Jira Software Development: Four Tips to Ensure Build Success

A male developer sitting at a workstation, facing laptops and a monitor, contemplating while resting a hand under the chin.

Software development can be a slog. For developers, it’s about making sure your builds are triggered on time and catching any errors or failures. For project managers, it’s up to you to provide your team with a secure and stable environment to work in while equipping them with a suite of tools that make software development a simple and manageable experience without the burden of heavy administration. That’s why creating a solid software development workflow in Jira that works for everyone is so important for teams.

A successful build takes time and effort. It requires coordination between development and operations, and good tools to help project managers keep track of everything going on. 

1. Adapting to an agile mindset

A lot of software developers follow the agile methodology which calls for adaptive planning, continuous improvement, and a great deal of flexibility. It’s quite different compared to traditional project management which prefers a steady approach to projects; adapting to an agile way of working can create a lot of frustrations between project managers and developers.

Solution: Find the right balance between order and agile.

This can take some trial runs, but the goal here is to introduce just enough procedures for your team to complete their tasks smoothly and efficiently. Introducing a complex process that oversees testing, reporting, tracking, resolving, and retesting in one go may intimidate and demotivate developers.

Instead, plan ahead and set your procedures before the work begins. This will help developers keep their eye on the goal and help you stay ahead of the work. Make sure your strategy and Jira software development workflow is flexible enough to navigate any problems that might arise along the way.

2. Visibility into Jenkins builds

Transparency is especially key in agile software development as different team members may be working on different parts of a project simultaneously. Project managers need to know who is working on what task and what they’ve done to ensure that the project is progressing smoothly.

Solution: Link build projects to issues in Jira to enhance transparency.

You can do this manually by creating individual issues on Jira and linking them to the project. The downside of this is that you or your team will have to update these as and when progress has been made. Consider sending regular reminders during scrum or update calls to remind team members to update their Jira issues and move them across the pipeline from ‘To do’ to ‘In progress’. 

Alternatively, consider using a Jira app that syncs build data from Jenkins into Jira, automatically updating Jira issues whenever a build has been triggered or completed in Jenkins. If you choose an app that can also automatically update issues linked to a build during development, it’ll help you create a solid Jira software development workflow, save time and prevent the need to chase your team for updates.

3. Timely detection of failed builds

Software failures happen. What’s important is for the team to notice the failed build on time and work quickly to resolve it. However, with a lot of projects on your plate, failures can slip through the cracks and go unnoticed until someone runs a test.

Backups also can fail and they’re even easier to slip under the radar as they don’t really impact production and may not trigger errors that alert the team.

Solution: Set up warnings based on failing or unstable builds.

Do this for both Jenkins and Jira so that both user groups will be alerted. You can configure Jenkins to send out an alert via email if something goes wrong or if there is a change in the build state from failure to success (or vice versa). However, you may need a mailer plugin for this. 

Standard Jira is currently unable to send alerts based on failed builds. However, some apps can fill in the gap and alert you if something fails by creating a new issue for failed builds. This will allow you to identify issues and tag team members to act.

4. Extending build management on Jira

Jenkins is a platform used for continuous integration and delivery of software projects, providing developers with a way to automate tasks including building, testing, and deploying software components. Jira, on the other hand, focuses on project management and collaboration. It doesn’t have the built-in capacity for defining and executing such pipelines. This means if you want to check on a build or trigger it, you must go through Jenkins. 

Solution: Use an integration app or plugin to allow you to trigger builds from Jira.

Apps that use a webhook to connect Jenkins and Jira like Webhook to Jenkins for Bitbucket will allow you to send a git push to Bitbucket to automatically trigger a Jenkins build. However, these still must be managed from within Jenkins. 

If you prefer to work from Jira, consider an app like Jenkins Integration for Jira that adapts Jenkins to receive input from Jira. The app allows you to trigger builds manually from a dialog box in Jira, or you can also configure it to trigger automatically should certain parameters be met.

Streamlining build management with Jenkins-Jira integration

Software builds can be complicated to manage successfully. With so many individual components being worked on simultaneously, a successful build requires good coordination between development and operations, keen oversight, and transparent updates on progress. It also needs a seamless Jira software development workflow across all stages of development.

A Jenkins-Jira integration app like Jenkins Integration for Jira can help make management easier for both project managers and your team. It synchronizes work and updates between the two platforms, automating tedious tasks and promoting efficient collaboration.

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