Daily notes

Friday, November 22, 2019 - 17:49

I have made literally hundreds of videos in 2019. I wrote a blog about the tools I use to make these videos and also shared my workflow. The quality of my videos is questionable though and definitely not great but that was my intention from the beginning that I wanted to make as many videos as I can without worrying about the quality. For close to 7-8 months I think I made a video everyday, which is quite good achievement I think :) Honestly it was not difficult, just share whatever you know already but making a video requires some effort.

First you have to figure out how to record yourself, the audio, screen and then you have to edit everything together. I have shared details in my other blog about all the tools but one thing which I figured out is the importance of a thumbnail, especially when you are starting from zero. Honestly I don't care about subscribers and views but it always feels good when many people watch your videos and give you feedback. It is also a skill which I never had and I have learned quite a lot. So I decided quite early to make at least a decent thumbnail in my videos. Of course I wouldn't mind million subscribers. Being an ex-designer (well you never retire from designing do you?) I was tempted to open my GIMP or CorelDraw and make a perfect thumbnail but I am a bit of a perfectionist which is horrible thing because then I would never be able to make something then. So intentionally I decided to do the whole process of video making from recording to uploading within 30 minutes (roughly)

Making thumbnail can consume lot of time and I decided to use few templates that I created in Google Slides. If you look at my templates I have some consistency which I think is important and having Google slides is a great option because you can paste your video's screenshot and then write text on top of it. I have few templates which I reuse for all the videos.

So this was my small recommendation. In case you want to make thumbnails quickly and easily then Google Slides could be a great option and it is free.

Google Docs Thumbnail
Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 20:19

One of the best thing I like doing is nothing at all. When you wake up in the morning and don't worry about anything is one of my favourite feeling. People say that travelling is important to take a break for routine and rest but for some reason I find it quite difficult to relax when I am travelling. May be it is just me and I am not used to travelling a lot anymore.

For the past few days I am doing nothing. Literally nothing, apart from making videos for Youtube and working on my site ravisagar.in. Every year I make it a point to upgrade this site or do some work on it. I don't change the theme really but I work on upgrade the Drupal version. This time as well I did the same and made some changes to the site and learnt few more things on Drupal 8.

I always promise myself to be active on this site but I think I should write whenever I feel like and I won't force myself.

I have few more updates to do on this site. Mainly I will try to make it more information. Currently the site is mostly about me and my experiences but I will try to make it informative as well.

I will probably end this note now. Have fun. Bye.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 08:31

This very lively statue was outside JP Morgan office at Blackfriars. Not sure who is this guy but looks cool.

Outside JP Morgan Office
Friday, July 26, 2019 - 08:03

In Jira you can create multiple custom fields of various types where you want to store crucial information related to you project. To avoid people from skipping those fields you can use a field permission scheme in Jira, its main job is to make a field required or hidden in the project.

Now making a field required makes sense but why would you hide a field using field permission scheme? Why can't we just not add the field?

The answer is very simple - reusing screens. Just like any other configuration in Jira, the screens can also be reused by various projects. Now as a good practice there should have been standards defined in your Jira instance for similar type of projects. When 2 or more projects are using the same screen with same set of custom fields then hiding few specific fields for selected projects can be done using field configuration scheme. You can also use custom field context but let us talk about it another day.

Coming back to the question of making a field required, when you use field configuration scheme, the field is required across the project irrespective of the issue type. That means whether you create a bug or a story in a project the field needs to have a value filled in. It can be annoying for the users.

If this suits you then use field configuration scheme. You may want to use this approach when you want to make sure there is a field across the project that needs to be filled in at the creation of the issue.

For example Summary and Issue Type fields are mandatory at issue creation.

However there will be many use cases where you do not want people to fill in the value in the field at the creation but you need that value to be filled in when the issue is progressed further in the workflow. May be you want to capture RCA when bug is closed or you need to make sure a justification is added when the issue is escalated. In such cases you need to use a workflow validator.

Now in Jira with the help of few apps like "Jira Miscellaneous Workflow Extensions" or "ScriptRunner for Jira" you can make a field required during a workflow transition by adding a workflow validator. If you already have these apps then great otherwise depending upon how much customisations you need to do in Jira, you need to evaluate whether you need to purchase additional apps or not.

Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 06:38

I have been creating lot of videos on ScriptRunner for Jira, which is probably one of the most powerful add-on that organisations use to make the best out of their Jira instance. If you are a Jira Administrator than you cannot at any cost avoid it.

The problem is that many people think that learning ScriptRunner for Jira is difficult, in fact it is not at all difficult. Depending upon how much programming experience you already have you can do different things. Even if you have very little programming experience I feel you can still learn it. Using ScriptRunner you won't be developing full fledged applications within Jira (although you can) but most often you will be solving problems big or small to make Jira work for you and that is really important because you cannot install add-on for every other requirement that is not natively available in Jira. Writing small scripts here and there with the help of ScriptRunner will let you achieve those requirement.

Now I have been creating these videos on ScriptRunner and will continue doing so, here is the link to the playlist: https://go.ravi.pro/ScriptRunnerJira

My videos are for absolute beginners and my objective is not to explain to you what Groovy language is and how Jira works but rather I want to focus on how to do small things in Jira using ScriptRunner and with the help of these fundamental concepts and you achieve lot many things.

I hope you enjoy these videos. Have fun and let me know if you like them.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 18:38

I have to admit that I am little late in upgrading to Jira 8. I didn't really have specific need for upgrading but I think now is the right time.

I will try to upgrade this weekend. Most of the scripts that I have should work at least the basic ones but it is still worth checking them. Also there are few new features that I am looking for to.

Friday, July 12, 2019 - 18:55

I just realised that I have hundreds of video tutorials on Jira and Atlassian tools. You can find most of my videos on this site if you click on the video link or you can go to my YouTube channel.

I don't feel I have so many videos but it feels good and I will continue making more.

Friday, July 12, 2019 - 07:39

Today I noticed that my podcast has started appearing on Google Podcast on its own. I didn't even submit it. Good.

Here is the link

Thursday, July 11, 2019 - 07:51

Recently there are lot of new features release on the Confluence Cloud mostly around the UI. Apart from that there is also an inclusion of Analytics in Confluence which I believe will be really useful.

Here is my latest Podcast on this topic.

Saturday, July 6, 2019 - 19:43

I started podcasting in 2011 but then stopped as I thought back then that I was not good enough. Recently I started podcasting again, it is still not great but I find it as a nice platform or a medium to share your thoughts.

My podcast link

There are some clear benefits of a podcast over videos.

They are easy to create.
Easy to consume.
Can be very casual just like listening to a friend.
Can be longer.
Require almost no editing.
Listen while doing other things

Watching videos has impact on eyes and it sucks your energy, same is true for podcasts but not at the same level. They are easy to consume and you can be driving or walking and enjoying the weather or a sunny day and still learn something by just listening.

My podcasts are of course on topics like Atlassian tools. Pretty much same as my YouTube channel but it will give me one more medium to share my thoughts.

Friday, July 5, 2019 - 13:49

I really don't think that there is any specific way to write a blog. Blog is supposed to be like a journal where you can either keep track of what you are doing in life, share thoughts and express yourself or about your brand.

I personally prefer blog that are written naturally. I never plan to write a blog, also I never do iterations to edit my blog. I just write it and share it as it is. Simple. I think this approach works really well for individual blogs but for companies they may prefer doing reviews which is fine but I still feel blog should be free flowing with your thoughts and ideas and it is a place where people connect with you.

So don't follow any rules. Written whatever you feel like writing. Enjoy.

Friday, July 5, 2019 - 07:46

The permissions in Jira are quite granular. You can control lot of things that a user can or cannot do. However when a user has a permission to view the project they can also view all the issues under it. You may have a big project with thousands of issues and for some reason if you want to hide a specific issues from a group of people then it can still be donedone using Security Levels.

These security levels can be created and assigned to people and when you edit an issue you can change the security level based on the security scheme used in that project.

Read more.

Enjoy hiding issues.

Hide issues Jira
Friday, June 28, 2019 - 07:51

Very common question people ask, how do we give someone just the read only access to the project. It is actually very simple there is a Browse Project permission. Just modify the project permission scheme and assign this permission to ideally a Project Role like management and let individual project administrators manage people who then want to add in their project for just viewing the data and nothing else.

Simple trick isn't it?

Barbican London
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 07:40

Many years ago when I learned Jira I made lot of mistakes when using the CSV import to migrate issues to Jira. It is a great utility in Jira but it takes time to do proper mapping of fields and process the data in Excel. Even after testing everything on a test project in a test instance I used to still miss something in the CSV. I even wrote macros to process the sheet but still it never always worked perfectly.

So to revert the incorrect import I had to delete or modify those issues and to do that I had to find them using JQL first.

To easily find the recently imported issues I always used a unique label in the CSV file or update any field uniquely to segregate those issue when needed.

This was a little tip. I hope it was helpful. Enjoy.

By the way I recently restarted podcasting, feel free to follow if you want. Link is below ?


London Tube
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 07:36

It has been raining quite a lot for the past few weeks. Nothing unusual but little inconvenient. Couple of world cup matches were cancelled as well. Trains are also delayed when it rains a lot. Overall it is not bad especially if you have seen the worse but I noticed that it gets a bit depressing when you don't see the sun for few days in a row.

Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 21:50

I feel Jira Admin exam is not only about "how much you know Jira admin" but rather "the best way of doing Jira admin in different situations". I don't think the existing books (including mine) were written with a purpose of providing a guide to clear the exam. We are anyways not allowed to share sample questions asked :)

Each book is based on experiences of author when they were working as Jira Administrators. You will learn something different from each book. Comparing them is probably not a good idea.

Someone who is already a Jira admin and wants to clear the exam. Here are my tips.

1. Some preparation before you start a proper preparation

Do sample exam, it is short but will help in assessing where you are.
Make sure you already know Jira customisations, if not delay your exam.

2. Based on features of the tool (You don't want to loose marks just because you forgot something).

Get a test instance of Jira Server. No add-ons.
Download the exam topics and print them.
Open Atlassian documentation and read those topics word by word (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT). Everything asked will be somewhere in the documentation.
While you are reading those topics, practice on Jira instance (VERY IMPORTANT). You want to remember different things on the UI. The questions will try to confuse you but if you recently did a hands on then you will remember what you practiced.
Make plenty of notes on paper for each topics (VERY IMPORTANT). This is just to fill your brain with terms, keywords, possible options that appear on the UI. This worked for me, If I write something, most likely I remember it for the next few days.
Before the exam, I prefer reading my notes.
I prefer going to the centre hour in advance, nervousness of the exam, going to the centre helps in keeping my focus.

3. Based on your experience

If you have been working as a Jira admin then you probably know when not to create another set of configurations or better ways of doing things to save time and optimising existing configurations.
Just use your best judgement

4. For exam

Round 1: Spend one hour answering simple questions, that requires no further thinking. That you can answer straightaway. Less than 1-2 mins per question max.
Round 2: Answer questions that requires some thinking, in those cases reading answers will give you some clue.
Round 3: Review
Answer everything (last time I checked there was no negative marking)
Bonus tips: Don't drink too much water before/during the exam ;), wear relaxed clothes and be your best to feel confident.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - 20:00

Today in the library I saw BBC micro:bit kit and I am quite excited about it. I have few weeks to play with it. I know it is a tiny micro programmable computer. Not sure how it works but looking forward to explore it.


BBC Micro:bit
Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 20:31

I have been making lot of videos lately on my youtube channel and few other channels. I like making videos but I was thinking will people consume content in only video format in future? I doubt it. You never know but there is a something about writing that videos can never replace. Do you agree?

Friday, March 8, 2019 - 13:18

I bought my first Mac in 2013 but honestly I never used it a lot. I bought it to create a mobile app for a client and then later to watch movies and youtube videos but for the past 2 years I have been using Mac as my main computer and I am by no means an expert on using Mac but everyday I learn something good.

Today I was wondering how can I quickly view the directory structure of a folder. After doing a quick google search I found on utility called tree. Yes simple tree command that you can run on your mac but you need to install it first.

Just type the following command. I am assuming you have brew already on your mac. If not then go to https://brew.sh and download it.

  1. brew install tree

That is it really. Now go ahead and try this command.

  1. $tree
  2. ├── LICENSE
  3. ├── README
  4. ├── pom.xml
  5. └── src
  6.     ├── main
  7.     │   ├── java
  8.     │   │   └── com
  9.     │   │       └── atlassian
  10.     │   │           └── tutorial
  11.     │   │               └── myPlugin
  12.     │   │                   ├── api
  13.     │   │                   │   └── MyPluginComponent.java
  14.     │   │                   └── impl
  15.     │   │                       └── MyPluginComponentImpl.java
  16.     │   └── resources
  17.     │       ├── META-INF
  18.     │       │   └── spring
  19.     │       │       └── plugin-context.xml
  20.     │       ├── atlassian-plugin.xml
  21.     │       ├── css
  22.     │       │   └── myPlugin.css
  23.     │       ├── images
  24.     │       │   ├── pluginIcon.png
  25.     │       │   └── pluginLogo.png
  26.     │       ├── js
  27.     │       │   └── myPlugin.js
  28.     │       └── myPlugin.properties
  29.     └── test
  30.         ├── java
  31.         │   ├── it
  32.         │   │   └── com
  33.         │   │       └── atlassian
  34.         │   │           └── tutorial
  35.         │   │               └── myPlugin
  36.         │   │                   └── MyComponentWiredTest.java
  37.         │   └── ut
  38.         │       └── com
  39.         │           └── atlassian
  40.         │               └── tutorial
  41.         │                   └── myPlugin
  42.         │                       └── MyComponentUnitTest.java
  43.         └── resources
  44.             └── atlassian-plugin.xml

Cool. Isn't it?

Friday, March 1, 2019 - 19:58

Not really, writing has always been my favourite thing to do. these days although I have been making lot of videos. Reason is simple. I am liking it and I realise that videos are the future. That doesn't mean that people will stop writing or reading it will stay forever.

Want to contact me?

Life begins outside your comfort zone and that is where your courage is developed". Write to me by filling this form. For living I am an Atlassian Consultant who love both Jira and Drupal. I am the author of "Mastering JIRA" and "Mastering JIRA 7" books. I Love both JIRA and Drupal (a bit more). You can Write To Me and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Have a nice day!

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