Agile Blog - Riter

​Though today’s post will be focused primarily on software development and pull requests in particular, it will also touch a few more common problems, such as co-working and task planning. Therefore, we encourage project managers to read it as well and share their own views on task management and splitting.
Hi there,

This is the fifth release of our monthly project management digest prepared primarily for project managers, product owners, and team leads. However, we’re looking to keep it interesting for everybody working in the IT field. The digest includes the most popular articles grouped by topics, the most discussed, controversial, and entertainment content, as well as general resources such as author blogs, educational materials, and active podcasts.

One of the most useful things when working on several projects simultaneously is common and similar tasks. It is completely obvious that the same functionality can be implemented once to save time on it in the future. Most software development teams use this in practice at every opportunity. In this post, we’d like to share own similar experience.
I know I’m preaching to the choir now, but a good programmer is distinguished from a bad one by efficiency. And the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word “efficiency” is the time spent on implementing a particular feature. For example, when one developer does something in three days, and another one — in six days, then a small amount of arithmetic calculations reveals that the first developer is twice as effective as the second one, isn’t he?
I have already raised the issue in one of my previous posts, however, daily practice shows that the problem is still relevant. This time, I’ll also talk about paid programming courses which are so popular today. Lots of courses like “Learn PHP/Java/C++/... in a month/2 weeks/...” and high demand for them don’t allow me to just keep silent. Moreover, an enormous number of their advertising, exceeding reasonable limits, also do not allow to ignore this topic. So I will try to save a couple hundred dollars for those who want to dive into programming through courses.

— What are you working on now?
— I’m doing a project.
— What kind? Tell me, I’m curious.
— I can’t tell you anything now, you will see it later.

Some years ago, Jesse Newland presented “ChatOps at Github” — an open source chat bot Hubot for automating deployment, graphing, monitoring, provisioning, and many other things to enhance the culture of remote work. That was a beginning of ChatOps history, a new way to manage operations through a chat. Today it is not only about DevOps and deployment. Project managers and whoever else working in a software development team can also find use of it, and many of them already do.
Hi everybody,

This is the fourth release of our monthly project management digest focused primarily on materials and resources for project managers, product owners, and team leads. However, we’re looking to keep it interesting for everybody working in the IT field. The digest includes the most popular content grouped by topics, the most discussed, controversial, and entertainment articles, as well as general resources such as author blogs, educational materials, and active podcasts.

This is the third release of our monthly project management digest oriented primarily on project managers. However, everybody working in the IT field can find something useful here.
In this post, we describe how to integrate Gitlab webhooks with Riter API and deploy the service on the Google Cloud Platform using Cloud Functions — a serverless compute solution for creating event-driven applications. Cloud Functions let you reduce the infrastructure costs and provide a relatively convenient way to build and deploy services. The whole code is available on Github.
As a startup-oriented team, we understand how difficult it may be to build a product from scratch. Many startups fail when they try to scale up too early, and their enthusiasm fades away, facing bureaucracy of advanced methodologies and tools designed for large projects and teams. Sometimes, on the contrary, it happens when teams neglect long-term planning and realistic assessment of their capabilities. Also, many excellent ideas remain unfulfilled because of the lack of understanding and collaboration between teammates.
Hi everybody,

This is the second release of our monthly project management digest focused primarily on materials and resources for project managers. However, we’re looking to keep it interesting for everybody working in the IT field.

Tired of wasting time and money managing your projects and teams? If your answer is ’No’, you are probably not aware of how much time your team spends inefficiently during each week. Lots of surveys (zeroturnaround, infoworld, activestate, readwrite, sweetcode) show that developers only spend about 25 — 40% of their workday coding. It’s not a secret, however, if you’re not a developer, it could be pretty surprising.
Have you ever gone on a small trip with a couple of friends? For example, on a weekend trip. You probably don’t want to take a bunch of things with you and try to choose only the most necessary ones. And all of your friends will think the same way in fact. However, when you meet, the size of your luggage may be significantly different. There is always someone with dozens of bags, packages, bundles, and other “really important” dead weight. Because when it comes to practice, it may be difficult to stop yourself, do not take something “just in case”. Even if you most likely won’t need it.
Hi there,

Having a hard time managing teams, projects, or the whole company lately? You’re not alone. We are beginning this series of articles to spread the best practices and experience gathered from many software development teams.

This is a pilot release of our monthly digest focused primarily on materials and resources for project management needs. However, we’re going to avoid repetitive problems and tips, looking for truly relevant and unique content. We seek to collect the latest materials on Agile, time management, productivity, teamwork, risk assessment, collaboration, and many related topics, that will be useful for a wide range of people. Regardless of whether you are a project or product manager, a team lead, a scrum master, a product owner, or somebody else working in the IT field, this digest will always have something suitable for you.

Hi, guys! As promised in the previous post, we’ve finished the first version of the dashboard, which is now available for all team members, and implemented a wide range of permissions settings accessible from the admin panel for the company administrator and managers. Thus, this version was fully focused on keeping the whole team abreast of all updates in the projects and providing them control over what is happening next door if necessary. Some other changes have mainly affected bug fixing and layout improvements.
Hi, guys! While you were resting and celebrating Christmas and New Year holidays, our team was working hard on the next release of our project management and team collaboration tool. Meet Riter v0.19 — the first of many releases in 2019. Company managers have got new project settings, developers — updated API functionality. The overall interface of story pages has been improved to facilitate visibility of updates in the tasks. Documentation has been expanded with a new FAQ section with “How-to” videos.
Hi, guys! In the Riter release v0.18 we continued working on the notification system, enhancing it in all its aspects. We have significantly revised the principles of time tracking and maintaining attendance records in your teams. We have also extended capabilities of profile settings and Riter API’s functionality in accordance with new features. Some other changes have affected the company management panel, statistics pages, and bug fixes. Read the post to know more about the latest Riter version.
Hi guys! We are extremely grateful to all those who participated in our recent survey on project management tools (if you haven’t done it yet, feel free to do it now — all opinions should be considered!), and now we’d like to share the results we’ve got. We are sure that they will be interesting for many of you, and maybe you will even be able to use them in your practice like we are going to do ourselves.
Let’s talk a little about the history of the tracker and maybe its future. There are so many management tools in our world right now. When it comes to finding out something new, you can get encouraged with a huge variety of propositions that are ready to help you with your planning. Every program has got its name, which in this or other way suits best for it. But have you thought about why programs got these names but not others? And how does the name of a program really describe the functionality of it?
Hi, guys! As we promised in the previous post, today’s release is distinguished by many significant updates in different parts of Riter application. First of all, we’re ready to introduce you an entirely new feature — story history bot — which will let you always stay aware of the latest changes in the project. Another feature with the same goal is a new ability to subscribe to a story and quickly know about all related updates. Some other changes have affected sprint and story management, search and filtering, Riter API, and project settings. Read the post to know more and use new functionality to the maximum.
The world is changing, and traditional management processes often don’t allow companies to stay afloat. To successfully compete with existing organizations, they’re looking for new ways to organize their workflow. No one continues to be surprised by impressive social packages, high bonuses and other material goods — today’s employees are more interested in new challenges and opportunities for personal growth and development. The widespread lack of motivation among staff harms companies even more than business of their competitors. Remote work and flexible scheduling become increasingly frequent in descriptions of vacancies. A promise of discretion, exciting projects, and a friendly atmosphere are the only things which can lure talented specialists to your team. Against this background, interest in teal companies is predictably growing.
It’s important to have time to cope with all your projects, even if you're a startuper, or just think about starting a new project. It seems that it is quite easy when you are at the beginning of your development process. But when it comes to business, you understand that it is a trap, to think in such a way. When you just launch your project, it's even harder, because you know too little yet, and you are like a sponge inquiring all around yourself.
Hi, guys! This time we want to present you only a few updates, but they have made a significant impact on Riter. The major changes have affected sprint management and task planning. In this post we will tell about all important aspects of sprint usage in Riter, unscheduled and overdue tasks, creating your own sprints and scheduling the future work. We have also expanded your capabilities to control third-party analytics services in accordance with the requirements of GDPR and made a few minor changes described below.
The life of a today’s student is often presented as a carefree series of parties and meetings with friends, but even if it is not the complete lie, one day it will be interrupted by exams. At this time (and for someone throughout the whole semester), students are loaded with a huge pile of tasks, reports, presentations, and research which are supposed to be done “yesterday”. It may be difficult even to keep in mind all these duties, not to say about organizing everything in the best way, managing time and meeting deadlines.
At Riter, we welcome the adoption of new data protection standards so as nothing is more important to us than the success and safety of our customers. Regardless of your location and nationality, we strive to ensure the safety of your data at the highest level. We don’t care, whether you are from EU, USA, or somewhere else, we provide equal rights to all our customers and do not look for loopholes in the law. This post outlines several steps which we have recently taken to ensure Riter compliance with the GDPR.
Sometimes we ask ourselves — how to choose what we need and, what is more important, how to understand what we need. The same question arises when you need to choose the best way to plan your work and to control all the processes which happen in your project. An issue tracker is an excellent choice which gonna make your life easier, but how not to lose control of what you need and get rid of overpaying? That’s what we gonna talk about.
Every issue tracker has its own advantages and disadvantages. But in process of developing, each of them is oriented to make our life easier.
Today we gonna talk about such possibility as clean and dirty hours. What’s that and what’s that thing for. Following it’s name you may guess that clean hours means something combined with an appropriate thing, something that has nothing superfluous. And you a right. Clean hours undermine itself to count just that time, which you really use while working on different type of tasks.
Why you need it, and how could it help you?
Meet Riter v0.15 with a set of essential (and not only) updates and fixes. Here you will find out more about functional, interface and administrative changes such as an alternative way to log in to your account, updated manipulations with stories, a redesigned section for discussions, changes in Riter API, more profitable tariff plan, important updates in Privacy Policy and much more. If you use at least one of the above, then this post is recommended for reading.
Evolution is devoid of foresight. It has neither a strategy nor a plan. It is impossible to predict the next steps of the evolutionary process, not to say about preparing a more or less accurate development plan similar to the evolutionary one. If we try to guess the original intention and realize the true goal to build a logical chain that leads to the current reality, that's the point where the false reasoning comes up. And that's all to answer irrational questions, which simply should not be raised in general: about the sense of life and the purpose of existence.
When a design requires something special from inputs, layout designers crouch in the twine and do pretty crazy things, like an image inside the input, but still leave the tag <input> on the page. However, if suddenly it comes to styles of a drop-down list, the tag <select> along with a set of <option> tags go to the dump, and then <div> and javascript appear to take their place. Well, you are not allowed to customize selects in browsers even with the latest html/css, and that's very sad!
Everyone aim to be better, but we forget that big things have small beginnings.

Small companies and startups, often focused on their own ideas and achievements, don’t have any desire to study extra programs and tools. However, everyone is looking for the best option to develop projects and ways to increase productivity. As a rule, it is in the founder's interests to provide a joint work on a common idea, put everything in its place, and prevent spending time on "pseudo" work. This can be achieved with so-called issue trackers. Might say, that there are a lot of them right now, for any taste. You could find trackers with a huge amount of functions, as well as much simpler products with only several ones if you don’t want to waste your time learning how all of them work, or simply if you don’t need them.

Hi, guys! Meet the first autumn update from the Riter team. This time we have focused on improving your user experience and making a barrier to entry even lower. If you haven't yet tried Riter, it is a good time to sign up your own company so as the registration process has been simplified a lot. We have also added some important features both for project management and software developers, fixed several bugs and enhanced interaction with our users.

Plan before you speak.

Every day we are in a hurry, every day our minds are filled with hundreds of thoughts. However, we don’t always pay attention to how powerful is what we think and speak about. A well-known fact is that your effectiveness increases significantly if you have already thought about those or other things. Indeed, everything begins with structuring in your head... Have you ever noticed that the result depends on how you have thought through your next actions, and how much time you have spent on analyzing and designing your further development? Brian Tracy said, "Remember that every minute spent on planning will save a few minutes of your work." Planning is actually a guarantee of the success of a modern person. A very important thing is to set the long-term and short-term goals.

When working in a team, you usually don't need to explain why everyone should adhere to one style of coding, down to the decisions whether to put an extra space before the brackets and use double or single quotes. Everything is obvious and clear. But once you need to continue a project after another developer or even a whole team, that is where a nightmare begins.

Recently I was asked to write a letter of recommendation to a software developer in which there was a simple question that made me think hard. It was about the strongest quality of the candidate. Like, "name his best quality, and only one". Such a trivial question formulated a problem of the most important criterion of a developer.

Qualities
An ability to accurately estimate the time required to complete a task is a crucial trait of every software developer. As a rule, this skill is honed over time by trial and error. However, such mistakes may be costly both for the software development company and the product's owner. As a result, more than 66% of all projects in the industry have cost and effort overruns. Still, there is a way out. Having spent a little time and effort from the very beginning, we could avoid conflicts with customers and save funds in the future.
Whether you are a newbie programmer looking for a promising area to apply his skills, or a veteran of programming who got fed up coding in Algol and Fortran, you're probably interested in the latest trends and prospects in IT. As a part of the world where technologies are constantly changing, you need to keep up with it, and know where to move on. Once you just tie yourself to a particular technology or language - and tomorrow you will be left behind, since overnight demands to candidates have been changed. If in the previous article we were talking about wrong ways to software development, today let's discuss perspective directions instead. The following tech fields are in demand at the moment and deserve your attention.
Today, advances in technology are changing the labour market, and programming is becoming an ever more attractive career option. Maybe one in two our familiar scholar at least once thought about switching his or her speciality to technical fields and computer science in particular. And advertising around them is only adding fuel to the fire, calling upon everybody to dive into IT. Attracted by promises of high incomes and low barriers to entry, people choose this path regardless of their initial education, abilities and interests. As a result, there are a lot of good and not very good advice on how to become a programmer, what to begin with, what a true programmer must know and so on. We decided to go another way and say what the novice developer should NOT do. In particular, let's talk about popular today paid courses, advertising of which can be met at every turn.

The confrontation between managers and the rest of the team is a widespread phenomenon. It always has been, and hardly ever the situation will be changed in the nearest future. However, the problem is not that developers are all highly organized and autonomous enough to work without additional control. They usually are not. Moreover, right management does wonders even in a weak team. So, what’s the problem then? Why do so many managers not enjoy the favor of employees and show poor results when they have the best conditions to flourish?

Project Managers
Hi, guys! Better late than never: after two months of fruitful work, we are ready to present you a new version of Riter. Learn about new ways of working with project groups, extended functionalities of topics aliases, changes in GraphQL API, and noticeable bugfixes.

Taking into account the novelty of capsule networks, it is not surprising that some researches still are questioning their value and ability to surpass more traditional approaches to image recognition. Despite the initial successes in this field, there is a lot of work ahead. Not to say about their application in areas other than computer vision. However, while skeptics are doubting, someone else is testing this in practice and is looking for new ways of development. Following in the footsteps of their predecessors, ConvNet, capsule networks may prove useful in two other fields: computer games and natural language processing (NLP).

Capsules

We used to talk a lot about the future of project management and a place of artificial intelligence in the field. However, the fact is that the future is already here, and AI is a significant aspect of today's project management process. Technologies are advancing by leaps, and their impact on this area can not go unnoticed.

Artificial intelligence in project management

Teamwork is a separate kind of art. You hire the best talent, provide them with everything they ask, learn all existing models of team effectiveness to follow them in your company, but the work process is at a standstill anyway. Something is missing. There is no guarantee of success, as just knowledge of performance criteria alone doesn't do the trick and says nothing about the ways to achieve them. It is possible to get good results through live practices that can improve the effectiveness of teamwork and prevent frequent mistakes.

Successful Teamwork

"Nothing works better than just improving your product" Joel Spolsky once said. And this rule works for most good projects. Everybody has to start somewhere. Just staying patient and making your product a little better every day gives you a good chance of success. However, not every idea deserves the right to exist and develop. And even with a promising concept, without clear understanding the direction of further development, market needs, the growth rate, having a good team and many other factors, the project is doomed to failure. According to the recent research, about 90% of new startups fail. At what point should we understand that something is going wrong?

Startups growth

A team is the key to the success of a company. Ideas, client base, experience, capital, connections - all this comes or leaves with time, so experienced investors are betting on the team firstly. Successful teams grow and develop in spite of changing market conditions, while ineffective collaboration can destroy any endeavor. But what makes a team successful? Scientists and psychologists have been looking for an answer to this question for many years, and now there are different models and approaches to determining teamwork effectiveness criteria.

Teamwork Effectiveness

Each company is interested in increasing profits, but not everyone can effectively use the available resources for this purpose. Often, in order to do more work and get better results, management prefers to allocate more time and employees, instead of increasing productivity of available ones. However, this approach is knowingly false for a number of reasons.

Time management issues

Among all the variety of project management and collaboration tools it can be difficult to choose one that will equally satisfy all team members. And, as a rule, nobody does it. Managers select some software without long disputes and discussions with developers – and all employees begin to use it with more or less productivity. Of course, they are guided by reasonable criteria, take into account the requirements of the workspace, projects, available budget, experience and recommendations of their colleagues and many other factors. But is this enough for the successful work of the whole team? What if we give our IT-specialists more freedom in choosing project management and collaboration tools? What advantages can we get and what problems can arise?

Collaboration tools

If several years ago remote work was a pipe dream for most employees, today more and more companies are leaning towards this approach. Development of technologies, companies growth, high level of competition and other market conditions not only provide us with more opportunities, but also dictate new requirements for company management. According to the last researches, remote teamwork is one of the most popular project management trends in 2018. And for that there are a number of reasons.

Remote work

Everybody knows that people are naturally lazy, and programmers are doubly lazy. Taking into account the continuous development of technologies and improving the living standards, the situation is unlikely to change in the nearest future. And this's for the best. Lazy people are always looking for the easiest way to solve a problem, and no project manager or methodology will change their way of thinking.

Future technologies

New advances in technologies somehow affect all areas of human activity, and project management does not stand aside. In recent years, the role of managers has changed significantly due to the automation of part of their duties and changing the very process of development and teamwork. What is the future of project management and what should today's project managers expect and prepare for if they want to take full advantage of all the new achievements?

Tech trends

How much time per week do you usually spend on meetings? According to The Muse, they can take about 35 – 50% of manager's working hours. This would not be so offensive, if not the fact that most of them are ineffective and useless. And it doesn't matter whether it is a live conversation, a phone or video call, in any case, you're wasting your own time and reducing your team's performance, distracting them from their direct responsibilities. If earlier we have discussed how to stop wasting time in general, today we will focus on existing ways to avoid extra meetings.

Collaborative Task Management

Hello, guys! We have prepared a bunch of the latest Riter updates with a detailed description so that they don't surprise you and cause no questions. For example, the process of creating a new project is now much more convenient and solves some previous difficulties of company owners. You should also know about changes in GraphQl API and extended account settings which are described below. In addition, we have updated our cookie policy and fixed some annoying bugs.

Software update

According to the latest researches, in the next few years the process of project management in companies will change a lot. The main trends will be a wider use of analytics and Agile principles, a great impact of artificial intelligence, large-scale integration of various fields of activities and, of course, an increased number of remote teams. Today more and more people are working remotely, while the need for a structured way of task management and strict compliance with deadlines still remain in force. So, new approaches require certain changes in the whole company management and some rules which you should follow when organizing your teamwork not to become a victim of a failed experiment and common troubles related to remote working.

Remote Team Management

Due to successful chatbot experience of last years, small business owners are now using AI technologies to improve their daily operations, interact with customers and increase income. Integration and union of apps from different areas with the help of bots allow companies to introduce their software to a new level. Prosperous experience of Slack, Telegram, Messenger, etc. shows us that AI-based bots will remain in demand even further. Nevertheless, not everything is so smooth, and certain aspects of their use still slow introduction of chatbots into today's business.

Chatbots

Chatbots are not a new phenomenon at all, but in the last year they have attracted especially a lot of attention. According to Business Insider research, by 2020 80% of companies will use chatbots for different needs and this is not surprising. Chatbots are being used in many different ways to automate a significant part of our daily routine, help businesses to reach customers, save money, integrate apps with existing solutions and so on. However, we share the opinion that we have the attention span of a gnat. The fact is that the potential of chatbots is huge, but we continue to use their capabilities in a minimal way. If we direct all the power of AI, which we have already achieved and successfully use in other spheres, to chatbots, the level of business profitability will grow before our eyes.

Riter chatbot integration

Over the past few weeks, Riter has seen a number of important updates. A significant part of the changes affected a company management panel, however, developers' capabilities were not ignored as well. In this release note you will know more about short project names and what they can be used for, new ability to restore deleted tasks, updates in GraphQl API, an additional statistics page and much more.

Riter admin panel

Every day we are faced with the results of rapid technological evolution and continuous innovations, and software development and project management are not an exception. Customer and market requirements are constantly changing so IT companies need to keep an eye out and respond quickly to any of them to stay successful. Under such circumstances, no wonder that Agile principles attract more attention and are firmly established in the software industry (and not only there). There is an increasing number of teams working on Scrum, Kanban or some hybrid methodology and, as a result, they begin looking for new project management tools suitable for their workflow. How much does Riter, designed as an Agile project management software, meet their expectations? In this article we will show how main Agile artifacts can be mapped on the existing Riter functionality.

A self-learning artificial intelligence, an extensive third party integration with a system of bots and a rest of "coming soon" features are not the only way to increase your team productivity with Riter - you can already become more efficient with existing functionality. We have prepared some application tricks which you might have missed if you are new to our project management tool. You should find out more about them to greatly simplify your daily duties regardless of whether you are a manager, a developer or another involved party.

Multitasking

A good software developer, in addition to studying correct approaches to the design and implementation of a program product, should also spend some time on the most common anti-patterns just to be sure that he avoids them in his practice. Making up intricate stories, although it is an important property of the modern cinema and literature, is not the skill which a developer should be encouraged for.

Sherlock

Hi, guys! The last two months did not pass in vain - Riter v0.12.3 is now available with a lot of vital updates and bug fixes. Hurry to visit the demo company to see them on your own: extended statistics on the user and project pages, the updated demo company, advanced management capabilities along with the improved layout all over the application. As you will soon discover, a huge amount of work has been done to make your usage of the software more convenient. And here's a complete list of changes just in case you do not notice them right away.

Project management tool

How much time do you usually spend at work? And how many hours are you really working on tasks? Considering numerous meetings and the solution of technical issues, not to mention the discussion of quite extraneous topics and watercooler talks, the 8-hour working day is sharply reduced to 4-5 hours of productive work. And this is according to the most optimistic estimates! How could project managers prevent this waste of time? In fact, there are a few simple rules, compliance with which could significantly reduce your number of broken deadlines and failed projects.

Wasting time

Somewhere, say, in New Zealand, some indigenous tribes can have a language that is completely different from ours. Their terminology may have no equivalents in our speech, and the very perception of the world will seem strange to us. In this case, the principle of constructing sentences and the formulation of thoughts can be fundamentally inconsistent with what we are used to. For example, such a tribe may have no concept of "left" and "right", so aborigines are oriented in space exclusively on the sides of the world. If they have a concept of "south" or "east", their navigators will explain not the relative position of a turn, but the absolute one. It could say, for example: "After a hundred meters, keep to the south" or something like that.

Different cultures

Hi, guys! We hope that we managed to interest you with the theme of Ansible, and you had already time to get acquainted with it a little if you had previously used other tools. This time we would like to tell about our experience of work with Ansible. As you know, we have several applications and actively use it to automate the configuration of the infrastructure. To this end, we have developed a number of Ansible roles which you are welcome to explore and use if you wish.

Hi, guys! Continuing the topic of recruiting employees, we would like to talk about the professional skills of candidates and the requirements put forward to new specialists. How technically savvy should a newcomer be? Should you hire an experienced developer who will be head and shoulders above the rest of the team participants? Or is it enough for an employee to correspond to some average bar? What choice do you make in your company? In order to better understand the essence of the problem, it may be useful to move away from it for a moment to another area, where similar solutions have long been found.

Bow

In search of good ways to hire the most appropriate employees and eliminate obviously improper ones, you will surely come across lots of tips on this subject. Building a good team is a priority for every company, but all of them cope with this task in different ways and with mixed success. Somebody bets on expanding the search area, another one prefers a more targeted choosing of candidates, some companies spend years of continuous work for creating a talent pool and keeping contacts with prospective candidates. But how and what kind of potential employees you would not attract to your office, there comes a time when you need to make a choice for or against them. And at this moment it is important which selection criteria are decisive.

Recruiting candidates

Hi, guys! In response to our requests, we continue to receive and share with you various opinions about the organization of project management processes by other companies. You can agree or disagree with these approaches, but, in any case, you are able to learn something useful for your team. For those who missed or forgot the last discussion, we remind you that it is about how to make developers and managers follow all the endless requirements of a supported methodology without sacrificing performance. Let us introduce you another solution to the problem from our readers.

Hi, guys! We continue to spread good practices on development processes got from our users so that your valuable experience becomes a common asset. Remember that you are always welcome to share your opinion on methodologies, technical and project management solutions or any other subjects you are interested in if you haven't done that before. Today we will talk about such a common job estimate as story points.

Finally something that works well G. Hinton

Several months ago the IT world was stirred up with news about a completely new way of neural networks organization, which can become a successful alternative for traditional convolutional networks. Now we are talking about a new approach to image and video recognition, although it can be assumed that the full potential of capsule networks has not been revealed yet, and the real possibilities of their usage will be even wider. Or is everything exactly the opposite? The first results turned out to be promising, however, significant work is still ahead.

Stages of technology development

Hi, guys! We hope you've got a good rest during the recent holidays and are ready to continue working on projects. If so, meet Riter's first update in 2018. We have expanded abilities of tracking statistics, updated the design, increased usability and fixed some bugs. So, let's get started in order!

Quick company registration

We've heard that some of our users met troubles with registration in Riter. So we carefully studied this process and made it as clear as possible. We hope that this won't cause any questions since now (any way, do not hesitate to contact us when necessary). Hints will accompany you in the first stages of work if you suddenly need help. You can also easily disable them to deal with everything yourself. If you earlier had problems with getting confirmation letters or these letters got into spam, note that we have solved the issue so this must not cause any inconvenience to you anymore.

Check it now!

Sign-up

Hi, guys! In the previous publication we talked about such a configuration management tool as Ansible and benefits that it can give you. But among all listed advantages it is necessary to mention separately the opportunities provided with one more Ansible concept - with a role. The proper organization of roles will not only simplify your work with scripts, improving their structure and further support, but also eliminates duplication of tasks in playbooks.

Hi, guys! In this and some future articles we will briefly get away from the familiar theme of project management and development methodologies to talk about infrastructure automation and monitoring. No matter how successful your project is, the lack of a reliable environment configuration tool can disrupt it at any stage of deployment. Of course, you can use the embedded operating system means to set up the project environment, that may be the simplest, but, in the same time, not the most efficient way. Direct editing of configuration files, writing bash scripts are no longer able to provide any serious systems with stable work, not to mention the complexity of their support.

Good evening, guys! In the previous article we talked about litmus papers in programming, some criteria for writing code, by which we can say that something goes wrong. Today we continue the theme of good software development practices and present to your attention one more litmus paper for programming. We will also be happy to find out about your own criteria and tips for writing clean code that you would like to share with our readers.

Hi, guys! What is your position regarding the evaluation of the program code in your team? Do you support a regular code review or are you limited to the fact that it works as expected? Summarizing best practices in software development, you will notice that all of them pay a great attention to the code cleanliness. But how to understand whether the program got is good enough? In this article we tried to distinguish several the most important, in our opinion, criteria, which help us to estimate our own code.

Good evening, guys! When gathering a team for joint work on a project, you should determine whether a particular person is a good team member or not and whether his skills and personal qualities are appropriate enough for the productive work. Knowing how to distinguish a perspective candidate from an unsuitable one can be crucial to your project management success. Each company's HR has its own ways and tricks to deal with the goal, but is there an unified algorithm to avoid mistakes in hiring employees?

Hi, guys! As promised in the previous post, by this publication we continue the theme of project management. We remind you that it will include various views on technical development processes and, first of all, not from the editorial staff, but from your, dear readers, own practice. Send your thoughts and description of your project management solutions to us, because such valuable knowledge should be a common asset. One of the frequent approaches to development process, we have already heard about from our readers, is related to the reducing of flexibility in the project management.

We are happy to introduce to you the latest Riter release with extended capabilities and improved productivity. For several weeks of fruitful work, we have significantly developed our product, added new features, fixed a number of bugs, redesigned the interface and increased efficiency. Find out what was changed since the last update, to stay aware of all the advantages Riter provides you.

Performance statistics

You have already got several types of statistics: general gross worked hours, users' activity during sprints, a particular user's statistics... But there can not be too much awareness - as they say, "better safe than sorry". A new statistics page will allow you to know how productive your team is!

Performance statistics

Hi, guys! Thanks to everyone who reads our blog and shares own views with our team! We will try to answer all questions and raise topics you have mentioned in this or many further articles. One of the most frequent issue is related to the project management bureaucracy. Should we accept or deal with it? How to avoid a loss of productivity and the resistance of developers while meeting all the requirements of a methodology used? Let's attempt to find the best solution together.

Hi, guys! The subject of today's post, as you can guess, is use of methodologies in project management. Now almost every team, as it begins some software development, tries to keep under control the entire workflow in order to avoid any accidents and risks. For this purpose, managers turn to various methodologies, hoping that the experience of other companies will be applicable in their practice too. For some simple typical tasks this can really work. But, in our opinion, blindly following a methodology may be fraught with a significant reduction in development effectiveness.

Hi, guys! As you know, we are doing our best for teaching Riter AI how to deal with main project management issues. We are convinced that these tasks should be automated as far as possible. Riter AI is learning to predict a sprint's success or failure, evaluate the accuracy of given assessments based on the previous experience, prevent possible threats associated with the human factor and much more. But in a lot of teams these tasks still remain the responsibility of users and most of them make the same mistakes which could be avoided.

Hi, guys! Today we would like to touch on the issue of software development methodologies in general and Agile usage in particular. Undoubtedly, this theme is rather ambiguous and causes controversy among a lot of teams members. Our users often express diametrically opposing views on the appropriateness of using different methodologies in the work process. At the same time, each side provides reasonable arguments in its favor. We could not remain indifferent to this question and tried to give our own assessments of the issue.

Meet the upgraded version of Riter which provides greater functionality, improved interface and more useful optimizations for our users. With each release we try to develop in different directions to take into account the expectations of both developers and managers. This time Riter will please you with the higher project management capacity, increased statistics awareness, rich GraphQL API and much more.

Topics management

In the new version we have significantly enriched Riter project management capabilities, so that you are able not only to create topics as it used to be, but also to modify, merge and archive them. All these actions become available on the settings page which can now be found in the main developers menu. You will see a full list of a current project topics there. Each topic has a name, a state (active or archived) and a set of possible aliases.

Topics manager

We are pleased to present you a new version of Riter with even more features and improved design. Extended possibilities for developers and project managers are focused on predicting your needs and customizing the application for them. You will find out about updated Riter setting options and the latest bug fixes in the post below.

Default project

Now it is much easier to get on the page of some default project you are working on. It may be quite useful if you are involved into a lot of jobs, so you do not have to search every time for that one you opened literally half an hour ago. In the new version Riter saves information about the latest project (or several ones if project groups are used) in cookies and redirect you to its main page when you login the application. If there is no any recent project visited, you will be taken to the first available one.

Hi, guys! The updated Riter version 0.8.0 is ready for use. This release will pleasantly surprise you with the extended functionality of project management and statistics tracking which can be equally useful for both developers and managers. New sprint configuration options become also available now. And as usual, we continue to work on the application design and performance. You will find a detailed description of all Riter changes in the post below.

Project groups

With the new version, you don't need to switch between several projects you are working with all the time to look through existing tasks, create a new one or track the statistics. You can save a lot of time grouping them instead. It gives you the opportunity to unite some related projects data and display on the same Riter pages for more convenient work with them. Such a group can also be used to gather all projects of a specific user together.

Project groups

Hello, guys! Before you start managing your company and projects with Riter, we would like to talk about organizing work in teams. Our software allows you to stay aware of everything happening at work, manage tasks and track their progress, gives your team space to collaborate. But with all its capabilities, Riter can not tell you what tasks you need to implement and how to assign them to developers in the best way. After all, no matter which advanced tools and methodologies you are using, some things you still have to decide on your own. At some point, if the team is not properly organized, you can face a problem of tasks absence or lack for some developers. This applies mainly to remote employees and freelancers. You can decide that this is not your problem, but in our opinion, this is an incorrect approach that will not only harm the team, but your projects as well.

Hi, guys! Meet an updated version of Riter with better performance and more stable operation. In this new release we focused on fixing bugs and finalizing existing functions. As a result of some optimizations, work in Riter became even more reliable and pleasant! You will find a full list of changes below.

Sorting stories

When you create a new task, it is automatically placed into one of the sections on the main page. It can be a section of some chosen week or an unscheduled stories section. Thus, all your tasks are conveniently grouped by weeks. But how should the stories be sorted within one section? Somebody may note that sorting order is not so important, because you can easily move tasks to any place of the page in an instant. However, our developers decided that some default order still does not disserve. Now stories will be sorted by the date and time of creation, so new tasks will always be added at the end of their section. Check it right now!

Hi, guys. Recently Riter was updated to version 0.7.0. Discover new features here, and then visit your company tracker page to try them yourself. You will find:

  • Useful features which are supposed to simplify your work on projects.
  • Fixes of some detected errors and ambiguities.
  • Performance optimization for better application response.

Timezone difference

Riter is a product designed for all kinds of teams regardless of their strength and location. Whether you live in Atlantic, European or any other time zone, the tracker needs to adjust to you and remain user-friendly. The local time of each team member can be different, that must not complicate the interaction within projects.

So, we decided to use a time zone of the company owner on all statistics pages. This will allow to synchronize the work progress of all users and see the whole picture regardless of the differences in time. In the nearest future the owner of the company will be able to select the time zone that should be used as commom one for statistics from the project management page. Now it's set automatically. You can look through projects statistics on the corresponding pages where it is grouped by weeks from Monday to Sunday.

Statistics

Welcome to Riter v0.6.0! Some interesting improvements were added to it lately, which you should know about. You will find an overview of the most important updates below. Be sure that you use all features of your software!

Sorting stories on the fly

Good news! Stories sorting is now not only possible, but also extremely simple. You can replace a story within its section or move it to another sprint by dragging and dropping it to the required destination. The process is performed via websockets that makes it more than convenient and fast to use.

Note, that you can not drag approved stories - they are not amenable to interaction - but you are able to move stories around them so that they may be replaced anyway. You are also not allowed to drag-and-drop a story to an overdue section for obvious reasons.

Sorting stories

During a previous couple of weeks our team has worked hard so that we could surprise our users with a new release. Meet the last version of Riter with more features and an improved design. Now work with stories and tracking statistics become even easier. Find out about these and other pleasant changes of Riter below.

Tracking statistics

We have added some useful filters to statistics pages. Now managers are able to filter global company statistics by users and projects. Developers have got an ability to use filters by topics and users within their projects. You will find them on the right of each statistics page. To apply a filter just click on a required value. By default, all filters are active, so statistics include all data. You can exclude records for some users, story topics and projects from the report, unchecking them in the list of filters. The statistics table will be updated automatically. To know more about tracking statistics, see corresponding documentation for managers and developers.

Filters

Hi, guys! While our developers are working on the new version of Riter, we would like to talk a little about project management as a whole and some issues you can face while planning your team work on tasks in particular. We believe that our experience will prove useful and help you to lead your company with Riter in the best way and avoid common mistakes. This time we are going to focus on the problem of choosing instruments and methodologies for your project needs, some existing prejudices about flexible development methodologies and task estimation process.

Hi, guys! A two-week waiting for the new update was not in vain. This Riter version is aimed at improving stories management. As you know, this element allows you to distribute tasks within a project, organize team work and track its current state. Recently some useful features were added to a story page to increase your opportunities. Read about the last changes in Riter - do not miss the chance to make its usage more productive!

Adding topics to stories

Now you are able to create topics and assign them to stories. What's a topic, you ask? Each project should get a specific set of related keywords which simplify identification and filtering within its stories. Topics allow you to understand the essence, purpose of the tasks. They can be used by developers to group stories of a particular project by some criteria (for example, "feature", "bug", "frontend" and so on). A group of all project stories will be displayed on the right of every story page (below the users section) in an assigned or unassigned state.

Topics area

Hello! Today we are excited to announce our new version of the Riter app. We hope that you had time to evaluate and enjoy the previous updates and actively use them in your projects. Do not forget to send us your ideas and suggestions if you are missing something during your work with the tracker. At the requests of our users we have added some features and fixes to it.

Use filters for quick searching

As you remember, the previous Riter version allowed you to use some simple filters for searching stories by users, states and so on. Riter also began to support several filtering aliases to simplify your work. Adding a special symbol or a keyword to the request string specified a criteria of search. Now we have added one more filter which works in the same way. It makes it possible to search stories by topics. Add a symbol # before your query to look for stories with such a topic. You can also list some topics separated with a space in a string. If a required value is not found among topics, it will be searched as just a title. Nevertheless, you needn't enter the entire topic name - specify a part of it and Riter will autocomplete it if possible.

Search by topics

Hi, guys! Continuing the theme of the workflow organization, we would like to pay special attention to communication within teams. As you know, Riter provides our users some tools for their interaction during joint work on the tasks. In particular, you can discuss tasks using comments, attach necessary data there, mark unclear requirements, find out what other team members are working on, assign tasks to them, and so on. Nevertheless, Riter is not a complete substitute for existing means of communication, such as email or messengers, which are widely used by development teams. Both using emails and instant messaging serves the common purpose, although in different ways. The success of your work depends on which of them you will use in a particular situation.

Meet the improved version of Riter with additional pleasant features! Every day our product is becoming more functional and convenient. At Riter, we appreciate the diversity of our customers, so we try to develop in different directions to meet needs of both project managers, developers and other possible users. Know more about recent updates in tracking statistics and stories manipulation in the post.

Todos progress in a story card

First of all, you could notice that we have finalized a previous Riter feature - to-do list. If earlier you were able to see it only on a story page, now it will also be displayed on the main project page inside a story card. In its right upper corner you will find a total number of todos, as well as the number of completed list items.

To-Do List

Hi, guys! The new version of Riter is going to please you with some useful features and fixes. We have expanded the functionality of story editor and improved the filtering process. You will find a full list of changes below.

Story management

Working on a large or complex task, it is often convenient to break it into separate subtasks and track the progress of each of them independently. This will give a better picture of what the developers are busy with and what else should be done. To help you to avoid creating dozens of tasks for this, we added checkboxes to a story editor. Now you are able to create to-do lists within a task description and check their items as you complete a particular job.

Todos

Welcome to Riter v0.0.2! We are pleased to present you a new version of our tracker system with advanced functionality an improved interface. Already now this is a convenient and flexible tool for tracking development process, project and team management, and every week its capabilities only increase. Over the past two weeks Riter has changed a lot - learn more about its new features in the post below to make full use of them. They will be interesting primarily to managers and team leaders who are going to organize the development process.

Manage customers

The new Riter version allows you to create a customer - one of the main entities, without which the development of the project would not even begin. This is a project initiator, a person who is responsible for its launching and financing. Now you are able to keep information about all the customers you have worked with in Riter. On the corresponding page you will find all your customers, lists of projects they are involved in and their total statistics.

Customers

We are pleased to present you the Riter Blog - a great opportunity to make our product better! Here we are going to share with you the latest news, updates and other useful information about project management as a whole.

Riter is a young but actively developing program product which is improving every day. You will be able to find out all about new features and optimizations in the blog. Each post will include a complete description of a new version. Stay tuned for updates with our blog to take advantage of all the product functionality in your projects! Illustrated examples of new features will help you to start using them immediately.