Mastering JIRA 7

Book Details

ISBN 139781786466860
Paperback450 pages

Book Description

Atlassian JIRA 7 is an enterprise issue tracker system. One of its key strengths is its ability to adapt to the needs of an organization, ranging from building software products to managing your support issues.

This book provides a comprehensive explanation covering all three components of JIRA 7, such as JIRA Software, JIRA Core, and Jira Service Desk. It shows you how to master the key functionalities of JIRA and its customizations and useful add-ons, and is packed with real-world examples and use cases.

You will first learn how to plan for a JIRA 7 installation and fetch data. We cover JIRA reports in detail, which will help you analyze your data effectively. You can add additional features to your JIRA application by choosing one of the already built-in add-ons or building a new one to suit your needs.

Then you'll find out about implementing Agile methodologies in JIRA by creating Scrum and Kanban boards. We'll teach you how to integrate your JIRA Application with other tools such as Confluence, SVN, Git, and more, which will help you extend your application. Finally, we'll explore best practices and troubleshooting techniques to help you find out what went wrong and understand how to fix it.

What You Will Learn

  • Plan the installation and upgrade of your JIRA instance to the newest version
  • Configure issue type schemes, create customized workflows, modify permission schemes, and change notification schemes
  • Implement JIRA Service Desk to manage your support tickets
  • Customize JIRA for test management, helpdesk, and requirement management
  • Deploy JIRA for Agile tracking using the Scrum and Kanban techniques
  • Develop JIRA add-ons to extend JIRA's functionality
  • Migrate data from external systems using CSV import
  • Generate reports directly from the JIRA database and use custom JavaScript and CSS
  • Integrate your JIRA application with third-party tools such as Confluence, SVN, and Git

Table of Contents


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West London Coders

On Saturday 5th August 2017 I went to one meetup called "West London Coders" and it was amazing time spent with nice people with similar interest. Here is the link to their meetup page: I just came across their meetup accidentally and I thought why not attend this tech meetup. Usually on Saturdays I spend time at home with family but I decided to go their and to be honest I was surprised by the event. I usually don't go the meetups now or very rarely but this time I felt good afterwards.

The whole idea of this meetup is to gather in a room and decide the topics that you want to learn around various programming languages. For this meetup there were I think more than 30 people who came. The venue for the meetup was "Net a Porter" office. I never heard about their company. Basically it is a fashion brand with around 5000 employees. Their office is in Westfield shopping complex on the top floor and their office is huge and amazing.

After initial round of introductions the group was divided into 3 separate groups for Front end, Swift and one more group. I chose to go in the Swift group. There were 6 people in the Swift room and we decided to develop an app for their website:

The total time for this hackathon was 4.5 hours and we started the actual coding after 1 hours so we were left with 3.5 hours. We ended up creating a simple app with WebView to begin with as the website is responsive but of course in future the plan is to create a native app with connectivity to the website as well and for that the API also needs to be enabled on the site. In those 3.5 hours we mostly spent time understanding the fundamentals of iPhone development and learning about very technical topics like Weak References in Swift and few other topics. There were people with different experience levels but most of us had developed an app in the past, I guess 5 of us so it was a bit smooth.

I really liked the idea of this meetup. Lot of learning that day for me and in the end I felt really really satisfied. Looking forward to more of their meetups in future.

Here is the link to the GitHub Repository:

BTW I came to know that "Net a Porter" also uses JIRA and Atlassian tools in the company. Always good to know that :)

Checklist for JIRA - Add-on review

I came across this new add on called "Checklist for JIRA" and it seems quite interesting add-on. The Overview of this add-on on the marketplace says "Stop using Subtasks for simple tracking. Use Checklist instead. Ideal for Definition of Done, Acceptance Criteria and ToDo lists".

So what I understand is that this add-on aims to repace sub-tasks in JIRA with its checklist feature. I guess it makes sense. Sometimes you don't need to worry too much about the details of the sub-tasks and a scenario when certain tasks just needs to be done without worrying too much about their details. Like recurring activities, to-do or checklist of things for a particular activity.

Let us take a look at this add-on.

1. Install the add-on as you would normally do from the "Find new add-ons".
2. Create a new custom field of type "Checklist". It is like a normal Select list field when creating. I named the field "Simple Checklist".
3. Add this field on the screen.
4. Checklist options can have their own status - "Not Applicable", "In Progress" and "Blocked". The person working on the issue can also add more items in the checklist. I need to check the permissions for this.
5. There is a flag for the options to set them as Mandatory.
6. Once all the options are checked the overall status of the custom field will be displayed as "COMPLETED".
7. Once all the options are checked the overall status of the custom field will be displayed as "ALL MANDATORY"
8. There are some useful JQL functions that can help the user to search for the issues based on the items in the checklist.
a. "Simple Checklist" = allItemsChecked(): Returns all the issues where this custom field has all the options checked.
b. "Simple Checklist" = allMandatoryItemsChecked(): Returns all the issues where this custom field has all the mandatory options checked.
c. "Simple Checklist" = checkedItem("Option 7") : Returns all the issues where this custom field has "Option 7" checked. This function will take only one argument.
d. "Simple Checklist" = uncheckedItem("Option 1"): Returns all the issues where this custom field has "Option 1" unchecked.

Checklist for JIRA

Another observations about this add-on

1. The options set up by the JIRA Administration for the custom field are displayed to the users but the user working on the ticket can add more options only for that specific issue. I could not find permission to control this i.e. stopping users from adding more options on the fly for that specific issue.
2. This custom field can be displayed in the "Issue Navigator" "List View".
3. The link to the documentation of this add-on was broken on the marketplace listing.
4. The new items that are added by the user can be reordered. Only the new items though.
5. Use @username and dd/mm/yyyy in the option and the syntax will be changed for these options. Though the @username will not be a link to the user name. It will just display a user icon in front of the name but the username can be invalid. It think it more for the syntax rather than functionality.
6. I don't think more statuses can be added

Further Configurations

When you configure the custom field there will be some further configurations that can be done on the custom field.

1. On the main Configure Custom Field there will an option to set "Discretionary Options". Basically all the Options that are added in the custom field will be mandatory but here you can check which Option (Value) you want to be Optional. (little weird english here :))
2. Click on Edit Parameters to change more configurations. These will allow you to change the number of Options to be displayed on the issue, emphasize mandatory items and few more helpful configurations. You can also specify which Project Roles can edit this field.

Conclusion: Overall I like this add-on. Although the use cases are not convincing in some scenario where this can checklist thing can be achieved by just using a Custom Field. The JQL functions are quite useful and bring value to this add-on. The add-on works both on JIRA Cloud and Server. There is also a Data Center and JIRA Service Desk compatibility.

Checklist for JIRA version: 3.1.13
JIRA: 7.4.0

Missing Drupal - will try Drupal 8 now!

I think I have not installed any fresh Drupal setup in the past 2 years. What a shame! I used to love Drupal. For the past 2 years I am 100% focused on Atlassian tool set, which I thought is a wise decision. You can't do everything at the same time and it is nearly impossible to get really good in one thing without letting go the other. I like JIRA as well, it is amazing tool and the Atlassian ecosystem is amazing. I first got the opportunity to work on JIRA when I was working for Alcatel-Lucent. It has been 8 years I think when I first worked on JIRA. I was given a task to manage users in JIRA. I used to hate it and the the interface was not really great. At that time I was totally into Drupal and I was making comparisons. Of course both are for different purposes but when you have a decent level of expertise working on a web based tool that can be configured, you draw comparisons. My initial work was just to manage users and nothing much. Later on I was given some tasks to make some configuration changes in JIRA. Like creating new custom fields, adding them on screens, attaching it to the projects. At that time I was managing which was one of the biggest and only source of information for students seeking information about IP University Delhi. I used to spend hours making that site better and more useful. I learned working on Drupal on that site and when I started diving more into JIRA world I realised that JIRA is actually a very smart tool. The way things are configured in it is really powerful.

I love building solutions. When I used to work on Drupal I was not really making websites. I was building a solution around it. I understood the architecture of Drupal and how it works. That knowledge along with my passion to build solutions was my plus point. After few months of working JIRA I was liking it. In the year 2009 - 2010, JIRA was not that mature as it is now but I think the fundamentals and the concepts were same as today. I have to admit that I tried JIRA only because it was part of my job, otherwise I was mostly into open source tools. I tried several open source applications and could never find one that can satisfy my needs. Project Management has always been my core interest. I used to work as Project Coordinator in Alcatel-Lucent and also in Kaplan, my company prior to Alcatel-Lucent. I am a certified Microsoft Project Server Administrator, I set it in the company, then I also build a very powerful tool in Excel with the help of VBA to do some project management. Later in the company with the help of 6 interns we build a custom project management and competency management tool. Later I was also managing my own projects in Sparxsys. At the time when I was learning JIRA I was well versed with what is expected from any project management tool.

I loved the way JIRA can be customized and any process can be mapped on top of it. The idea of add-ons was something that excited me. Just like Drupal. The only bad thing was that everything was paid but I realized later in life that you can't always get the best things for free.

In the past 2 years I have been doing more and more Atlassian Consultation work and I will be honest. Money wise it is far better than Drupal. However I do miss working on it. Just because of Drupal all of it was possible, even before Drupal I was doing freelancing services on various things but none of it was good enough to give me enough leverage and courage to start your own company from absolute zero. I am little biased towards Drupal and these days my bread, butter and beer is coming only from Atlassian tool but I have decided to get back to Drupal. To start with I will probably upgrade this site to Drupal 8. In fact most of my sites are still running. I will make it my weekend project to upgrade them to Drupal 8 or to the latest Drupal 7 at least.

Weekend is almost here and I will surely work on it.


How to study for JIRA Administrator Certification

I recently cleared my JIRA Administration Certification and share briefly about my experience about it. I have been working on JIRA for many years now and JIRA along with other Atlassian tools is my main competency these days. I feel quite privileged that I got the opportunity to work with many known and popular companies. Working for big companies as a full time employee is good but in your career you can never work with all of them, but for me I have been working with them on short term assignments and projects. I get to meet them in person, see their offices and fancy campuses. I also get to travel a lot. It is tiring but at the same time, I am making memories too. I get to travel a lot and I get paid for it as well. I get to stay in nice hotels and eat food from all over.

Atlassian Certified JIRA Administrator

Oh sorry I am talking too much about myself. Back to the original topic. How to study for the JIRA Administration Certification. I will be precise and will give you my thoughts about the test.

1. Atlassian Certification Page

Read everything about the JIRA Certification on this page:

And read it again.

1.1 Exam preparation:

Just get familiar with the process by reading everything on this page.

1.2 Take Sample test:

This will probably give you some idea about the questions asked, but I will share below as well about some of the questions.

1.3 On the same page above (1.1) there will be a button that says "Exam Topics", just click on the Download button to check the topics that you need to focus on. Click on the link below for direct link to that PDF.

One you get this PDF, just download it and take a print out of it. Now here is the important part. For topic mentioned in this PDF, just search for it on the official Atlassian documentation and read it briefly. Of course it might be boring but do go through it and look for anything you are not familiar with. I never really spent dedicated time reading the documentation thoroughly. I just read it as and when required but you need to pass the exam here and just make sure that when you read that documentation page, you know everything about it. Pay attention to any special note.

2. Read my book - Mastering JIRA 7, Second Edition

Doing self promotion here but in case you are new to JIRA Administration world and want to quickly learn about various aspects of JIRA 7 then this book will certainly help you a lot to learn a lot in less time. I have written this book based on my experience working for my clients. I have been also training many people to work on JIRA 7 and I know what kind of questions people ask and how to give them the answer that make them learn a specific topic.

Do buy this book and read it. It should take 2-3 weeks maximum if you read it for 2-3 hours everyday. Finish it early if you want to but I would recommend installing JIRA environment and doing hands-on. For this JIRA Administration Certification you just need to focus on the "JIRA Administration" i.e. anything and everything that needs to be done from the UI only. It is good to know about "Server Administration" but you don't need to know everything about it. Also, in this book skip any part where you may need to do any scripting or coding.

3. Install JIRA 7 and play with it

If you are new to JIRA Administration then it will be difficult to clear this exam as it not only tests your JIRA skills but also your ability to solve a specific problem in the best and efficient way. Install JIRA and while you are going through Step 1.3 and Step 2 above make sure you have an environment to play with.

Get familiar with the terms and admin interface by heart. You can't memorize then and there is no need to remember them as well but you should know where a specific setting can be found.

4. Very important topics to study and kind of questions

UPDATE: I got an email from Atlassian asking me to remove the topics.

Final thoughts

JIRA Administration Certification is not easy but it is good way to evaluate yourself. I have been working on JIRA for many years but in an attempt to clear the exam I also learned many things about the tool which are hidden somewhere in the official documentation or may be I never really got the opportunity to work on those features or use cases. Nobody is expert on everything and same is true for JIRA.

If you have been continuously working on JIRA Administration for a medium to large scale organization for at least 2 or 3 years then you should easily be able to clear the exam. For me, it is my job to manage many JIRA instances and rolling out this tool in several companies. When I sit with the client to understand their requirements I of course write it down and make notes but back in my mind I am also customizing JIRA at the same time like how many configurations I need to create. If you have been supporting any active JIRA for multiple teams then you should be able to clear it.

Exam day and Time Management

Last tips for your exam day.

Attempt the short questions first and mark any question which is bigger than two paragraphs for review later. There will be a check box below the question to mark it. Even if you don't mark it, there is a Review all link that will show you an overview of all the questions that you have attempted, not attempted and marked for review.

So here is the flow that you should follow in the exam.

First cycle: Target time 1 hour
Attempt short questions -->
Leave questions that are bigger than two paragraphs -->
Mark short questions that you have attempted but want to review later

Second cycle: Target time 30 minutes
Attempt bigger questions -->
Mark big questions that you have attempted but want to review later

Third cycle: Target time 30 minutes
Review the marked questions one by one -->
Unmark a question after reviewing it

Just make sure you don't leave any question unanswered as there are no negative markings.

Exam format

XXX questions
XXX minutes, but it is not mentioned on the JIRA Administration Certification page
Multiple Choice Questions
You may be asked to select more than one options

So here you go. I hope you clear your exam. Let me know by clicking on the contact link about your exam :)

Best of luck!


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