In today’s ‘Follow The Conversation’ with Micky from Rackless, he shows us 3 conversations he held with Isha, a software developer at Rackless to advance the product he and she are building. In this conversation, Micky updates an app drop-down, utilizes Font Awesome + icon, moves Estimated Hours and Worked Hours up in a form, adds some spacing, and more.
Micky Thompson (00:00)
Hi, my name’s Micky, and today we’re going to follow the conversation where I, as the Product Manager, building new technology products on the internet, I’m going to work with my software developers and adding features and advancing the product. So what we’re going to do is today, I’m going to share with you three conversations and I’ll go ahead and get our screen ready so that way you can see the three conversations we’re going to be detailing today. The first one’s going to be number 57, the second one’s going to be 59 and then 56. We’re also going to follow these conversations if they relate to other tickets. And so by going through all of these tickets, the goal is, is that you can see how we asynchronously communicate with our software developers around the world and how we add new features following the agile methodology. So we’re going to jump right in here.
Micky Thompson (00:49)
We’re going to take a look at the first ticket and taking a look at this first ticket. What I’ve done is I’ve asked Isha, who’s one of our software developers, she’s located in India, and I’ve asked her to swap the after and before in this app drop-down. Now what this priority drop-down does is it allows you, for example, by default, to set the priority of a new conversation to last, so that it follows all the other conversations and priority. You can also set it to first so it jumps to the top of the list. And what we do is we want our software developers whenever they arrive for their shift to start with the highest priority conversation and then work their way down. Well, one of the other features we have with this priority is we can set a conversation to come before an existing conversation or after an existing conversation
Micky Thompson (01:42)
I noticed when we were using this app drop-down and the before and after most of the time we’re using after in setting the priorities also since this is a little detailed, but since the default is last, and then the next one is first, we felt that after should come before… Before. So anyway this is a conversation where I sent this to the developer. She swapped them in our staging environment. I was able to test this and ask her, let’s go ahead and make this live in our production site. And so she was able to do that. And so what I can do is I can go in here and basically tell her, let’s go ahead and mark this ticket is done in this conversation will be finished. So I’ll go ahead and type that up real fast and I’ll be right back. Okay.
Micky Thompson (02:32)
So I’ve added a message here to basically in this conversation and mark it is done. And so I’ve marked the status as done. And I’ll go ahead and just press save and that conversation is complete. We will jump over here and now what we’re going to do is we’re going to take a look at the next conversation, which is ticket number 59. Now I’ve already reviewed this and I’ve already gone ahead and added my comment. But before I save it, let me share with you and allow you to follow this conversation. And so this one very similar to the other conversation, but it deals with the hours estimated and hours worked in a conversation because we track that. So here, what I’ve done is I’ve worked with Isha again and I’ve asked her, so leave the numbers as they are here with the spacing because they’re perfect.
Micky Thompson (03:21)
And so this is where we’re showing the current value. Whenever she goes to add to her estimate or add to our hours worked, it shows her the current value so that she knows in her mind how many hours she’s estimated for this ticket and how many hours she’s worked, but I want to make a change. So whenever that current value is zero, we show a dash. So what I’ve asked her to do is here add a space after that dash and before the close paren. So that way we can see the dash to make it easier. The reason that I told you leave the numbers alone was I didn’t want her to add a space after the numbers, because those are pretty identifiable, just when the dash shows. So in this case, I’m over communicating on purpose. I’ve also, I asked her to move the estimated hours above assignee, as well as hours worked above status.
Micky Thompson (04:13)
Because in watching how the developers use our system here in updating the conversation, the premise is they’ll add a comment, update their estimated hours and worked hours, because that’s what they’re thinking about in relation to the comment. Then what they’ll do is change the assignee and then change the status. So we wanted to match how to work. So Isha was eight able to do this in our staging environment. And then once she was done with the staging environment, she assigned the ticket or the conversation back to me, and I asked her to go live with it. And she did. So that’s where I’m at today. So I’ll go ahead and just mark this conversation as ‘Save’. And one of the things I want to show you is we have a related conversation to this and it allows for hours estimated and hours worked to be entered on task and summed on projects
Micky Thompson (05:06)
So this conversation right here is a project that we’re managing, which basically takes some of the features that we’ve liked in using Assembla and adding them to Rackless and our conversation management system. And so here we have a lot of conversations that are related to this project, and this allows us to basically keep all of those conversations related so we can see where they’re at, whether they’re in a, ‘To Do’ status, ‘In Progress’ or ‘Done.’ And we can also see that roll-up effect where we roll up, all the estimates and all the hours worked to a project. So we’re going to jump right in here. And here’s another conversation that I promised that we would talk about its conversation number 56, and you can see there’s been a couple of back and forth, but this is actually a very quick ticket because it was only estimated take an hour to do.
Micky Thompson (06:01)
And Isha, in this case, was able to do the work and matched her estimate. So here, here we add, we change, ‘Add Relationship’ to ‘Relate’ and ‘Add Comment’ to ‘Comment.’ One of the things we’re doing at Rackless is making sure we get rid of words that are unnecessary on a page, basically opening up that white space and allowing us to add more features to a page. This is one of those examples where we had a shortcut that said ‘Add Relationship.’ Well, what we changed it to was instead of add relationship, we changed it to just read relate. And then we also had ‘Add Comment’ where a software developer or a product owner like me will add a comment. We instead just change that to comment, because we already know that selecting that comment with the plus sign will add a comment. So she was able to publish this our staging environment
Micky Thompson (06:57)
Once I saw it in staging, I was able to tell her, let’s go ahead and take this to production because we want to use it. And you can actually see here on the screen where relate and comment show up here. And I’m actually going to add a comment using this new feature. I’m going to go ahead and mark, this conversation is done. And so the status is done and we’ll go ahead and save that. And here we do see that there is a related conversation, which is ‘Add New Conversation’ to profile drop-down on rackless.io. So what I’m going to show you here is this is another conversation where again, we’re shortening up some words, we’re using some icons where possible. And so here, what we’re doing is we’re saying instead of ‘Create Conversation’, instead, what we want to do is we want to, I actually did that in another ticket where we said, instead of ‘Create Conversation’, just ‘Create’ plus, and then here we added to the app drop-down plus create.
Micky Thompson (07:55)
So that way you can create a conversation really quickly without having to go to the conversations page. And so here is where she marked for testing and staging. And I actually decided, instead of using the regular text plus sign, we’re going to use an icon from Font Awesome. Font Awesome is a product that we use to get fonts into our website and our web apps. And so I really liked how this plus sign was crisp, showed up next to the create. So it drew your attention to it. So that way you knew that would create me a new conversation without us having to go. So he or she was able to get this in our staging environment using Font Awesome. And I was able to tell her to go live with this. And so what we’re going to do is we’re going to add to this comment that I’m ready for this conversation to be done because we already have this feature ready to go.
Micky Thompson (08:45)
So I’m gonna go ahead and type that up real fast. You know, I just wrote this ticket is actually not ready to be marked done because she hasn’t been able to go live with it. So we’ll probably follow this conversation again in the future. But the reason I got here was it was related to another conversation. So I’m really glad to get to share with you this. And I’m glad I caught my mistake before I made it because marking this ticket is done when the developer hasn’t gone live with, it would have been a mistake. So I want to thank you. Let’s go ahead and switch our screen over so I can close this out. Thank you for allowing me to share with you this, follow the conversation where we looked at three conversations, as well as some related conversations to those of some features we’re adding to a product we’re building here at Rackless. If you have any questions about some of the stuff I’ve covered or anything related to technology, the web, building, and deploying technology you can reach me on my LinkedIn profile or through YouTube or on Twitter @mickythompson. Thanks for allowing me to present it to you. Follow the conversation, look forward to talking to you again in the future.
Have a good one!