Time Tracking Tools for Your Coding Tasks
Want to know how long you spend coding? Take a look at these time tracking apps to see if one of them is the right one for you.
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I'm looking for a tool able to automatically track the time I spend coding. A plus if it detects also the programming language I'm coding in (even if it's a simple approach based on looking at the file extension instead of something more accurate like the GitHub's Linguist language savant or Enry).
It turns out, the number of programming time tracking tools is rather limited. Sure, there are tens (hundreds?) of time tracking tools out there (I use toggl), but very few have explicit support for coding related tasks. These are the ones I found (please, point me to the ones you use if not in the list).
WakaTime is by far the most well-known tool in this area. With Wakatime you know exactly how long you spend coding. The tool automatically tracks when you start and stop working, with detailed metrics per project, file, branch, commit, feature, operating system, editor/IDE or language, that are then presented in your private dashboard with a number of useful charts and project usage stats, commit metrics, and even a leaderboard that adds "gamification" to the process by showing how well you fare against your fellow programmers.
WakaTime has a free starting plan but you'll need to pay for more advanced features. On the Pro side (beyond all of the above), WakaTime is compatible with basically all editors and languages you could ever use.
CodeTime is a solution specific for Mac users. It's completely free but also much simpler than WakaTime. CodeTime monitors your file changes and adds up how much time you spend on each language. CodeTime has also a status bar app that keeps track of the amount of time that you have worked each day, but lacks most of the reports and gamification aspects of WakaTime. Still, if you are a fan of free and Mac-specific tools, CodeTime could do the trick.
CodingTracker is a Visual Studio Code coding tracker. CodingTracker is defined as a VSCode extension. Basic behavior is like the previous tools: you can know how much time you spend on each project/files/computers/languages/branches. Beyond its tight integration with Visual Studio, this tracker may be especially useful to Chinese speakers since it supports both simplified and traditional Chinese. Moreover, it's fully open source (see the CodingTracker GitHub repo).
Last, but definitely not least, CodeAlike is more than a simple time tracking for your coding activities. And that's what I like the most about this tool. Sure, you still get the time you spent coding and the distribution of that time per language/technology, but its focus is really on analyzing your coding from every possible angle so that you better understand how you code and how you could improve your productivity.
As an example, CodeAlike shows your "focus curve" where you can see how many times you got interrupted while coding. Or, it can explain to you whether you spend most time coding, debugging, reading or building your code. The following 2-min video will give you a great overview of what CodeAlike could do for you.
As WakaTime, it has a free plan but you'll have to subscribe to a premium plan to get advanced features and team dashboards.
Published at DZone with permission of Jordi Cabot. See the original article here.
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