Elena Gorman

Drumroll Please…we have a new universal HipChat emoticon

By Elena Gorman | 1 month ago | 54 Comments

You may have heard about the Emoticon auction we ran a few weeks ago. Our goal was to raise $1,200 to cover the full cost of secondary education of one girl in Cambodia through Room to Read.

We’re happy (and incredibly grateful) to announce the auction raised $1,500 for our cause. In true Atlassian fashion, Sarah’s story inspired our employees to triple the donation. That’s right, we’re raising nearly $4,000 for Room to Read. Thank you to everyone who supported us with your tweets, likes and your bids.

Before we reveal the new emoticon, let’s get to know our winning donor and what motivated such a generous contribution.

Meet Sarah Ramkissoon

Sarah lives in Ontario, Canada but grew up in eastern India. She is an active member of an online community called TopCoder where she is in the top 20% of female developers. She hopes her contribution will help encourage women to pursue technical careers. She also has a personal connection to the cause.

I am East-Indian and know what it is like to grow up in a 3rd world country and have to struggle to get an education. I am lucky enough to live in Canada now and have had the access to opportunities that I was able to take advantage of, and be in a better place. I am happy to support someone else who happened to be unlucky enough to be born where those opportunities don’t exist as much.

-Sarah Ramkissoon

She also understands the power that an image, even a 30×25 emoticon, can convey.  Her goal is to change perceptions of what it means to be a woman in a technical field.

I believe that it is possible to be a nerd/geek/smart and be attractive, personable etc – too often young girls are reluctant to shine in areas like science and maths, because of a perception that they might be seen as ‘less feminine’ – nerd or geek is not something to be ashamed of, but to be proudly celebrated.

-Sarah Ramkissoon

As a mother, it’s important that her daughter learns that technical fields are not just for boys. Women can be confident, attractive, independent and excel in technical careers.

“As someone who has benefitted greatly from the sacrifices made by my previous generation to ensure that I am an empowered and educated woman, I applaud Sarah Ramkissoon and all those who participated in the emoticon auction.  The funds raised by this auction will help us transform the lives of 4 girls in Cambodia and ensure that they have the academic support and the life skills needed to shape a better future for themselves and their families.”

- Geetha Murali, Chief Development Officer, Room to Read

(nextgendev)

Sarah will add the emoticon (nextgendev) (nextgendev) to our robust universal emoticon inventory.

Want to help?

Please help us raise the remaining funds to cover the cost of secondary education for 50 girls in Cambodia by donating  here.

Should we do this again? Let us know in the comments!

Elena Gorman

Get your Groove on in HipChat with new integration

By Elena Gorman | 2 months ago | 2 Comments

Groove is a simple customer support platform that just announced a free integration with HipChat.  This integration with Groove means a lot to us because you asked for it.

Connect Groove's customer support tool into your favorite real time collaboration tool - HipChat

A few months back, our friends at Groove surveyed their customers to find out which integrations were most important. Sixty-five percent of Groove’s users wanted a HipChat integration. HipChat was the first-place winner by a factor of three.

“Integrating our Groove account with HipChat helps us respond to support requests almost immediately. This was an easy win for us in the Customer Happiness department.”
-Steve at StatusPage.io

Simple Setup

By enabling the free HipChat integration from the Groove App Store, you’ll be able to get notified in a HipChat room whenever there’s activity you need to know about on Groove. It’s totally customizable, and you can pick which mailboxes and events you want to get notifications for.

Groove's integration lets you configure alerts to any HipChat room

Create room-specific alerts for any customer support activity

 

“The biggest benefit for us is that we’ve already got our whole team huddled in HipChat, so we can collaborate on incoming support requests in real-time without having to leave the app. That means that for a lot of quick fixes and responses that require some collaboration, we have a resolution for the customer before we even open the Groove app.”

-  Nick, Allocate.io

The whole process is faster and easier, for you and for your customers.

And of course, social channels are integrated too. If you’ve got Groove set up with your Twitter account, you’ll see new Tweets right in your HipChat window:
Twitter mentions to feed into HipChat from Groove

You can also configure Twitter mentions to feed into HipChat from Groove

About Groove

Groove gives you everything you need to deliver personal, awesome support to every customer. Easily assign support emails to the right people, know that customers are being followed up with and stay on top of customer communication across your whole team. Sign up for a free 14-day trial here.
Jeff Park

How Belgian start-up Belighted uses HipChat to build features

By Jeff Park | 3 months ago | 0 Comments

Belighted is a mobile and web development company with offices in Brussels and Paris. They are the makers of Nomad Suite, a mobile tool for managing professional services companies from A to Z, in a simple yet effective way.  Check out their blog post on how their team integrates HipChat with other tools to stay on top of everything their team does.

For a few months here at Belighted, we have all been committed to release what could be a new breakthrough into the service related ERP world! We crafted it using such amazing tools as AngularJS and other trending ones!

But on our way of achieving such a challenge, we needed to put in place as complete a workflow as possible in order to allow a high quality level of crafted code that maintained traceability. We also wanted to make sure our workflow was easy and lean as possible so that we could focus more on developing features and less on maintaining our work.

In order to make things as smooth as possible for everybody, we rely on a few great tools, integrated together so we can automate as many tasks as possible.

Starting a feature

As with any agile project, features of Nomad Suite are described as stories, ordered by priority on the popular Pivotal Tracker.

Therefore, the first step is to start the first story in the backlog. This lets everybody know who is working on what. Because we use HipChat for internal communication, we hooked both tools together and all stakeholders are notified.

 

Next, we create a new feature branch, with a clear and concise name. Some of us like to add the story ID from Pivotal to the name, but the truth is we don’t really have a strict pattern. Feature branches are extremely important to us because they allow you to experiment at will, commit, share your changes, and rollback if need be, all without disrupting the work of other and, most importantly, staging and production deployments.

On rare occasions, we do commit directly on master, but the change must then meet two conditions:

  • It doesn’t need review by another developer. This is true for very small bugs, typos and some settings changes, but not much else.
  • It must be trivial enough that if you get interrupted, it can be stashed or discarded, and easily applied when you come back to it.

Continuous reporting

At every push to GitHub, the team is notified on HipChat. This is a great way to let everybody interested know how the feature is progressing.

Our CI tool, Semaphore, is also notified, and will let us know if all tests are green through — you guessed it — HipChat. This allows developers to not run the entire test suite, as some tests can take a few minutes. It is perfectly OK to break a feature branch.

Finishing up

Once the feature is implemented, tested, and passed all their tests, the feature branch is ready to be merged into master.

Or is it? Now is the time to look at the commits, and squash the branch if necessary.

As for branch names, we don’t have explicit guidelines on commits and messages, but here are a few things we hate to see, from bad to worst:

  • Incomplete (not functional) feature
  • Untested feature
  • Broken tests
  • “wip”

All commits should reference the Pivotal Tracker story ID and the last one should say it finishes it, so GitHub can update the tracker for us. The story is now automatically marked as finished, but it still needs review. Time to open a Pull Request on GitHub.

Review

Because we want to make sure this is the best code we can write, and we can all learn something from somebody else, all changes need to be reviewed by another developer. It can be anybody — the important thing, like with pair programming, is to have another pair of eyes, but we will sometimes ask someone with particular expertise to do the review.

After a little back and forth (with amended commits and forced pushes), the reviewer can finally decide to merge the feature. He is also reassured by Semaphore, which tested the branch and reports status on the Pull Request.

Semaphore status on Pull Request

Deployment

After the merge, Semaphore will run tests on the new master. They should all be green, so it will deploy onHeroku for us (and yes, notify HipChat). Our custom deploy script also uses the tracker-git gem, so stories will now automatically be delivered.

Time for the next story!..

Hoping this post could help people looking for an efficient way of organizing their job !

Please support our project !

Like Belighted on facebook, follow us on twitter or just visit our website.

Elena Gorman

Help us raise money for charity (and win a system-wide emoticon)

By Elena Gorman | 3 months ago | 0 Comments

Help us raise funds for the Room to Read  and share your custom emoticon with the world.

Starting today, the HipChat team will open bidding on a universal HipChat emoticon via Charitybuzz.com.

We’re starting the bidding at $250.  Yes, that’s a lot of money for something you can create on your own for private use. The kicker here is that your emoticon would become part of every HipChat experience.

Universal? Go into any HipChat room and type (dealwithit). You’ll see this guy 

Everyone sees him because he is system-wide.

How it works

  1. Place your bid at Charitybuzz.com.
  2. If you win, our co-founder, Pete, will help you with your design.
  3. We’ll make sure everyone knows about it via our newsletter, blog, social media and lobby messages.

Of course, we reserve the right to refuse any content we deem inappropriate.

The cause

Our parent company, Atlassian, has set the goal of raising funds to benefit the  Room to Read Girls’ Education Program in Cambodia.

Our team believes in this cause and the organization behind it. We sent 11 staff members to check out the program personally.

Inspiration

Atlassians have created some epic emoticons for internal use. Most of them reflect inside jokes.  They are also a great way to build camaraderie.

We’ve got an incredible Events Manager named Rudy who owns a panda suit. He’s got his own emoticon (rudy) that makes everyone smile 

We also created emoticons based on our company values. The first of which is open company, no bullshit. So Atlassians type (nobullshit) and see 

We know you’ve got some good ones too…

So let’s merge forces to raise money for a great cause. The auction lasts until February 13th. Bid now!

Elena Gorman

See how artifakt goes beyond chat with HipChat integrations

By Elena Gorman | 3 months ago | 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.