Development (and devops) tools and processes we are using

Here’s a list of guidelines that are currently used. They are not set in stone, of course, and will evolve as new techniques and methodologies are explored by the team.

Build tools


We like having a Makefile at the root of our projects.

It should at least support the following targets:

  • tests (default)
  • clean and tidy
  • run
  • lint
  • format

Some inspiration here: <> + <>


As already stated elsewhere in this document, we’re using setuptools to build Python packages. See the fine blog posts by Hynek and Ionel (referenced elsewhere in this doc).

For front-end packages: use npm and webpack (not gulp or grunt, they are probably fine but not needed). Investigate rollup.

Source code management

We’re using Git as our primary source code management system, and GitHub as our main repository.

For public projects, we have a public project account (

For private projects, I have a private personal account. We’ll move to a private group account later (it’s more expensive ;).

Continuous integration

We’re using Travis for public projects, and Circle CI for both public and private projects.

We used to use Jenkins, and might use it again in the future. Or gitlab CI. But not ATM.

Tasks and issues management

See the “Process” chapter. [TODO: link].

Devops tools


Deployment to staging and production servers is currently managed by Fabric using the Fabtools add-ons.

Later, we’ll look into using Ansible or Salt, though at this point (for single server deployment), I believe Fabric is the best choice.

Our Fabric scripts, however, are both a bit simplistic and convoluted. For instance, they don’t deal with database migration, code rollback, etc.


We’re using Vagrant to run full deployment tests on pristine virtual machines. It should become most valuable when we will have actual projects in production, and will need to address issues such as upgrades.

Desktop tools

Editors and IDEs

The best Python IDE is PyCharm, though its quality seems to be going down recently.

If you don’t like IDEs, use a regular text editor, such as Emacs, Vim, Atom, Sublime… But make sure you have installed the plugins that will make you more productive, such as:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Dynamic code linting
  • Autocompletion

Chrome plugins

Here are a few Chrome plugins that we find useful:

  • BuildReactor: monitors CI builds (supports both Jenkins and Travis) and sends Growl-style notifications when a build fails.
  • Check My Links: link checker, useful when testing a web application.

Firefox plugins

  • Opcast Desktop: a Firefox extension that allows you to launch more than 450 tests (UX, SEO, accessibility, performance…) on the webpages you’re currently browsing or coding.


You probably want a tool on your laptop that gives you quick access to the documentation of the languages and libraries you are using.

On the Mac we’re using Dash.

We’ve also found that printing “cheat sheets” can be useful.