Archive for the ‘HipTips’ Category

Four HipChat secrets for remote teams using agile

5 days ago Andy Chang 0 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

2 weeks 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

4 weeks 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.

What time is it! Daylight saving time!

5 months ago Wesley Faulkner 1 Comment

It’s Daylight savings time in North America and for colleagues around the world, the time change could get confusing. Daylight saving time begins while we’re asleep Saturday into Sunday, as our clocks springing ahead an hour at 2 a.m. on March 8.

We’ll lose an hour of sleep, but gain an hour of daylight, so it evens out when summer’s here.

Fortunately, HipChat helps keep track of what time something was said, or when they missed the conversation entirely. When you have a 1:1 conversation, it’s easy to know what time it is for the person you’re talking with.

If you look at the top of the screen, your chat partner’s local time is right there.

 

 

It’s simple, but when you’re collaborating with folks from around the globe, it’s an easy trick.

The Hidden HipChat: Our Secret Menu

secret menu

Photo by istolethetv

One of the coolest things about visiting a restaurant is learning about the secret menu. Lots of places have them, and many times, they’re hidden in plain sight. Instead of just a burger, you may be able to get yours with a unique cheese or with weird sauce. Maybe you can get your fries drenched in an exotic dressing. Feeling like you’re in an underground food club is cool; it’s exclusive, but open – so long as you know how to order.

For our dedicated blog readers, we decided to bestow upon you our very own “HipChat Secret Menu” and show off some cool things you never knew you could do via HipChat.

We warn you, though: Some of these tricks will blow your mind and may cause you to melt the faces off your coworkers when you bust these out. You’ve been warned.

  1. Auto-hide GIFs

Everyone loves a good gif. A kickass gif can sum up everything you’re feeling, in one ironic place. So much that you can’t even. We all know HipChat is the world champion, master of sharing gifs. But, when everyone goes all bananas and sends, like a million, your computer can slow down to a crawl. That’s annoying.

To fix this, and preserve your sanity, we’ve added the option to auto-hide gifs. Click HipChat’s preferences and check the box to auto-hide .gif files and BAM! No one’s clogging up your channels with cats shooting lasers out of their eyes to celebrate getting pizza for lunch.

  1. Slash commands 

Using your slash button is the ultimate time cutter. It’s like the lazy man’s best friend, but actually helps fortify HipChat domination.

Just type in “/command<argument>” and you’ll be moving at lightning speed.

Let’s go over some examples so you’re not like “What do to they mean /command, blah blah?” – don’t worry; we’ll get you hip to what we’re talking about.

/join <room name> – Need to get in somewhere? Type this bad boy up and you’ll be hanging out where the cool kids are. Since HipChat rooms have loose naming conventions (you can use spaces and non-alphanumeric characters for room names), we suggest using the ctrl-j shortcut instead; but if you can’t give up your IRC navigation, we’ve got your back.

/part – type this in to bail on your current room.

/available | /back | /here <msg> – If you go dark because you were on a call or in a meeting and want everyone to know that you’re back, type in one of these variations. Your green bubble will reappear and everyone will know it’s cool to bug you. (The <msg> part is optional.)

/away <msg> – Need a yellow bubble? Set your status to away. It’s the same as going idle, but doesn’t automatically return to ‘available’ when you’re back.

/dnd <msg> DO NOT DISTURB. It’s like your own hotel door sign, but for HipChat. Red Bubble = not available for discussion about fantasy football.

/topic <msg> – Establish what the theme of the room is, or what topic everyone will be talking about. We suggest: The Secret Life of Honey Badgers

/code <msg> – If you need to flex some geekery, this slash code displays the message with code syntax highlighting (language is auto-detected). This one isn’t available in all apps just yet.

/quote <msg> – If you need to put some emphasis on a word, or phrase, this little cheater is your BFF. Type this slash code in and everything will be formatted with a monospace font, regardless of length or number of new lines.

/me | /em <msg> – The infamous “emote” command. If you want to say something, without actually saying it – this quick slash displays a line of gray text with your name at the beginning, like when you join and leave the room.

For example: if I typed “/me is ‘bout that life.” it would show “Wesley Faulkner is ‘bout that life.” in the chat. I think that pretty much says it all.

s/…/… – Everyone screws words up. But, we’ve got the secret fix to make you look like a spelling or grammar whiz.

Type in this command within a minute of sending and you can edit your message. Wait too long, and it’s there forever – misspelled and awkward – kinda like you in high school.

 

  1. Web colors – Here’s one for our designer homies: HipChat lets you show hexadecimal colors real-time, right in your chat. Type in #<color hex>, and HipChat will drop your color right there. This just makes so much sense and saves so much time.
  1. SO MANY emoticons – In case you didn’t know, there are over 200 emoticons. That’s a lot of ways to say something is awesome, or something is whack. From All The Things to You Got It Dude, your choices are endless to provide snark or drop a thumbs up when someone is killing it in your little workplace realm. Check out the ever-growing list: hipchat.com/emoticons.

So, these are just some items off The HipChat Secret Menu. We’ve got a few other tricks up our sleeves we’ll divulge soon enough. We can’t let everything out! Post in the comments below and let us know your favorite tricks/tips and we’ll pick a few and showcase them in the next round of The Secret Menu.

See how artifakt goes beyond chat with HipChat integrations

2 years ago Elena Gorman 4 Comments

For Andre Bodnar, and his five-person team, logging into HipChat is like walking in the office to start the work day. The team is remote—four are in Canada and one is in South Africa—so the group chat app serves as their virtual office.

“ If you aren’t taking advantage of HipChat’s integrations, then you’ve just got a great chat client. But that’s it. HipChat has the potential to be so much more than that! It’s a notification center, it’s a team collaboration enviro, it’s a virtual office. Integrations help you get there.”- Andre Bodnar, Founder of artifakt Communications

“We all work in the cloud,” Andre said, “so it’s pretty essential to us that we have tools that help us communicate better. I feel like HipChat and Zapier are the glue that keeps our distributed team connected.” Andre keeps on top of his responsibilities, his team’s progress on client work and whatever surprises the day brings, such as crashing sites, in topic-specific HipChat rooms.

Zapier comes into play by being the app integration platform that connects HipChat to hundreds of other web services. The tool, which offers a free plan, too, gives even the most non-technical user the ability to set up an integration in a matter of minutes.

Here are 6 ways artifakt transcends the typical chat experience

1. Resolve client site performance issues before the client notices with StatusCake

“If a site fails or something goes down, HipChat alerts us before our client usually even knows,” says Andre. artifakt’s development team receives notifications from uptime management tool StatusCake and discusses alerts on the fly.

HipChat uses Zapier to integrate StatusCake.io feeds

artifakt’s support team can discuss site performance in the Development room

After his team resolves the issue, Andre calls up the client, lets them know what happened and tells them it’s already been fixed. It’s a call that leaves the customer quite impressed.

Get the Zap here.

2. Maintain 360° team momentum

Before HipChat notifications, artifakt team members were expected to regularly visit the Basecamp progress page to keep on top of project progress. “But I found that most of the people on our team just wouldn’t bother checking it.”

Feed Basecamp activity into a HipChat room

Pipe notifications from Basecamp into your main HipChat room to keep everyone in sync

“Because everybody has HipChat open they’re sort of forced to in this case,” Andre said.

“Nobody can say, ‘Oh didn’t see that or I didn’t know that happened.’ Everybody knows what’s happening because Zapier makes that so.”

Get the Zap here.

3. Keep your mind on your money with Freshbooks

artifakt keeps everyone on the same page for client invoices and payments by feeding all FreshBooks activity into HipChat.

See invoicing activity from Freshbooks in HipChat

artifakt feeds invoicing information into the Support team room from FreshBooks

“(This lets) us know when a client has done something with FreshBooks—they have a pretty simple RSS feed that they have set up, so we have that RSS feed notifying us in Hipchat, as well,” Andre said.

Get the Zap here.

4. Maintain your competitive edge by sharing articles via Evernote

The artifakt team shares an Evernote notebook and uses the Zapier integration to notify the main office room in HipChat when a new article is shared.

HipChat integrates with Evernote via Zapier

Zapier makes sure everyone in the Main Office room knows about new articles

Get the Zap here.

5. Stay on top of new commits with BitBucket

BitBucket seamlessly integrates with HipChat by notifying the artifakt team of new commits to repos. Used in conjunction with Atlassian’s SourceTree app for BitBucket these notifications keep the development team on task. Whether they are at their desk or on their mobile device.

HipChat BitBucket connector on iOS

Native mobile apps keep you connected

Get the BitBucket Connector here.

6. Coordinate the information flow through dedicated HipChat rooms

Each of these integrations serve a unique business need. Andre and his team pipe notifications into subject-specific chat rooms to minimize unnecessary interruptions. Room access is limited based on what the person needs to know, so that the notifications are relevant to the team members.

Here’s how the artifakt team organizes its rooms:
  • artifakt has a main ‘Office’ room, where general notifications go, like project updates in Basecamp and Evernote Shared notebook updates for all employees.

  • Bitbucket repo updates and website downtime alerts only feed into the ‘Development’ room

  • In the ‘Support’ room you’ll see notifications of emails submitted to the support address, Desk.com updates, and Statuscake updates.

Find all HipChat Integrations at help.hipchat.com

Looking ahead

artifakt CommunicationsAt the moment, Andre has 14-16 different apps integrated across two businesses on HipChat. In 2014, he expects to grow his development team to tackle a growing client base.

artifakt Communications is a digital strategy agency, based in Toronto, ON, that helps clients better develop their online presence. Their work includes website design and development, graphic design, branding strategy, social media strategy, keyword positioning, and digital workflow planning.

@here to save the day

Now available across all apps

In the latest versions of our native Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS apps (and now the Android Beta) we added a sweet new @here function that you should use immediately.

You can make sure you’ve got the latest by checking for updates at help.hipchat.com.

Never wake up Thursday's support team with @all TGIF

What it does

The @here function leverages the presence capability in HipChat to address the active team members in a room and filter out everyone else. (By “active” we mean you are logged into a room and your availability shows that green dot.)

@here will trigger a pop-up and/or sound depending on the recipients preferences.

It will never send emails, push notifications, etc., since those are only sent to people who are away/idle/offline.

How we use it

Our favorite use-case: Atlassian caters lunch for us in the SF office from another startup called EatClub. It’s an awesome perk. But we have to place orders before 10:30am.

We use @here to remind only the people actively in our team room to place their orders. Our team members across the globe don’t receive a notification. That’s one less unnecessary interruption in their day. Success!

Use @here for reminders that only impact your immediate team

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