Minsk AUG Hosted!

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Hey guys, good news – Minsk has it’s own Atlassian User Group now, me & StiltSoft kicked out the first event, gathered 60 RSVP’s in just one week, and had an amazing time in the beautiful city of Minsk, Belarus!

Hosted an event in an awesome Eventspace.by at the old factory!

  • AUG Minsk, SkuVault-Jira – Speech on how we organized processes and workflows in Jira, and helped SkuVault become more transparent in development;
  • AUG Minsk, Stride – our experience in migration from Telegram to Atlassian Stride.

https://www.linkedin.com/embed/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6396021858935861248

And of course, a pub pic.

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Telegram -> Stride Migration Experience

Recently I hosted Minsk Atlassian User Group, where I shared our experience on migrating to Stride and gave the analogy between Stride, and Russian word ‘Stradai’ (-> eng.: ‘Suffer’). I’ll explain the analogy later. Hence the ‘Napalm Death’ song ‘Suffer’ joke on the first slide 🙂

Given that a lot of people use Telegram as a corporate messenger, and given all of the telegram-blocking happening in Russia currently, it’s pretty relevant to write about alternatives. We at SkuVault migrated due to the need of user control, but migration experience is relevant to many other teams.

Atlassian launched Stride as a HipChat Cloud replacement (so we can call it hipchat 2.0). Main competition is Slack, which is currently de-facto corporate messaging standard, as we know. I’ll compare Stride to Telegram and Slack in areas they are strong.

Pros

Atlassian Ecosystem

Biggest point of Stride is that it connects to your atlassian ecosystem. Typically you got single account for Atlassian User, from which you can manage entirety of Atlassian Permissions. Now, Stride is added as an application to the very same account, and access / admin rights are easily managed from the very same place. If you want to have control over the users and the ecosystem that is locked to Atlassian (as we do) -> this is an ideal scenario.

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In Telegram we had personal accounts, which you don’t have control of (sure you can create virtual / work phone numbers and link them to telegram to make it corporate-friendly, but that is kind of a crappy way to maintain users ecosystem).

In Slack – you have to pay more than $3/user and it’s a separate account management system.

Users Control

User Control means removing a person, when she no longer works at the company, visibility for messages in order for infosec to not be compromised.

Audio and Video Group Calls

It may not be something you’d count as a pro, but given that we previously used Telegram + Skype for calls (with hangouts as a fallback in case of skype outage), it’s nice to have same app doing everything.

Jira / Confluence Integration via bots

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Integration with Jira and Confluence (not out-of-the-box-though) gives you a glimpse of the ticket in the chatroom (ticket card that reflects priority, assigne and editable layout), ability to create tickets as a command to chat-bot (create new bug Fix spacing on signup page in SV project), bitbucket PR review poking, and a lot of neat other things you’d expect inside the Atlassian ecosystem).

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Basics

Mentions, citation, styles for text. NO HASHTAGS THOUGH – giant bummer!

Cons

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And here’s my analogy of ‘Stride’ to russian word ‘Suffer’: you can use Stride, but it’s still raw, and a lot of features you’d expect to be basic in messaging, are half-baked in Stride.

Video Calls

Let’s admit, that Slack sucks at group video calls as well. But Stride is much worse 🙂

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  • Issues include showing bad internet connection, when connection is good.
  • People may suddenly leave the call, although didn’t click on leaving or anything
  • Stride’s animations are smooth, so when it switches to another person, it fades in / fades out. And sometimes crashes during that animation!
  • Video lags a lot, sound doesn’t though
  • Video freezes a lot, and doesn’t resume until you restart the call
  • RAM consumption (400mb), CPU consumtion 70% on core i5 2014. This is a lot.
  • When you share the screen, and stride catches a glimpse of itself (stride window), it falls into the infinite glitch of Stride fractal windows.

Ok, done with the video calls!

Basics

  • No hashtags (sucks)
  • Sending messages is painful (it’s slow).
  • Sending messages with attachment is a torture (Stride waits until image is uploaded (slow), and only then allows you to click on send message (which is slow as well)
  • No forwarding between chatrooms -> leads to isolation of discussions to room-only.

Notifications

They are horrible (not Rocky-Horror-Show or Dr. Horrible way, and not even Troma-way. They are as bad as most coffee in US (ha-ha)). The sound of notification is bleak and unnoticable. You can’t change it, even if you rip apart the guts of app package and assemble it again 😦 That results in people not reacting on urgent messages.

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There is no mute for chat rooms, which results in information overload and renders the whole notifications system pointless.

There is no indication that your message was read by your counterpart. You don’t know whether to poke your colleague or he already read this.

Phone gets 2/3rds of all notifications. But when it does – mac app doesn’t show any of those! This is a typical failure, I’m writing this post on the train from Brest to Minsk where I ride to host AUG Minsk, and our team notified me with long message on my phone, but i see no new messages in my mac app. I have to restart it to get those messages.

Jira Bot

Although integration with jira bot is neat (hey, slack does that even better, actually), it crowds chat room’s vertical space like a giant worm that digs Jasinto in Gears of War 2. If you dump number of tickets to dicsuss in the chatroom, you can’t read any message because card previews will occupy the whole 2-3 screens of vertical space.

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JSON parsing

As per our admins, Stride doesn’t parse JSON on itself, so basically you have to parse and feed parsed JSON to the API yourself. Not the case with telegram.

Nutshell

Stride is not-horrible-beyond-anything, it’s ok. You can use it and adjust to it. Especially if you’re locked to Atlassian Ecosystem (and I love and use jira, even after the latest interface update). But if you’re already on slack – there’s no point, it will work better for now.

There are a lot of things to improve, and the guys at Stride work on making their product better. It took 5 years to telegram to become the best and neatest messaging platform, it took same number of years for Slack.

Parking Lot

References – Submitted Issues

Ufa Atlassian User Group

UPD: Rescheduled Jan. 30th -> to Feb. 6th.

Recently buddies from Moscow recommended me to join Atlassian User Group Leaders,to host Atlassian events in Ufa, so here I am (after an interview with Atassian)!

First ever-ever Atlassian User Group with special Atlassian swag will be happening January 30 2018, 7pm 🙂 Meetup related to all things atlassian and related! Follow the link and save the date 🙂 https://aug.atlassian.com/events/details/atlassian-ufa-presents-ufa-atlassian-user-group-1#/

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  • # I’ll be talking about how we adapted our development workflow in JIRA
  • # Documentation lifecycle in confluence at SkuVault

More topics to come, from our local Atlassian Users 🙂

Jira: how to allow editing fields for closed tickets

Jira is flexible, yet complex tool in some cases 🙂

  1. In order to make the fields (inline as well) editable, when the ticket is closed, go to Workflow -> Select ‘Closed’ status -> Click Properties
  2. There would be flags with bool values: we need jira.issue.editable
  3. edit_closed_issue
  4. In case you see jira.issue.editable is false – either change that to true or delete the property key with prev. value.
  5. Don’t forget to publish the updated workflow.

 

Scaling a startup session @ SxSW with Werner Vogels

Werner Vogels, the amazon CTO, in a very informal way talked with Conten.ly, Distill Networks, and some other CEO/CFO/CCO’s on how the start-ups were scaling.

Werner still claims that Amazon is a startup. Yeah, just with billion valuation and an IPO. How cute, noted Shane of Contently. (UPD: this was shared lightning fast all over the media, see the full transcript)

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“How much time do you spent time on hiring?” Vogels asked. “At Amazon, of course, we’re a 20 year-old startup by now —”

“Uh… startup?” Kretchmer interrupted.

The crowd burst into laughter. Vogels stuck with his description:

“Ehh, startup,” he said over the crowd, “We’re still a startup!

“Awww, that’s really cute,” Kretchmer fired back in a faux-sweet voice.

Vogels paused as the crowd and the panel participants continued to giggle.

“Mmmhh, that threw me off guard a bit,” he said finally, shaking his head.

Kretchmer wasn’t done:

“Yeah,” he said with a laugh, “There’s a new class of startup called ‘IPO’d and Worth Billions.’”

“It’s not just about the size!” Vogel’s protested. “It’s.. whatever. Moving on.”

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Scaling a startup session

So, basic idea was that when there are 15-20 people, a general manager / product / ceo / founder can handle all of the connections, but the more people are scaled up, the harder it gets. So the discussion was on the sizes and scaling the management team for that, and how often should it report the feedback. ‘The one funny thing about the managers is that they are vital’ – says Werner. ‘You think that he does nothing except managing the people, but he accumulates the feedback and knows what’s happening around’. 

The guys also talked about money, and how inefficiently they were spending them when they were founded and needed to fastly scale up the team. The funny thing was that their main investor and sponsor was there =) So they laughed all together.

October is for Launch. Huge announcements from Microsoft, Apple and Google: Mobile Platforms News Overview

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There were so many announcements this month, that the tech press kept whining about the jetlags and whole difficulty of travelling around the globe. And we’re not talking about the small announcements and launches – all of the three IT giants had something new for the ever growing personal computing market. October was huge for us as mobile developers, because we are the ones who will bring to life our future projects for these platforms.

This column is not about the reviews and mobile platforms news, it’s about catching up and telling about interesting events on the IT landscape.

  • Windows 8 and Windows RT launch
  • Apple event: iMac, Pros, MacMini, new iPads
  • Google Nexus event

Windows 8 / RT launch

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We really like Microsoft’s latest design language (#dontsaymetro), and we’ve been trying windows 8 out for almost 2 months now. There are UX details that many of the users might find questionable, but once you got used to Win8, it’s suddenly a pretty good operating system.

Both engadget and the verge stated that despite some unintuitiveness, the OS itself is very compelling once you passed the learning curve.

From the development side, we really like the ability to easily port your Windows 8 solutions to Windows RT and Windows Phone 8, because of the shared kernel. We will aim to write an article about the advantages and flexibility Microsoft gives us with the shared kernel approach, since we have Windows Phone developers in house, but you can already have some examples and tutorials at dev.windows.com

Surface RT announcement

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You probably heard about surface: it’s a tablet from Microsoft and the only product within the recent years that created a giant amount of buzz around itself. Fancy ads, modern music, cool video. The Verge gave it 7.0 out of 10, which seems to be pretty reasonable and even good, since Josh doesn’t like anything windows-realted very much.

Engadget rated the tablet pretty good as well, with less criticism. Overall media reception was pretty good, except NY Times and Gizmodo, who crushed the tablet.

The best review was clearly written by anandtech, these guys always make awesome breakdowns and analysis on the tiniest details.

Apple Announcements

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Apple annouced the updates to the whole bunch of it’s products, from iPad’s successor “iPad 4th gen” and Nexus 7 / Kindle rival “iPad mini” to the new iMac, Mac Mini, and MacBook Pro with Retina 13″.
Retina on 13″ is gorgeous, that’s really great! And the whole lineup was updated. Really massive launch for Apple. The only question is the discontinuation of iPad 3 (aka the New iPad) production, but it’s replaced with the 4th gen iPad, the price is the same. The Verge already reviewd iPad Miniand the new iPad 4th Gen.
What we love the most from the development point of view, is that the iPad mini retains the same resolution the iPad 2 did, so no need to fix / rescale your apps! This is the unification approach by Apple, that is loved by mobile developers.
This year was huge for Apple! The whole-new iPod lineup, 2 iPad revamps, iPad mini, retina laptops, new iMacs and MacMini!

Google announced the next Nexus lineup, along with Jelly Bean 4.2

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LG had became the next Nexus maker (Nexus 4), along with Samsung (Nexus 10 tablet). While both of the devices are very balanced, Nexus 10 impresses with the stunning 2500-1600 display!
Check out the big story on the new Nexus line by the Verge. Clearly, Nexus line truly shows Google’s commitment to improve Android user experience, and how the true Android phones should be done. In the next few iterations we can see an ultimate iPhone rival.
So, clearly the audience got a wide choice of new products  this months – whether you are an Apple fan, an Android geek or all nuts about new Windows 8 style, there are new gadgets to stand in line for!