It:

Everhour’s seamless integration with project management tools such as Asana, Trello, and Basecamp streamlines time tracking within familiar workflows. IT teams can easily track their coding hours and project progress directly within their preferred project management platforms. EverHour also offers detailed reporting and analytics, allowing developers to gain insights into their productivity trends and make data-driven decisions for optimizing their coding sessions. 

Pros

  1. Multiple tool integrations
  2. Advanced reporting 
  3. Payroll and billing features 

Cons

  • Slight learning curve
  • Limited functionality without a subscription

Pricing:

  • Free basic plan
  • Lite – $5 per user/month
  • Team – $8.50 per user/month

Conclusion

Time tracking software provides developers with immense benefits beyond mere work hour recording. It serves as a powerful ally in enhancing productivity, managing projects efficiently, and optimizing workflows. With the ability to offer insights into work patterns and prioritize tasks, time tracking software empowers programmers to stay focused and achieve better results.

How Developers Track Time

There are several ways in which a software engineer may approach time tracking:

  1. They often break down their work into specific tasks or activities. They log time for each task individually, providing a detailed view of how much time is allocated to different aspects of the project.
  2. Some employees track time in real-time while working on tasks. They start and stop timers as they switch between activities, ensuring accurate timekeeping.
  3. Developers may manually log their work hours using timesheets, spreadsheets, or text files. They record start and stop times, along with brief descriptions of the work performed.
  4. Certain programming tools integrate with time recording features, automatically recording time spent on coding and related tasks. This automation minimizes manual effort and improves accuracy.
  5. For projects with multiple clients or distinct phases, software engineers may track time separately for each client or project to facilitate accurate billing and client reporting.
  6. Developers might divide projects into components or modules and track time for each part. This approach helps them analyze the time spent on individual aspects of the project.
  7. Some individuals prefer to work in time blocks, where they allocate specific periods for focused work on a particular task. They then log time for each time block.
  8. They may prioritize tasks based on urgency or importance and allocate more time to critical tasks. This principle helps them manage their workload efficiently.
  9. Regularly reviewing time tracking data allows members to assess their progress, identify inefficiencies, and make improvements in their workflow and time management.

By following these principles, software engineers can accurately calculate their time, gain insights into their work habits, and make informed decisions to enhance productivity and task outcomes. Effective time tracking empowers developers to optimize their efficiency, meet deadlines, and deliver high-quality results.

How Time Tracking Helps Programmers

Research suggests that the actual person gets interrupted every 11 minutes. The problem is that it is much more difficult to get back to work than one may imagine. Several studies suggest that getting back to work after an interruption often comes with increased stress and higher frustration. In the working of day of an already busy software engineers, this can translate into project delays, client dissatisfaction and overall job tension.

What’s more, according to a McKinsey Global Institute study, employees only spend about 39% of their time on tasks that are specific to their role. This can be especially problematic for developers, who need to carefully evaluate project time frames and focus on tasks at hand. 

Time tracking can help alleviate these issues and improve overall workflow:

  • By tracking their work hours, you can gain insights into how they allocate their time on different tasks. This awareness allows them to better manage their time, prioritize tasks effectively, and meet deadlines.
  • It helps programmers make more accurate project estimates. By analyzing past projects, they can better gauge the time required for similar tasks, leading to more realistic timelines and avoiding underestimation or overcommitment.
  • It allows you to identify and eliminate time-wasting activities or distractions. They can pinpoint inefficiencies, such as excessive meetings or non-essential tasks, and optimize their work process accordingly.
  • When programmers know they are calculating their time, they tend to stay more focused and productive. The awareness of time passing encourages them to concentrate on their work, reducing procrastination.
  • Time records provides valuable insights to evaluate your performance and identify areas for personal and professional growth. You can check your progress, set goals, and make informed decisions to improve their skills.
  • For developers working on client projects, time tracking offers transparent and accurate reporting of work hours. It helps build trust with clients, showcasing the effort invested in their projects and justifying project costs.
  • Time recording simplifies the process of generating invoices and billing clients accurately based on the actual hours worked. This streamlines financial transactions and ensures fair compensation for all the efforts.

FAQ

Should Developers Track Time?

Yes, tracking time is beneficial for developers. Time tracking helps them understand how they allocate their work hours, identify areas for improvement in productivity, and accurately estimate project timelines. It also aids in creating detailed reports for clients or employers, facilitating transparent communication about project progress and billing.

How Do I Track Developer Time?

IT specialists can track their time using various methods. They can use time tracking software that offers features like manual entry or automatic tracking based on activities. Additionally, they can employ built-in time tracking functionalities in project management tools or code editors. Some developers may prefer to use traditional methods like spreadsheets or time-tracking apps on their devices.

How Do Developers Manage Their Time?

They manage their time through effective planning, prioritization, and task organization. They set clear goals, break projects into manageable tasks, and allocate time based on deadlines and importance. Time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique or time-blocking are commonly used by developers to maintain focus and productivity.

Is There Any Free Time Tracking Software for Developers?

Yes, there are several free time tracking software options available for developers. Traqq, Clockify, Toggl Track, and ClickUp are some examples of free tools that offer basic time tracking features suitable for individual developers or small teams. These free solutions often provide essential functionalities like task-based tracking and reporting, making them valuable resources for time management.

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