4 tools to make life easier for software developers

It is not easy being a software developer today. A software developer needs

  • to link code changes to the related features/bugs
  • to report to project managers on status updates
  • to work and integrate codes for other fellow developers
  • to code, test and deploy fast
  • to know many software applications for different tasks

Atlassian has been dogfooding their tools to streamline the application development process and has released their first suite of tools – Git Essentials.

Git Essentials - JIRA, JIRA Agile, Bamboo and Stash

The 4 tools (JIRA JIRA AgileBamboo and Stash) can be integrated seamlessly with each other to enable developers from filing the bug, coding the fix till deployment. And because they are from the same company, the integration can be done easily with minimal configuration.

The key benefits of Git Essentials are:

  • Integration – All the tools are nicely integrated together easily
  • Visibility –  Related information are presented in context
  • Traceability – All the information are linked automatically
  • Time saving – Information is accessible directly
  • Faster learning curve – a same look and feel interface as though it is just 1 single application

Check out Atlassian’s infographic on how everything works together

how Atlassian tools works together


How to enable active collaboration with your wiki

What a wiki cannot do

Being a Confluence wiki user for several years, I have experienced the following difficulties:

  • I have to email people after posting pages/comments to get their acknowledgement/approval/comments
  • I got difficulty tracking which pages/comments that I need to reply after a few days elapsed

There is a lot of extra work duplicated between the wiki and emails. And when people conveniently reply to the email instead of posting to the page. The collaboration and knowledge leaves the wiki back into the emails.

As such, I observed that a lot of wikis are mostly used for passive collaboration like knowledge bases, FAQs and intranets.

However, Ad Hoc Workflows plugin for Confluence patches the gap and enables Confluence with the capabilities of:

  • assigning of tasks
  • defining workflows

How we use it

I will share one of the scenarios on how we use the Ad Hoc Workflows plugin to collaborative actively.

  1. After each meeting, one of us will draft the meeting minutes into our wiki
  2. Upon the completion of the draft, the author will assign the attendees a task to review the minutes
  3. We will receive an email notification to inform us of the task with a link to the wiki page
  4. Likewise, we can also see a list of our outstanding tasks on the dashboard for follow-up
  5. We will go to the wiki page to make minor changes or post comments
  6. Once everything is ok, we will mark the task as completed
  7. The wiki page is then marked as approved once everyone has completed their reviewing tasks

Another example

It can also support more sophisticated workflows as shown in the video below.

For more information, check out Ad hoc Workflows’ official website

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