The Essential Shopping List for Software Startups: Tools for Efficiency and Compliance

Starting a new software venture is an exhilarating journey filled with innovation and potential. However, as your startup grows, you’ll need to ensure that your software development processes adhere to industry standards and compliance regulations like ISO 27001 and PCI-DSS. To help you navigate this transition seamlessly, we’ve curated a shopping list of essential tools that will not only enhance your software development but also assist in maintaining compliance and security. Let’s dive into the must-have tools for your software startup.

Disclaimer: This article was partially written by ChatGPT based on some ideas that I had to recommend a list of tools that are useful for software development startups. This is not sponsored. I have used all of these tools very sucessfully.

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva:
  1. Atlassian Confluence: Atlassian Confluence is a versatile documentation and collaboration tool that every startup should have in its arsenal. It provides a centralized platform for documenting processes, policies, and project details. Confluence also offers robust version control, ensuring that your documents are always up to date. Whether you’re preparing for an audit or simply need a repository for critical information, Confluence has got you covered.
  2. Google Mail: Email management is a fundamental aspect of any business, and Google Mail (Gmail) is an excellent choice for startups. It offers a user-friendly interface, powerful spam filters, and ample storage space. Gmail also integrates seamlessly with other Google Workspace applications, making it easy to manage communications and store essential documents securely.
  3. Google Docs: While Confluence is great for internal documentation, some documents are better suited for Google Docs. For instance, sensitive legal documents or customer contracts can be securely stored and collaboratively edited in Google Docs. This separation of documentation ensures a clear distinction between internal and external materials, essential for compliance.
  4. Atlassian Jira: Jira is a comprehensive project management tool designed for software development teams. It enables you to manage tasks, track progress, and prioritize work efficiently. Whether you’re overseeing a simple task list or a complex software project, Jira’s flexibility allows you to adapt your workflow as your startup evolves.
  5. LastPass or Bitwarden (password manager): Security is paramount in the digital age, and LastPass/BitWarden is your go-to password management solution. It simplifies password management by securely storing and auto-filling passwords, making it easier for your team to use strong, unique passwords. While free for individuals, LastPass and Bitwarden offer reasonably priced plans for families and enterprises, ensuring scalability as your startup grows.
  6. Atlassian Bitbucket: Bitbucket is an ideal platform for software development, offering version control, automated software deployment through pipelines, and change management capabilities. Bitbucket’s integration with Jira ensures seamless communication between development and project management teams, enhancing collaboration and productivity. Plus, Bitbucket is free for small teams, making it a cost-effective choice for startups.
  7. UptimeRobot: The world’s leading uptime monitoring service. External monitoring of your websites. This product is free for the basic product and easy to create a status page.
  8. Nagios: This tool is really good for internal monitoring. You can run this up on your own servers and monitor jobs, disk space, etc. Use this for all your intense system monitoring, and UptimeRobot for external monitor. A combination of the 2 will have your system covered completely. Building Nagios hooks into your software is easy. See here
  9. PostMark: If you are sending email campaigns then use this tool for sending email. It is very affordable. Provides webhooks so that you can get instant notifications of bad emails.
  10. ZeroBounce: Use PostMark in conjunction with this tool to ensure that your email lists are clean. Also, validate that your customers have given you the correct email.
  11. Software development: This is a little beyond the scope of this article as there are many different sets of development tools based on needs, and operating systems. But these tools get honorable mention. IDEs, Database Clients, Version Control. This is what I am using in my day-to-day programming.
    • PHP Coding IDE: Apache Netbeans – I have been using netbeans since version 5 and although it is considered a Java IDE it works very well for PHP development.
    • GoLang Coding IDE: VS Code does a great job for Go.
    • Python Coding IDE: PyCharm Community Edition
    • API Development and testing: Postman. Postman goes up in price quite steeply when you start to collaborate. So please look into other cheaper options if you want to collaborate. –,
    • MySQL/MariaDB Client: Sequel Pro. Even though this project has not been updated for a while, the quality and usefulness of this tool cannot be understated. Heidi SQL on Windows
    • Other DB Clients: DBeaver Community Edition. Handles every flavor of database including cloud-based connections.
    • GIT for version control.
    • FileZilla for file transfer (Always use in secure mode SFTP).
    • iTerm2 for terminal.

Price and Ease of Upgrade: One of the most appealing aspects of these tools is their scalability. As your startup expands, you can easily upgrade to accommodate growing teams and needs. Atlassian, for example, offers tiered pricing options, ensuring affordability during your startup’s initial stages and allowing you to scale effortlessly when required.


Building a successful software startup is an exciting endeavor, but it comes with the responsibility of compliance and security. The tools in this shopping list – Confluence, Google Mail, Google Docs, Jira, LastPass, and Bitbucket – will empower your startup to maintain documentation, streamline development processes, and ensure security and compliance. With these trusted tools by your side, your startup is well-equipped to thrive and grow while meeting industry standards and regulations.

PS: This is not sponsored. I have personally found these tools to be useful for real projects.