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May 04 2018
May 04

We use Slack to communicate internally as well as with our clients, but we also make use of it in different ways that help us deliver a better service to both groups of stakeholders.

Slack vs Email

Whilst we still use emails when the situation requires, we always try to move the communication related to our projects to slack. Most of our clients are in slack in their own dedicated channel, which happens to be the same one that all designers, developers, project managers, etc. use for communications related to the project. 

This way, everybody involved in the project is aware of what’s going on. Information gets passed easily across the team and we avoid multiple “broken telephone” situations. Also, if the person who is usually responsible for something happens to be sick or on holiday, the rest of the team can assist instead of getting an unhelpful “Out of Office” reply.

Different Integrations

Slack and its bots are part of our Global Maintenance team too (I guess they can be considered remote workers). They help us with our day to day tasks in a myriad of ways. 

  • Activity Channel: we use slack integrations that will pull any message or activity related to the tickets that the team is taking care of in the current sprint. This can get a bit noisy sometimes but it’s a wonderful way to stay informed of what’s going on on our team board. No more email and Jira issue watching.

    ALGM Activity
     

  • ​Think about Blaize: it’s not just a reminder to think about Blaize (which we also do) who lives in New Zealand, it’s also a reminder for the UTC timezone team to starting wrapping up the day, commit everything not yet committed, update tickets not yet updated and leave things ready for Blaize, who will tell us “Good morning” at our 8~9pm (his 7~8am).

    Reminder: Think about Blaize
     

  • Information about important events: we have multiple integrations for regular but important events on certain projects, for peace of mind, and to make people aware that something has happened. The following examples are to inform everyone that an automatic Mailchimp list was created (this is crucial for the client) and to inform developers that a deployment has happened (and whether it went well or not - red vs green).

    Bot

    Amazee.io
     

  • Instant bug reporting: this is probably the most important one and the one that is making the biggest difference to our Global Maintenance team. We use it whenever there are bug reports that we can’t replicate because the data changed, or when we don’t have enough information to take an action. If we can’t fully resolve a ticket request, we’re very likely to create an integration that will “spot” a problem and give us useful realtime information so that we can debug knowing further information about the issue. Over the past few months we’ve done this in multiple projects and it not only gives us instant feedback, it also informs everyone on the channel that something is happening, so we can be alert and take an action if needed. Below are two examples of those situations, again on critical parts of our clients’ systems, that allowed us to take quick action. 

    Amazee Slack Bot

    ALGM Happy Helper

These are just a few samples of the multiple integrations we have. If you want to know a bit more about the technical part, just keep reading.

How to do the integration?

  • Create the slack webhook: here.

  • Use the Drupal slack module (recommended) or code your own function, which could be as simple as:

  • Call the desired function:

    • Using slack module:

      Using custom module:

That’s it really, as you can see it’s not too complex but it adds huge value to our day to day work.

Mar 08 2018
Mar 08

I attended DrupalCamp London this past weekend. This was the 6th consecutive year the event has been hosted, which is remarkable. My mission getting to the event turned out to be just as remarkable! Keep reading to find out more about both.

Something that the organisers couldn’t control was the fact that the whole of the UK was facing the biggest freeze in recent years. This meant that trains and buses were canceled. Schools, shops, and roads were also closed. As you can imagine, getting from Birmingham to London wasn’t an easy task, but I was on a mission and decided to venture into the elements (as I wasn’t able to either teleport nor fly there - see below!)

 

Snow and train warnings

To make a long story short, plan A and B failed due to multiple cancellations so I opted for no-plan at all - just do and keep doing until I got there. What would usually be a two-hour relaxing journey became a nearly six-hour bumpy, cold, and wet quest through the elements... but guess what? I made it to London!

 

London King Cross


But why did I want to get there so badly? Going to the DrupalCamp was reason enough but additionally, I was selected to do three different talks at the camp. I was really excited about the opportunity and wouldn't miss it for the world!

My three talks were completely different:

The slides are linked above and the videos will soon be available on the Camp YouTube channel.

I am happy with how the talks went. People were engaged and participative - I even missed lunch one day as I was answering questions for more than 40 minutes after the talk. But most importantly I think they made a difference to the people who attended. I’m glad that one way or another I could give something back to the Drupal community. A special thanks goes out to Joe Shindelar for his little push in Vienna :-)

The rest of the sessions were great too. We had amazing speakers, inspiring talks, live demos, in-depth discussions and a unique atmosphere over the whole weekend. I met people from France, Italy, Iceland, Finland, Spain and many other parts of the UK, which was great. I loved listening to their stories and knowing how people work and use Drupal too. I also realised how proud and happy I am to be an Amazee.

Drupal community

The keynotes were especially inspiring, stating once and again Drupal's core values and mission, talking about the community behind Drupal, its importance and the ways in which we can all help improve it. Thanks to Ryan Szrama (Commerce Guys), Chris Teitzel (Lockr) and Baddý Sonja Breidert (1xINTERNET) for sharing your experiences, visions, opinions and for being so close and approachable during the weekend.

And of course thanks, DrupalCamp London (@DrupalCampLDN #dclondon) for organising such a great event. Huge kudos to organizers and volunteers, who were all over the place ensuring that the event was successful and flawless. See you next year!

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web