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Jira for developers: 6 steps for getting started

Illustration of people walking into a monitor with Jira displayed

Note: This guide is for developers joining an existing Jira Software Cloud project. Setting up a new project as an admin?  Start with these steps.


Step 1 - Join the team's project

In Jira Software, teams often work in individual projects and visualize work-in-progress on boards.

1. To find your teams project, click the Jira home icon in the top-left corner.

2. Click Projects

3. Select your team name.

Pro tip

You can also use keyboard shortcuts in Jira. Press g and p to go to the projects screen. Press ? at any time to view a list of all Jira shortcuts.

Step 2 - Find work in your project

There are multiple views of work items in Jira (also called Issues), the most popular ones are: the Board, the Backlog and Search.

Pro tip

If you are working across multiple projects, you can use Search to see a list of issues across multiple projects. Learn more about search.

Scrum

1. In scrum projects issues are located on the backlog and on the sprint board.

2. Find your teams current sprint board by clicking the Active Sprint or Boards menu item on the left. Issues are represented by cards on the board. You can filter the board to find the issues assigned to you in the current sprint.

3. The backlog screen shows issues assigned in the current and in future sprints. Issues not assigned to a sprint are located in the backlog. Learn more about working in Scrum projects.

Kanban

In kanban projects all issues reside on the board. New issues are created in the To Do column. Each additional column represents a specific activity that make up your team’s “workflow”. Learn more about working in Kanban boards.

Pro tip

Download the Jira for Mac app for a simpler, faster and native Jira experience

Step 3 - Create new issues

There are multiple ways to create new issues in Jira. The first step is to find out which project type your team is using. 

If your team is using the next-gen project you will see a note on the bottom left of your project screen.

Next-gen

Next-gen projects have a redesigned, and simplified Jira experience.

  • If you are working on a Scrum project in next-gen, you can create new issues on the backlog screen by clicking the create issue link or by pressing c.

  • If you are working on a Kanban project, you can create new issues in the To Do column on your project Board by clicking the Create Issue link or by pressing c.

Any new issue you create will default to a Story issue type, you can change the type by clicking the Story icon (  ). If you are not sure which type is the right one, you can learn more here

 

Classic

Classic projects have all the features and options that Jira is known for.

  • If you are working on a Scrum project in classic, you can create new issues on the backlog screen by clicking the create issue link or by pressing c.
  • If you are working on a Kanban project, you can create new issues from the board screen by clicking the create issue button on the left navigation or by pressing c.

Any new issue you create will default to a Story issue type, you can change the type by clicking the Story icon (  ). If you are not sure which type is the right one, you can learn more here

Pro tip

Many users create new Jira issues via integrations. The most popular app to create new issues is Slack. If your team uses Slack you can get started here.

Step 4 - Organize your work

A subtask can be created for an issue to either split the issue into smaller chunks, or to allow various aspects of an issue to be assigned to different people. Simply click on the subtask or child issue button when viewing a Jira issue.

Issue linking allows you to create an association between two existing issues. You can also link to create an association between an issue and a Confluence page.

Add any additional descriptions to the issue. The Atlassian editor supports markdown formatting which makes it quick and easy to add headings, code blocks, and more. (shortcut / in editor)

Step 5 - Start work

1. Assign work to yourself (shortcut i)

2. Start coding, if your administrator has connected your code repository you can create a new branch in your projects repo from the Jira issue screen. 

When you reference your issue key(s) in your development work (branches, commits, PRs) information from your connected development tools will be displayed on the issue. Learn more.

3. Move status to in-progress status.

Pro tip

Add Jira to VSCode and enjoy useful automation features in your IDE. Get the Jira extension on the VSCode marketplace.

Step 6 - Complete work

1. Merge your code back into master by opening a pull request.

2. Change the status to done :tada:

Pro tip

If your CI/CD tools are connected to Jira build and deployment information will automatically be added to the Jira issue. Learn more about CI/CD and Jira.

If you forget to update the Jira status you can now fix it quickly on the train ride to work. Get the Jira mobile app

Developer tool integrations

Learn how Jira works helps manage your Git workflows.

Advanced Search and JQL

Learn the ins and outs of Jira’s Querying Language (JQL).

Get started with Jira Software free today