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How colorful HipChat notifications can help you in your day to day work

Photo by Michael Gil

HipChat helps us communicate with clients and so much more. It’s a rather simple tool, but you’d be surprised at how effectively you can tweak it for your own needs. Fluent communication is extremely important to keep everybody on the same page.

Rooms - Set up at the beginning

2 types of rooms are created once we start a project. It’s crucial to add all the members who are actively participating in the process to each room.

  • Internal room - the place for the Project Manager and developers. Very useful when some questions arise and the answer is needed nearly NOW or in case you need to sum up the teams’ work before the weekly meeting with the client.

For any corner cases, we also have the general chat room where all the team members may help developers solve an issue. You know what they say, two heads are better than one.

  • Clients room - a channel where the client can communicate with the team almost instantly. As we treasure transparency the most, we want clients to be able to talk to their developers at any given time. Within our business hours, someone will respond to questions, ideas or take care of all the ad hoc issues. Perfect for instant problem solving and inconsistencies explaining.

HipChat is full of colors

In case you aren’t around your computer, don’t worry. If anyone mentioned you in the thread, you will get a message via e-mail and your HipChat room will light up in yellow so you know you have to keep scrolling up till you see your name highlighted in blue. You can’t miss the important stuff.

HipChat is also available on mobile devices. If you have to run but would still like to be updated, you’ll get push notifications on your cell.

Looking for a team member? A small dot next to their name will give you an idea on whether he/she is:

  • available (green)
  • on call (red)
  • has a break (yellow)
  • is not logged in at all (grey)

Notifications from integrated tools

During a project’s lifecycle, there are many steps that you might want to know about, but it’s easy to miss them. HipChat is integrated with all the tools we use. Once something is done, we receive a colorful notification:

  • Pivotal Tracker - when someone adds a new ticket to the dashboard, recipients automatically get detailed descriptions, information on who added the ticket and a link that opens the ticket. Any actions with a specific ticket will also be displayed, for instance, accepting, rejecting, or additional comments.

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  • Notes from CircleCI - each time you push to the github repository CircleCi starts a build. Once it's done building and deploying, it lets you know the current status. Again, you can open the details with a link to the item.

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  • Code Climate - This notification will show details of the specific parts of the code that have been upgraded in the process and code coverage. If the general note decreases, you will also be notified. You can compare current states to the previous phases.

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  • Sometimes not everything goes as we expected. When an error occurs, HipChat will display a notification via Rollbar which accelerates fixing the issue.

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This is how we do it, but check out HipChat for yourself, and discover how you can adjust Hipchat to serve your needs!

Interested how to squeeze the best out of your tools? Take a look at our Pivotal Tracker setup.

On 01.09.2014 in Project Management