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How to Use HipChat to Collaborate and Build Culture - Matthew Weinberg

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Vector Media Group relies on HipChat for 99 percent of team communication to get more done, while supporting and building our company culture. Learn how we balance productivity (with team rooms where external data is centralized and shared), and silliness (like a bot that renders a founder's animated face whenever they are named in a public room).

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How to Use HipChat to Collaborate and Build Culture - Matthew Weinberg

  1. 1. #atlassian
  2. 2. How to Use HipChat to Collaborate and Build Culture MATT WEINBERG • PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT • VECTOR MEDIA GROUP • @MRW
  3. 3. Who am I?
  4. 4. WHO AM I? • Co-founder and President of Development & Technology at Vector Media Group • Vector is an NYC interactive agency • 20 people: 15 on-site, 5 off-site • From 3->20 people in 3.5 years • Business is split between web/mobile development and online marketing (SEO/SEM/PPC) • Company-wide, working on 15+ projects at any time
  5. 5. Previously…
  6. 6. PREVIOUSLY… • No communication issues as a company of 3 in the same room, working on 1-2 projects • Basecamp with clients • Skype for group chat • Google Chat for IM • Hard to organize communication at 4+ people, with multiple teams and projects
  7. 7. Growing Pains
  8. 8. GROWING PAINS • IM about a project, copy/paste it to someone else later • Chat history is mixed with emails in Gmail • Skype group IMs are not great • Single threads about multiple projects • Hard to get context after a few hours away • File uploads were non-existent or ephemeral
  9. 9. Enter HipChat
  10. 10. Less than 1 hour to setup
  11. 11. HipChat • Sign up • Configure account • Download OS X and iPhone clients • Invite small test group • $0
  12. 12. This Is SO MUCH BETTER Than Skype “ BENJAMIN SMITH, VECTOR’S TECHNICAL LEAD ”
  13. 13. Benefits for our team • Support for easy 1-on-1 and group chats • Full and searchable chat history • File uploads are indexed and stored (and listed in sidebar) • Robust API • Great native OS X, iPhone, Windows, and Android apps • @mention and @here support • Per-room unread bar • Users added later get room’s full history
  14. 14. Over 300,000 messages sent by humans
  15. 15. Our HipChat Setup NON-PROJECT ROOMS PROJECT ROOMS 1-ON-1 MESSAGES
  16. 16. Non-project rooms • General chat • Everyone, mostly kidding around and figuring out lunch • One for each department • Dev chat • Marketing chat • Dev Project Management • PMs, Tech Lead, and President of Dev • Executive Team
  17. 17. Dev Chat • Interesting development related links (libraries, good reads, etc…) • Advice about code approaches for a problem • Discussions about our internal libraries/repos • GitHub notifications for our internal libraries/tools • Make heavy use of search history
  18. 18. Project Rooms • Project-specific discussion • Room topic is link to latest project plan/timeline • Devs on project + PMs + SEO team if joint project • Automated git, deploy, and application notifications • Private only because of @mention behavior; anyone can join on request
  19. 19. 1-on-1 messages about projects should always move to that project’s room
  20. 20. Other etiquette we’ve figured out • At setup: • Turn off icon bounces/sounds • Turn off notifications except for @mentions and 1-on-1s • Group rooms are asynchronous • People will catch up later • Need immediate response? @mention or @here • Favor @here over @all • Use /code when pasting code • Remember: don’t let project talk happen in 1-on-1s
  21. 21. Integrations and Automation
  22. 22. Developer notifications • GitHub activity • Pushes (with commits), code comments, etc… • Deployments • Ansible, Laravel Envoy • Environment • Start and success (in green) • Application errors • Rollbar, Airbrake
  23. 23. Hubot (our chat bot) • Hubot, open source chat bot: https:// hubot.github.com/ • Easily extensible with CoffeeScript • Added support for recognizing JIRA ticket #s and displaying info when mentioned • Create repos with proper permissions and setup • Searches giphy for animated gifs • Animated gifs of Partners’ heads nodding when their names are used • Anyone on team can contribute
  24. 24. Key takeaways: • You don’t realize how much better team communication can be than regular IM until you try HipChat • HipChat is extremely easy to setup and very cheap/free • Standardize behavior that organically develops, and make etiquette around usage • Integrate with other systems and customize as much as possible. HipChat is our command center for a lot of tasks #atlassian
  25. 25. Thank you! MATTHEW WEINBERG • PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT • VECTOR MEDIA GROUP • @MRW

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