Moving to Jira

Good software development team requires great issue tracking software.

When I started my team almost five years ago, I instantly felt the need of an issue tracking software. Having mostly worked in an enterprise environment prior, issue tracking was not a familiar ground. It was my first time to make such decision and I was not well-informed. In retrospect, cost and inexperience led me to pick Bugzilla. Bugzilla is a decent issue tracking software. It has out-of-the-box features most small, inexperience team would require: multi-role, customisable fields, email notifications, etc. With that, we built our entire development process around it and most of the time, it worked for us. If you have a young, aggressive team, you’re just excited to make anything work. So we pushed it really hard. We customised the heck out of it and do crazy things just to align it with our requirements. One thing I can’t stand is its web UI so we purchased the desktop client Deskzilla. For a few years, everything was okay.

Over the time, things became sophisticated. First, we moved to Bitbucket for our code repository. This adds extra layer to the team because we have to remember another set of credentials and use another tool. Secondly, as the team grows, we started to require project management and KPI tracking capability for our processes. These two areas are where Bugzilla do not excel well. Lastly, maintaining the software has gotten long in the tooth: server maintenance and daily backup became such burden. That was the last nail in the coffin. We had to move out.

Jira was a natural choice for us. It easily integrates with Bitbucket (from the same company, Atlassian) so remembering another credential will no longer be an issue. Its web UI is leaps and bounds better than Bugzilla. So much better that we no longer have to maintain a desktop client. The breadth and depth of built-in features are staggering, overwhelming at times: customisable workflows, built-in project management capabilities, rich charts and graphs for KPIs and much, much more. It even has its own market place!

It has been a busy month for us moving to the new platform. We have now migrated all of our projects and we are currently piloting few projects with the new system in parallel with the existing system (for all its bells and whistles, we still have to be careful). We are targeting first week of October to be fully migrated. I can’t wait to finally say ‘good riddance’ to our old process.