• Get Ready For 2017 With The Right Tool

    “You are only as good as your tools”

    If you are using tools like IntelliJ IDEA, Resharper, PyCharm, RubyMine or WebStorm, this might be useful info for you.

    icon_IntelliJIDEAicon_resharpericon_PhpStorm icon_RubyMine icon_WebStorm

    (more…)

    Share this post

  • Powering your Dev Teams Contest #2

    Akeles-PowerCube-ads

    We are organising a series of contests for the IT folks in Singapore.

    For this month, 10 lucky winners with the correct answers will get to win a Allocacoc PowerCube Remote Original + PowerRemote each. 

    The submission will close on 31 August 2016 2359hrs Singapore time


    Your Name
    NRIC
    Your Email
    Phone number
    Your answer Which of the following is not true on the differences between Git and Subversion?
    Git is much faster in performance than SubversionGit doesn't need a network connection to create commitsFeature branches works better with Git branchesSubversion works on Pull Requests and Git uses branches
    Security Check captcha
    Retype the character from the picture above

      I have read and agree to the terms and conditions below

    Terms and Conditions for the contest

    1. This contest is open only to citizens and permanent residents of Singapore aged 21 and above.
    2. No purchase is required. Contestants will have to like our Facebook page
    3. Limited 1 entry person. Subsequent entries will be disqualified.
    4. Each correct entry will be limited to 1 lucky draw chance. 
    5. The winners of each lucky draw will be picked from all eligible entries.
    6. The qualifying period for this draw is 1st August 2016 – 31st August 2016.
    7. The lucky draw will be conducted electronically on 15th September 2016.
    8. Winners will be notified by 16th September 2016 via a prize notification email.
    9. Lucky Draws winner are required to respond within a week from notification date in order to be eligible winners. Winners that do not respond will be forfeited.
    10. We reserve the rights to deal with all unclaimed prizes in any manner deemed fit.
    11. Any personal information collected is for the sole purpose of conducting the Contest including the notification of the winners of the Contest. By participating in the Contest, participants consent to the Organiser’s use of their personal information in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Contest.
    12. We are not a supplier of the product(s) offered and shall not bear any liability in relation thereto.
    13. Akeles’ decision on all matters relating to the draws shall be final, binding and conclusive and no correspondence will be entertained.
    14. Participation of the Contest constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions of the Contest.

    Share this post

  • Powering your Dev Teams Contest #1

    To celebrate our 8th year, we are organising a series of contests for the IT folks in Singapore.

    For the 1st month, 10 lucky winners with the correct answers will get to win a Allocacoc PowerCube Remote Original + PowerRemote each. 

    The submission will close on 30 June 2016 2359hrs Singapore time


    Your Name
    NRIC
    Your Email
    Phone number
    Your answer Which one of the following is a characteristic of Scrum projects?
    Focused on completing a deliverableAre often used by Support teams to manage a continuous flow of work itemsHave a variable-length delivery timeframeDevelopers work on issues whenever they decided to do so
    Security Check captcha
    Retype the character from the picture above

      I have read and agree to the terms and conditions below

     

    Terms and Conditions for the contest

    1. This contest is open only to citizens and permanent residents of Singapore aged 21 and above.
    2. No purchase is required. Contestants will have to like our Facebook page
    3. Limited 1 entry person. Subsequent entries will be disqualified.
    4. Each correct entry will be limited to 1 lucky draw chance. 
    5. The winners of each lucky draw will be picked from all eligible entries.
    6. The qualifying period for this draw is 1st June 2016 – 30th June 2016.
    7. The lucky draw will be conducted electronically on 15th July 2016.
    8. Winners will be notified by 16th July 2016 via a prize notification email.
    9. Lucky Draws winner are required to respond within a week from notification date in order to be eligible winners. Winners that do not respond will be forfeited.
    10. We reserve the rights to deal with all unclaimed prizes in any manner deemed fit.
    11. Any personal information collected is for the sole purpose of conducting the Contest including the notification of the winners of the Contest. By participating in the Contest, participants consent to the Organiser’s use of their personal information in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Contest.
    12. We are not a supplier of the product(s) offered and shall not bear any liability in relation thereto.
    13. Akeles’ decision on all matters relating to the draws shall be final, binding and conclusive and no correspondence will be entertained.
    14. Participation of the Contest constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions of the Contest.

    Share this post

  • Confluence Page of the Month – CommonWealth of Massachusetts CommonWiki

    The Confluence Page of the Month for March goes to a Template & Training page from CommonWealth of Massachusetts CommonWiki

    CommonWiki

    4 reasons why we like this page

    • The content is useful
    • The template files are attached to the page and versioned automatically
    • Using composition macro to group the content in various tabs
    • Using icon to denote the type of the file

    Share this post

  • 6 Reasons Why You Should Learn JIRA

    6 reasons why you should learn JIRA

    popular-smallPopular

    JIRA has become sort of a standard for keeping track of issues. In fact, over 70% of the Fortune 100 companies are using JIRA.

    I just did a search for JIRA on Indeed.com and found 10,947 positions available. The positions that requires JIRA expertise ranges from JIRA administrators, Scrum Masters, QA Analysts, Software Engineers, Project Managers to Service Desk Specialists, etc.

    useful-smallMulti-purpose

    Today JIRA has 3 different flavors

    • JIRA Core – for business teams to track tasks, approvals, legal reviews, marketing campaigns, etc
    • JIRA Software – for software teams to track bugs, system enhancements with features to support agile development
    • JIRA Service Desk – for helpdesks to track user problems and requests

    It is possible to mix and match the 3 applications to run on a single server and web address. This provides the flexibility for business teams, software teams and helpdesk teams to collaborate on the same platform. 

    Easy-smallEasy to Use

    The UI is intuitive and Atlassian provides very comprehensive user documentation on their Confluence site. You can extend the features from the big set of add-ons from Atlassian Marketplace.

    compliance-smallCompliance

    By using JIRA to track the issues, all the historical changes and discussions are captured in context to the issue. This provides visibility and traceability that makes audits less painful.

    time-saving-smallTime Saving

    Another side effect of using JIRA is that you can save time compiling reports and sending emails. With the reporting gadgets and automation add-ons, you can focus on getting the real work done.

    affordable-smallAffordable

    The server license for 10 users starts from US$10 with 1 year of annual support. If you wish to save the hassle of setting up your own server, you can also use the Cloud edition which goes for $10 per month for up to 10 users.

    JIRA training 2016

    Share this post

  • 8 Secrets How Successful People Get Work Done

    8 secrets successful people get their work done

    Have you always feel frustrated at the end of the week that you have accomplished nothing despite being busy for the entire week?

    I was inspired by Barking up the Wrong Tree to write how using an issue tracker can improve the way of getting work done by incorporating behavioural science theories.

    1. Attention is equal to Time 

    First, you need to be aware that your smartphones and inbox are huge time suckers to your productivity.

    Each new email or a notification is likely to distract you from what you are doing. Mobile notifications is the new evil with a constant flood of notifications from your group chats and apps.

    According to research, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task after getting interrupted

    People who do a lot of attention switching, they believe they can focus when they need to, but the reality is they have lost that ability.
    When you give them a task that requires focus, they perform worse than people that don’t spend a lot of time fragmenting their attention.

    Bakadesuyo: How to focus

    Therefore, you might want to check your mails and mobiles after completion of a task. 

    2. Maintaining a list 

    According to research, an average human can only keep track of 7 ± 2 tasks in working memory

    Therefore it is better to use computers to keep track of your tasks. It helps to keep you organised and ensure no tasks get missed.

    3. Setting up a routine 

    Have you ever wondered why people will always remember to log in to check their Facebook or to play their mobile games?
    Well, they all send you notifications periodically to remind you to do so.

    So you can set up a reminder for yourself to check on the tasks that you need to do at the start of the day/week.

    4. Create small wins for yourself 

    The biggest difference between working and studying is there aren’t regular tests to tell you how good you are performing and to let you move to the next level.

    You need to create small wins for yourself to and your team have the feeling of progress.

    People’s inner work lives seemed to lift or drag depending on whether or not their projects moved forward, even by small increments.
    Small wins often had a surprisingly strong positive effect, and small losses a surprisingly strong negative one.

    Bakadesuyo: How to be motivated: 4 new insights from research

    Start having a report to see how many tasks you have accomplished at the end of the week.

    You will not feel nothing is done at the end of every week.

    5. Start to reduce shallow work 

    A mentor once shared with me the concept of “Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts”

    Similarly, small insignificant tasks consume your time and distract you from getting the real work done.

    Shallow work is little stuff like email, meetings, moving information around. Things that are not really using your talents.
    Deep work pushes your current abilities to their limits. It produces high value results and improves your skills.

    Bakadesuyo: How To Stop Being Lazy And Get More Done – 5 Expert Tips

    Instead of spending time to compile reports and filling time sheets, use tools to automate this to free up time to do meaningful work

    6. Learn how to say no 

    Do you know that a common characteristic of successful people is that they know how to say no at the right time.

    By asking your co-workers to log a task in the system for you, it makes them think harder whether it is necessary.

    This either helps you to filter unnecessary tasks or prepare the information for the task upfront.

    It also helps your superior to see your workload and balance the assignment accordingly. 

    7. What gets measured get done 

    Usually most of us work together as a group. Sometimes you need someone to complete a piece of work before you can work on it.

    If the task is passed over to you late, you will have less time to work on it. The worse scenario is that it interrupts you 

    Try to set a due date when assigning out a task and send automated reminders to chase them.

    8. Use the correct tool 

    A major limitation of using the Inbox to keep track of your tasks is that emails are sorted with the latest first.
    It creates a natural tendency to read and react to newer emails than to follow up on the earlier emails.

    Work should be FIFO (First In First Out), not LIFO (Last In First Out).

    If you keep on reacting upon those newer incoming tasks, your older tasks will eventually become urgent and get on top of you.  
    Then you will be pressured to rush finish those late tasks. 

    You might want to use a To-do list tool or issue tracker to manage your tasks.

    References

    You can find more useful tips and related information for the quotes and links referenced in this article below:

    1. http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/01/how-to-be-motivated/
    2. http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/12/how-to-focus/
    3. http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2014/08/how-to-stop-being-lazy/
    4. http://lifehacker.com/how-long-it-takes-to-get-back-on-track-after-a-distract-1720708353
    5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magical_Number_Seven,_Plus_or_Minus_Two
    6. http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/4-steps-to-say-no-like-the-super-successful.html

    Share this post

  • Confluence Page of the Month – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    The Confluence Page of the Month for February goes to a Scheduled System Outage announcement from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 

    Berkeley Lab Scheduled Outage announcement

    4 reasons we like this page:

    1. The author took effort to add the logo of the affected system so that it can be identified easily
    2. Good use of blog to communicate time related announcements to users 
    3. Facilitate navigation by putting latest news and common links on the right sidebars
    4. Integrating with Google Calendar to show upcoming events

    Tip: You can select the image uploaded previously from the Confluence image browser

    Share this post

  • How we migrated from VertygoSLA to Days Elapsed Traffic Light plugin

    Report on the Traffic Light status of issues using 3D Gadgets

    Why we built Days Elapsed Traffic Light plugin

    We have a customer using VertygoSLA plugin to track the SLA for requests in their JIRA, but VertygoSLA was acquired by Atlassian to be embedded with JIRA Service Desk. There were 3 options available:

    1. To switch to JIRA Service Desk
    2. To find other suitable SLA plugins
    3. To build our own SLA plugin

    We decided to build our own Days Elapsed Traffic Light plugin due to the following considerations:

    • Need to calculate the number of working days. As the business requests can take many days to resolve, displaying 9 days elapsed is less mathematically challenging compared to 72 hours passed
    • Ability to flag out issues that is going to exceed the SLA soon. The yellow traffic light is helpful for alerting users
    • To be able to retain the SLA information from the old requests

    Setting up the Traffic Light custom fields

    The setup for the Traffic Light custom fields is pretty simple with a couple of steps

    1. For every VertygoSLA custom field, we added a corresponding Traffic Light custom field with the same name Added Traffic Light custom field
    2. The working calendars have to be added to define the working days and non working days. In order to cater to departments with different calendars, we introduced the concept of country calendars and organisation calendars. This will alleviate the administrators’ tasks of having to update each calendars individually
      Defining the calendar
    3. The mappings have to be defined to specify the thresholds and conditions for the SLA to be applied
    4. Post functions are added into the workflows to start and stop the Traffic Light Timers
      post functions to start the timers

    Migrating the VertygoSLA data

    The patching was the most time-consuming part as it was done incrementally over different JIRA projects. We built a patcher module that can select the issues to patch.

    1. The patching was done during off-peak hours to avoid disruption to the users
    2. The patcher will read the VertygoSLA information and find out the duration of SLA timer
    3. Using the number of days elapsed, the traffic light colour is determined
    4. The information is then populated into the corresponding Traffic Light custom field
    5. We created dashboards with our Multiple Filters Chart Gadget for the users to verify the resultsDifference in SLA Reports
    6. After verification, the VertygoSLA custom fields were deleted

    Share this post

  • Confluence Page of the Month – Maxwell Render V3 documentation

    Nowadays, it is a more frequent occurrence to find technical documentation written in Confluence and some of them had done a great job. Then the idea came: “Why don’t we showcase them on our blog? A well done piece of work deserves recognition and other Confluence users can pick up the good practices too.”

    That’s why from this month onwards, we will be starting a Confluence Page of the Month to showcase a Confluence page that we chanced upon and think it is interesting. 

    The page to start the ball rolling is the Maxwell Render V3 Documentation

    Maxwell Render V3 Documentation

    3 reasons we like this page:

    1. By embedding the Vimeo video, the page became much more interesting
    2. The layout looks neat and organized with the RefinedWiki theme
    3. It looks easy to navigate through the content from the left side bar

     

    Share this post

  • When do you move JIRA Server to JIRA Data Center

    A frequently asked question by JIRA users or those who are evaluating JIRA.

    It is not uncommon that they may be wondering whether they will need to use JIRA Data Center. Thus, we are sharing our experience with JIRA Data Center in this post which hopefully can help to shed some light on it.

    What is JIRA Data Center

    JIRA Data Center is a deployment option designed for high availability and performance at scale
    when hosting JIRA Server in your own premise.

    This is achieved with a cluster of servers to share the workload from incoming requests through the use of a load balancer. Each node is a complete JIRA instance with its own index.

    JIRA Data Center Reference Architecture

    What are the benefits of using
    JIRA Data Center

    • Performance – Faster performance with load being distributed across the various nodes
    • Increased users – A 2-node JIRA Data Center cluster was able to support two times the no. of
      concurrent users with the same response time compared to a single JIRA Server 
    • High Availability – With active-active clustering, users are guaranteed uninterrupted access in
      event of hardware failure as they will be seamlessly redirected to an active node automatically
    • Instant scalability – Additional nodes can be added in real time
    • Disaster Recovery – Option to have another set of hardware on standby

    When you should start looking
    at JIRA Data Center

    The JIRA Server should be sufficient for most users until you encounter one of the scenarios below:

    • your existing JIRA issue count is hitting a million
    • your are growing at 20,000 JIRA issues per month
    • there is a need for high availability or disaster recovery
    • the CPU usage for your JIRA Server is peaking constantly
    • more and more users have started complaining of slowness

    Before upgrading to JIRA Data
    Center

    • Have you allocated more resources such as CPU and RAM to the JIRA Server?
    • Have you explored performance tuning?
    • Have you checked if the slowdown is caused by virus scanning? You can use our Attachment
      Checker for JIRA
      add-on to limit virus scanning to file attachments
    • Have you upgraded to the latest version of Java and JIRA? Do you know JIRA 6.4 is 30% faster
      than JIRA 6.3 on average? Check out 5 Things to Know for Scaling JIRA Performance

    What are the considerations

    • License Cost
      • JIRA Software Data Center is an annual term license. Thus renewal is required to continue using it
      • The pricing is based on user tiers and does not have any limit on the number of servers or CPUs

        Users
        Annual Price
        Up to 500 users US$12,000
        501 to 1,000 users US$24,000
        Up to 10,000 users US$24,000 for every 1,000 users
        Next 40,000 users US$24,000 for every 5,000 users
        More than 50,000 users US$450,000
      • There is a discount for upgrading from JIRA Software Server to JIRA Software Data Center
      • If you are only setting up a cold-failover server, you can use a free development license without
        additional cost
    • Compatibility
      • The add-ons must be data center compatible
      • If you are moving from JIRA Cloud to JIRA Data Center, this could be tricky
    • Cloud option
      • You need to have your own hosting infrastructure as there is no Data Center option for hosting with JIRA
        Cloud

    Recommended Strategy

    For those who do not need HA setup, we recommend the following strategy

    1. Start with JIRA Software Server
    2. Do performance tuning to stretch the limit of JIRA Software Server
    3. Conduct benchmarking tests to measure the improvement with JIRA Software Data Center
    4. The no. of nodes to allocate will depend on the no. of concurrent users and the usage pattern. The following chart can be a reference on how increasing the no. of nodes increases the no. of requests handled without affecting the time taken

    JIRA Data Center Performance Test

    Useful resources



    Share this post