Archive for the ‘HipTips’ Category

The complete guide to using HipChat as an agile team

HipChat resources for agile teams

Taking root in the Agile Manifesto, the agile methodology emphasizes a fast, iterative process. A divergence from traditional project management, agile teams work in “sprints” (usually between 1-2 weeks) and rely on rapid delivery and continuous testing.

Many awesome tools have been created to help agile teams, like JIRA for sprint planning and Bitbucket for code review. While working through your sprints, it’s crucial to have communication pipelines set up that help your team share information and make decisions quickly.

That’s where HipChat comes in.

Whether you’re sitting together in one office or spread across the world, HipChat has features that help agile teams stay organized and get more done. See how your agile team can get more from HipChat:

1. Communicate at the speed of agile

Agile means moving fast, and the right communication techniques make all the difference. The Agile Manifesto recommends face-to-face interaction as the first line of team communication. However, if your team is distributed worldwide, use HipChat to chat, video conference, and share ideas and code as a team.

HipChat for agile teams

2. Integrate with your agile tools

HipChat integrations allow your team to stay updated with all your agile tools. You’ll get notifications and updates in your HipChat rooms when there are changes on your services, for instance, a new ticket in JIRA. Agile integrations include JIRA, JIRA Agile, Bitbucket, Github, Confluence, Pivotal Tracker, and many more.

HipChat for agile teams

3. Bridge the gaps of distance and time

Is your agile team remote? No problem – HipChat can bridge the gap of distance. Use techniques to structure your team, build team rapport, and create a united development culture.

HipChat for agile teams

4. Perform agile ceremonies…anywhere

Four “ceremonies” make up an the backbone of an agile team: sprint planning, daily standup, iteration reviews, and retrospectives. HipChat can help your team stay organized and cohesive while performing these ceremonies.

HipChat for agile teams

5. Make the robots work for you

First, robots are just awesome. But besides the joy they bring to our nerdy lives, they are also very helpful to agile teams. Try Standup Bot, which records everyone’s standup and will report it on command.

HipChat for agile teams

6. Make code review easy

When you’re a developer, being able to share snippets of code is imperative. With the slash command “/code”, you’ll get code formatting (syntax highlighting) that maintains the integrity of your beautiful work.

HipChat for agile teams

Meet Standup Bot

HipChat standup bot

Standup Bot is the friend of remote, agile teams everywhere.

Out of the office? Working from home? Taking a “sick” day? No worries. Standup Bot records everyone’s standup and reports it on command, like so:

HipChat standup bot

The commands are simple:

HipChat standup bot

And setting it up is just as easy. Click below to install it in any, or every, room on HipChat.

Install HipChat standup bot

Accelerate team communication to the speed of agile

3 weeks ago Jeff Park 0 Comments

When your team is moving at the speed of agile, communication is the force holding it all together. It’s one of the primary laws of physics. You know – gravity, relativity, communication.

Just as everything that goes up will come down, teams that communicate effectively will work faster and better together. Open and frequent communication creates a safe space for teammates to ask questions, share information, and make informed decisions.

So what techniques do successful agile teams use to keep communication flowing like chocolate in Willy Wonka’s factory?

HipChat for agile team communication

Well, it all depends, and here’s why:

Face it: Focus on interactions and individuals

The Agile Manifesto emphasizes individuals and interactions. Agile teams should prioritize face-to-face conversations as they provides a bevy of cues, both verbal and nonverbal, that help teammates get on the same page.

HipChat for agile team communication

As the agile method has gained traction, teams of all sizes are now working within the agile framework. Teams are often spread across the globe, and in-person communication simply isn’t always possible. Once teams become distributed, space and time constraints begin to affect the quality of communication between teammates.

Fortunately, technology can help.

HipChat for agile team communication

Email: Friend or foe?

Today email is the most widely used form of electronic communication. It’s simple to use and straightforward in function. But is it an appropriate tool for agile communication? Usually not.

HipChat for agile team communication

Email is far from perfect. We’re all familiar with those annoying, endless email chains, which make it inflexible for anything other than a group announcement. But, probably its biggest downfall is the inbox. Since emails sit in your inbox, it’s rare to expect an immediate response.

While email is good for bulletins, announcements, and formal correspondences, agile teams require a more immediate form of communication. Working at the speed of agile means shipping often, learning fast, and continuously improving. To do this, agile teams need tools that work at their speed.

HipChat for agile team communication

Group chat: Work at the speed of agile, anywhere

Group chat brings your entire team to your fingertips. Regardless of whether you’re co-located in the same space or spread across the globe, group chat gives your team a channel to access other team members. (See also 4 handy HipChat tips for agile, remote teams.)

Special features like video conferencing allow for face-to-face conversation regardless of location, while guest access makes it easy to bring in specialists for specific work. Integrations with other agile tools like JIRA, Confluence, and Bitbucket help your team keep track of sprints, releases, and retrospectives. Chat bots even come equipped with built-in standup and planning poker features.

HipChat for agile team communication

All these features help your team save time, stay structured, and conduct agile ceremonies, no matter where teammates are.

Don’t be a tool: Use the right tools

Agile visionaries believe that teamwork is essential to delivering great software. Great agile teams embody “we” rather than “I.”. If you lead an agile team, finding the right tools will help bridge the gaps of distance and time to make sure your team, no matter how distributed, stays a cohesive unit.

Let’s chat: Are you a part of an agile team? How do you keep your team connected? Join the discussion by commenting below or tweeting us.

Thanks to you, emoticon limit is raised to 500!

Just last month we gave emoticon-creating powers to everyone (not just admins), and it was the dawn of a new era:

HipChat custom emoticons

But there was one, big problem: the emoticon limit.

HipChat custom emoticons

So, we turned to you. On Twitter, we asked for your retweets in return for upping the emoticon limit.

HipChat custom emoticons

And man, did you come through. You raised the emoticon limit from 100 to a whopping 500! Mathematically, that’s 5 times the fun.

We’re stoked, and we hope you are, too. In the emoticon spirit, we pulled this oldie but goodie video out to give you a good laugh (or maybe an idea or two on how to use emoticons for…everything). Enjoy!

Ready to create your own emoticons? Learn more!

Four HipChat secrets for remote teams using agile

1 month ago Andy Chang 3 Comments

HipChat for agile remote teams

Agile development was created with the idea that teams would work in close proximity with one another in order to operate faster as a team. But, let’s be honest, working remotely today is as ubiquitous as Elvis in Vegas.

Most businesses now have a few – or several – distributed teams. And for good reason. Strong talent can be found in less competitive markets, and teams can work around the clock.

Even so, being a remote agile team comes with challenges like coordinating across time zones, building team rapport, collaborating among different development cultures, and scheduling meetings. Luckily, communication tools like HipChat can bridge the gaps created by distance and time.

Below we’ve gathered four tips that will help your remote team go agile.

1. Structure your team

Develop a single piece of technology in each office to boost autonomy and get work done more efficiently.

HipChat for agile remote teams

HipChat Tip: When your team begins to work remotely, it’s the perfect time to use HipChat. Boost autonomy by providing an open room for your team to communicate and share information.

2. Build team rapport

Give remote teammates the opportunity to create personal connections. Doing so will build trust, minimize missed expectations, ease self-organization, and boost morale.

HipChat for agiler remote teams

HipChat Tip: HipChat lets you communicate via chat, voice, video, or text. Multiple options reduce obstacles preventing communication, giving your team the most opportunities to share business and get to know one another.

3. Create a united development culture

Keep your team in sync by laying down the framework for a united development culture. Helpful tips: over-communicate decisions, minimize the friction in setting up the development culture, clearly define the definition of “done,” and create guidelines for filing bugs.

HipChat for agile remote teams

HipChat Tip: Create a room for your devs to report, discuss, and announce news. Integrate the room with JIRA, so your entire team can stay updated on projects and tasks.

4.  Maximize the golden hour

Take advantage of the hours when the local and remote teams are both in the office by holding standups.

HipChat for agile remote teams

HipChat Tip: Encourage your team to set their timezones in their settings, so they can know everyone’s local time. That way, you can be sensitive when you call a standup and you’re not pinging people while they sleep! 

 

In a distributed organization, the reality is that every team is remote. All teams need to adapt and learn how to share work between offices, communicate effectively, and grow a consistent culture across geographies.

The most effective teams seek to find and share successful practices across all locations, with help from communication tools like HipChat.

HipChat for agile remote teams

 

Four HipChat tips for agile ceremonies

1 month ago Andy Chang 3 Comments

“Agile” is defined in the dictionary as “able to move quickly and easily.” You can apply that to your ninja nunchuck skills, yoga moves, or, even, the way your team works.

The agile methodology is an alternative to traditional project management that uses an iterative approach to software delivery. Broken up into “sprints,” teams can tackle tasks in pieces and review along the way. This methodology encourages flexibility to change, focusing on adaptive planning, early delivery, and continuous improvement. 

Four “ceremonies” make up the agile process – sprint planning, daily standup, iteration review (demos), and retrospectives. Atlassian has an amazing resource, The Agile Coach, which gives detailed information about these ceremonies and how to implement them on your team.

Atlassian is home to many products that help teams adopt the agile methodology, specifically JIRA, JIRA Agile, Bitbucket, and Confluence. HipChat can also play a huge role in helping your agile team communicate. Use The Agile Coach to gain deeper knowledge on agile methodology, and read on below to get our best tips for using HipChat on an agile team.

1. Sprint Planning

Set up your team for success by defining what will be delivered in a sprint. 

HipChat for agile teams

HipChat tip: Set up your JIRA integration to monitor the progress of your team’s sprint

2. Daily Standup

Quickly inform everyone of what’s going on across the team.

HipChat for agile teams

HipChat tip: Use the Standup Bot to keep track of every teammate’s report.

3. Iteration Review

Showcase the work of the team and get feedback.

HipChat for Agile Teams

HipChat tip: Create a room specifically for iteration review, then use screen-sharing to show your work.

4. Retrospective

Help your team understand what worked well – and what didn’t.

HipChat for agile teams

HipChat tip: If you’re working with a remote team, use video chat to review work as a team.

 

HipChat for agile teams

Be your own boss and work how you want

Are you a boss? Maybe not technically, but you should always be living the boss life. And that means taking control of your work environment so you can pop that collar and win those dollars.

We’re always working to make HipChat a place that helps you not only communicate with your team, but also feel empowered to work the way you want.

We’ve gathered some ways to take the reins by customizing HipChat to fit your needs.

1. Use per-room notifications

Set the stage for success by focusing on important chats and silencing others. In HipChat, you can set notifications per room to moderate the noise level from each chat.

HipChat per-room notifications

This feature is currently in the HipChat web app as a beta. In any room, just click the three dots in the top right corner, and click Room Notifications.

 

2. Customize your HipChat appearance

One size does not fit all. And the same goes for HipChat. Now in HipChat web, you can select how you want HipChat to look.

Choose a dark or light theme, adjust text density, add or remove avatars, and show either names or mentions.

HipChat appearance theme settings

HipChat appearance theme settings

The power is yours. Use it wisely.

 

3. Change your @mention name

Lastly, let’s find your chat identity. In HipChat, you can customize your @mention name, meaning you can finally be called Superman (or, in my case, BawsLady).

HipChat appearance theme settings

HipChat change @mention name

Just go to your Account Settings to change your @mention name.

 

When it comes to your work life, you’re in charge. We’re simply here to give you the tools that help put you on boss status.

We’d love to hear your from you: leave your thoughts on the beta features, and let us know what else you want to see on HipChat.

 

Why IT teams (heart) chat

2 months ago Jeff Park 0 Comments

HipChat helps great teams communicate, and it’s no different for IT teams. With some help from our friends at JIRA Service Desk, we went directly to the IT community to find out how chat helps their teams.

We surveyed agents, managers, and directors and asked them about how chat makes their work life awesome. Here’s what they said (click for full-size):

Why IT loves Chat

Looking to learn more about how chat can help IT support? Check out our latest article How Chat Helps IT Support Agents Crush It.

If you’re an IT team looking for a more integrated service desk experience with HipChat, make sure you check out JIRA Service Desk.

Like this sweet infographic? Share it on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn, send a smoke signal, or even try some morse code. Download the PDF here!

Emoticons: saying nothing, but also everything

HipChat Emoticons

Let’s just be honest, emoticons are awesome. They’re probably one of the best parts about working with a variety of personalities.

Emoticons say so much without a word, but convey attitude, emotion, or frame of mind with a photo. Around here at HipChat HQ, we’re guilty of having entire conversations with emoticons. If aliens discovered how the HipChat team messaged one another, they’d think we use modern day hieroglyphics.

Our emoticon shrink ray resizes almost any image you find on the web into that 30 x 30 image you love. Because of this, we have so many inside jokes. It’s bananas how fast what’s trending in our social room can become an emoticon in minutes due to people thinking it’s hilarious or poignant.

From Left Shark, to one of our recruiter’s dogs looking like the cutest Ewok ever, we’re addicted to emoticons. It’s not just us, teams everywhere love them some Rage Comic faces, or the Sad Panda. Best part? They’re all predictive – so just type in the first letter and each one of these emoticons will pop up alphabetically.

Want to create your own? Team admins can add up to 100 custom emoticons. (Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.)

Check out some of our favorites below.

Funny

Sometimes it’s easier to drop an emoticon in when someone’s being hilarious. It works better than trying to put into words. We rely so much on internet humor around here. HipChat emoticon yey

HipChat Emoticons      ALL THE THINGS (allthethings)

HipChat Custom Emoticons          AWW YISS (awwyiss)

HipChat Custom Emoticons       DISAPPEAR (disappear)

HipChat Custom Emoticons       HUGE FAN  (hugefan)

HipChat Custom Emoticons       YO DAWG (yodawg)

Trolling

Need to bust some chops? These emoticons are great for calling someone out, letting them know you’re very much paying attention to what they’re doing and saying. Cause sometimes, when someone says something dumb, you need to drop a  HipChat emoticon troll on them.

HipChat Custom Emoticon Troll        TROLL (troll)

HipChat emoticon dumb        DUMB (dumb)

HipChat Emoticon downvote       DOWNVOTE (downvote)

HipChat emoticon lolwhut         LOL WUT (lolwut)

HipChat emoticon orly        ORLY (orly)

HipChat emoticon unacceptable         UNACCEPTABLE (unacceptable)

HipChat emoticon youdontsay       YOU DON’T SAY (youdontsay)

Congrats/good job/nice work/thanks

Is someone crushing it at work? It’s always cool to give them a nod of approval, a wink that people notice their work. If your girl in marketing is dominating or your dude in sales is closing the deals, drop them an (awyeah) , they’ll appreciate it.

HipChat emoticon notbad          NOT BAD (notbad)

HipChat emoticon you got it dude   YOU GOT IT DUDE (yougotitdude)

HipChat emoticon true story        TRUE STORY (truestory)

HipChat emoticon me gusta         ME GUSTA (megusta)

HipChat emoticon indeed       INDEED (indeed)

HipChat emoticon aw yeah       AW YEAH (awyeah)

Animated

Need a little something different? Try one of the animated gifs to add some flavor to your conversation.

HipChat emoticon fireworks         FIREWORKS (fireworks)

HipChat emoticon boom       BOOM (boom)

HipChat emoticon mind blown        MIND BLOWN (mindblown)

HipChat emoticon rock on       ROCK ON (rockon)

HipChat emoticon why not both     WHY NOT BOTH (whynotboth)

Dislike

What happens when stuff gets weird? Or the conversation takes a turn south? An emoticon is a great way to lessen the tension, or let someone know that it might be time to switch lanes of thought. Best part? You never said a word.

HipChat emoticon do not want       DO NOT WANT (donotwant)

HipChat emoticon Sad Panda        SAD PANDA (sadpanda)

HipChat emoticon sad indeed       SAD INDEED (sadindeed)

HipChat emoticon sad cowboy        SAD COWBOY (sadcowboy)

HipChat emoticon sad apple         SAD APPLE (sadapple)

HipChat emoticon oh god why        OH GOD WHY (ohgodwhy)

Random

What about those times when you really have nothing to add to a conversation, but figure why not drop in a kudos or a simple, “sure, that’s cool.” These are perfect.

HipChat emoticon clarence       CLARENCE (clarence)

HipChat emoticon face palm        FACE PALM (facepalm)

HipChat emoticon nice       NICE (nice)

HipChat emoticon no idea         NO IDEA (noidea)

HipChat emoticon salute       SALUTE (salute)

HipChat emoticon scumbag        SCUMBAG (scumbag)

HipChat emoticon wat        WAT (wat)

HipChat emoticon whoa       WHOA (whoa)

Most Used

A few of these were mentioned above, but some of them are too good not to repeat. Here are just a few of the emotions we overuse every single day.

HipChat emoticon lol         LOL (lol)

HipChat emoticon do not want       DO NOT WANT (donotwant)

HipChat emoticon disappear       DISAPPEAR (disappear)

HipChat emoticon true story       TRUE STORY (truestory)

HipChat emoticon waiting       WAITING (waiting)

HipChat emoticon not bad         NOT BAD (notbad)

Learn more about emoticons here.

Coming soon to every team: The emoticon shrink ray – create and upload custom emoticons with a simple click. Trust us, it’s awesome.

Work Faster with Slash Commands

We built HipChat for instant communication. HipChat slash commands are a set of time-saving tricks to get the most out of HipChat without reaching for your mouse.

All HipChat slash commands take the form: /Command + Text

  • Command is the action you want to take
  • Text is the new message you want to appear

Slash Commands for Room Actions

Slash Commands on HipChat

Slash Commands for Status Control

You can enter these commands in any chat window to change your availability.

HipChat Slash Commands

Slash Commands for Message Formatting

Keep your team members on their toes by rendering your messages in style. Or, fix mistakes you made in your last message by replacing words (ah, the relief!).

HipChat Slash Commands

Code Syntax Highlighting (/code):

Code formatting and syntax highlighting on HipChat

Quote Command (/quote):

HipChat Slash Commands

Fix Spelling Mistakes (s/):

HipChat Slash Commands

Emote Command (/me):

HipChat Slash Commands

Note: If you try typing an unknown slash command, it will just send like a normal message. Otherwise, no message gets sent and the slash command is executed.

Android Users: The following do not work on the Android app: /join, /topic, /part, /available, /away, /dnd, /clear, and s/.

Slash commands help make work communication simpler and less stressful. With these tools, you can get to your chats faster, style your text, and fix spelling mistakes. Afterall, it’s your chat, and it should work the way you want it to.