With over 30 product development experts throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, Sonatype’s Engineering team follows an agile scrum development methodology and is 100% distributed. Team members rarely have the opportunity to meet in person. Sonatype needed a platform to support 1:1 and group communication. It chose Hipchat.
Since its adoption, Hipchat has become a core component of Sonatype’s agile development processes – and it has expanded across the entire business. Most day-to-day communication in the company takes place in Hipchat, rather than email. “In agile, face-to-face communication is ideal, but that’s not possible for us. Instead, we rely on Hipchat," says Jamie Whitehouse, software developer at Sonatype.
The Engineering team also takes full advantage of Hipchat integrations. Integrating it with Jira, developers can enter a Jira issue number in Hipchat and immediately retrieve a case description. That can be useful during stand-up meetings, especially when a case is referenced and the developer is not familiar with the specific issues. The team also linked Hipchat with Bamboo; now developers receive Hipchat notifications from Bamboo when a new build is created or a build breaks.
Even though Sonatype didn’t mandate that the entire company use Hipchat, other teams quickly adopted it. For example, support engineers use Hipchat rooms to chat and troubleshoot with customers and users of the company's open-source Nexus product. Likewise, sales engineers create rooms to handle questions during the product evaluation phase with prospective customers.
“HipChat connects us to numerous external platforms and services like Jira, Bamboo, and GitHub, tying in real-time information that keeps our workflow humming,” explains Mike Hansen, senior VP of engineering at Sonatype.