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All posts tagged JIRA

Atlassian Bought Trello For $425 million…

With Atlassian announcing the big Trello news today, should you be backing up your tickets and looking for another Agile style task management app?

Originally the brainchild of Fog Creek Software and their owner, Joel Spolsky forged their own path and became an independent company.

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Arguably the most popular of the ticket / post-it style web apps for managing tasks, Trello delivered an intuitive, lightweight solution for those tired of kludgy, unwieldy tools.

Atlassian, the company behind Jira and a slew of other products can be considered the market leader in ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) software both on local servers and the cloud.

So, If Atlassian already has Jira, a powerhouse application for managing projects why would they buy it?

Trello was the go-to option for small companies with a lean perspective and strong Agile methodologies.

Is Trello a “buy it to kill it” acquisition?

There Are No Magic Bullets In The Land of ALM

Trello is by no means a perfect standalone solution for managing your product lifecycle. It does task management well, has some really strong integrations like Slack but compare it to solutions like Github or Gitlab and it falls short.

Github and Gitlab have been in competition to deliver a lightweight, easy to implement, comprehensive ALM solution and they started from the other end of the lifecycle. Both Git (source code) repository management tools. Github has evolved with a wide range of integrations and both now include:

  • Web application for user access and management
  • Issue Tracking
  • Agile Ticket Board
  • Wiki / web pages for individual projects

Trello - githubTrello - gitlab

In a nutshell both companies are fighting hard to be the one-stop ALM cloud solution. Trello meanwhile, created a strong product that integrates with others and offered strong competition to Atlassian’s toolset. Especially Jira but, both have a major shortcoming: companies grow out of them too fast. Gitlab needs to play catch up with their feature set.

If Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) with its Test Manager and full Visual Studio integration is a high-end boom-box stereo; then Jira and the associated Atlassian products are akin to a stackable, component stereo.

The Warptest POV

At the end of the day, the ALM solution you select must match your requirements, budget and technical ability. If you are a bootstrapped startup, used to doing things fast then your needs are very different from an established company with several products / projects.

To answer the original question, will Atlassian kill off Trello? Absolutely not.

Atlassian need a lightweight, lean alternative to compete with the Github / Gitlab ALM marketshare. Expect Trello to receive some tight integration with Bitbucket and Confluence. How will Atlassian address the problem that Trello doesn’t handle Issue Tracking well?

If Atlassian changes one thing in Trello it will to add Issues as subtasks of Tickets or create some form of permalink between the two. Trello tickets = stories and Issues or bugs will have an indexable, searchable relationship.

Atlassian will be able to box in both the heavyweight and lightweight arena. Or do you think it’s time to backup your Trello projects?

Atlassian Makes Awesome Software

…but more than that, they make great solutions for anyone in the world of software.

Atlassian web site

Last night I attended the Atlassian Israel Meetup hosted at Google Tel Aviv. The group is a thriving community and for anyone familiar or just getting started using Atlassian products in Israel it’s worth joining up.

The Meetup

The meetup was well organized with good time to network and presentations on Atlassian’s Bamboo (CI), Hipchat and developments with JIRA Support and Confluence.

  • Issac of ItsGoodConsulting gave a detailed presentation on using Bamboo with Node.JS for Continuous Integration. It’s not my main area of expertise but it was interesting after having tested on a project run using CI to deep dive this side of the subject.
  • Evgeny and Ilya of DevOps gave a presentation on using Bamboo with Chef in DevOps scenarios. This was a chance to hear about some really innovative use cases.
  • Holly, the Community Manager from Atlassian was with us and gave a great presentation on HipChat. I just wish I had heard this several weeks ago when I wrote my post on Zula and Yammer. (I see a follow up post sometime in early 2014, especially if I get my hands on a Windows Phone version of HipChat). HipChat impressed me as the collaborative, real time chat glue that allows you to tie your lifecycle up in a cohesive bundle with a strong feature set and smart support for pretty much every platform out there.
  • David the Atlassian Israel group organizer also presented a really nice overview of new developments in Confluence (your central workspace for the whole team and a whole lot more) and JIRA.

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To cap the evening Atlassian provided pizzas and some great T-shirts for their various products. All in all a great evening.

The Warptest POV

I have written about JIRA in the past and I consider it one of the best options out there for managing your testing efforts. Atlassian has an incredible marketplace for all their products and you can find almost any add-on to suit your needs there.

The combination of Confluence and JIRA make for a strong combination especially for Agile development.

So if standalone bug tracking is not for you and a comprehensive ALM solution is more than your comfort zone allows then perhaps the optimum is a more scalable, modular approach that Atlassian offers.

Once again, thanks to all the folks who presented, to Google for hosting and David for organizing the meetup. I will definitely be at the next one.

Can You Tell Me About Bug Tracking?

As a QA Manager / Consultant I must have been asked hundreds of times which Bug Tracking Application I recommend.

If only life was that simple.

Answer a question with a question

This kind of question triggers two thoughts usually:

“Are they looking for free advice and support? Arghh!”

Putting aside the whole freebie debate for a moment, the second thought and usually my question back to you is,

“What platforms are they developing in and for?”

It’s Just Bug Tracking. Good Grief!

Isn’t it? Maybe not…

  • Are you developing for the web, mobile or an actual Desktop Application?
  • Is your product for Windows, Linux or MAC / iOS, Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry?
  • If it’s Web which browsers and platforms are you supporting?
  • The answer to these will probably define if you are using Visual Studio, Eclipse or other Development Environments

Some Bug Tracking solutions are not equipped to provide you with support if your product is being developed on more than one of these.

Bug Tracking Must Be Painless Productivity

If you are spending more time managing your Bug Tracking or if it duplicates your Customer Support Issue Tracking or cannot speak to your Source Control, Project Lifecycle Management or Test Case Manager then you are making your own life more difficult, more painful and being a lot less productive.

The key phrases here are: –

Web, Web, Web! Whichever you choose make sure it has web access for adding and viewing your bugs, whether you opt for a hosted solution or an install in your domain.

Real Time Collaboration: You want your Bug Tracking to allow your QA to interact and report issues with real-time notifications.

Integration: You want your other Development and test tools to be able to integrate seamlessly with your Bug Tracking.

Usability: You want to be able to setup and run the Bug Tracking and if need be make changes to configuration later.

Scalability: Build for success! Assume you are going to be growing as a company and will need to be able to scale your tools and not have to replace them. Having to migrate your Bug database to a new tool because you have outgrown the free or cheap tool you took a year ago can be painful and costly. So why do it?

The Warptest POV

Of all the Bug Tracking solutions I have worked with two stand out depending on your needs:

If you are doing all your development exclusively in and for Microsoft technologies, you are most likely using Visual Studio and the bright sparks at Microsoft realized several years ago that most development like this is done by teams. These teams were using Visual Studio, SharePoint and Microsoft Project so why not combine these to create a collaborative, task driven Lifecycle Management tool.

TFS offers some degree of support cross-platform including Linux, Android and iOS and it can connect to Eclipse for some functions.

TFS Cross Platform

Image Courtesy of Microsoft TFS webpage (link above)

TFS does all this and allows you to manage your Test Cases and Bug Tracking through a really nice web interface.

JIRA is probably the hottest Bug Tracking on the market today and delivers all of the key requirements listed above and is platform agnostic to boot.

Atlassian JIRA

Courtesy of Atlassian

Atlassian, JIRA’s parent company offers a slew of their own and 3rd Party tools that work hand-in-hand with JIRA in managing the Product Lifecycle.

JIRA Product Line

Courtesy of Atlassian

IMHO these are your two best options. Both factor in not just technologies but also methodologies being applied (e.g. Agile). As for the price-tag both are affordable based on number of users so before you jump on that free Bug Tracking option remember,

chimp

“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.