4 min read

How to Have a Stress Free Holiday

By Katie Thomas on Dec 4, 2020 2:01:00 PM

Blogpost-display-image_How to Have a Stress Free Holiday Vacation (1)

In just a few weeks, the holidays will be here. Your partner may be already making needed plans to enjoy the much-needed downtime at home. But inside, you may have an uneasy feeling about work projects. Can you afford to take off and not fall woefully behind? Will important software-based projects stall? Or worse, crash and burn?

If the thought of taking PTO comes with mixed feelings, this article is for you. 

At Praecipio Consulting, we’re business process experts. Every day we work with executives from the world’s most respected companies. We surveyed our partners to learn their advice on how you can take time off to recharge your batteries and have your team keep projects moving at the same time. 

Christian_LaneChristian Lane, our CEO, begins the conversation. “I love taking time off. It’s essential for my well being, and we require everyone in the company to do the same. It’s a non-negotiable. But when we do have key team members out, we have set expectations.”

 

 

Announce your plans and block off your schedule

Let your coworkers know not to schedule anything for you during this time, and be aware of these dates when you are discussing project deliverables. 

Bust your tail for 3 weeks prior

Put in extra hours if you have to, but I prefer to better use the time already allocated for work. Staying focused and being productive now will help you have peace of mind later. 

Empower your #2

For executives in senior management, there may be time-sensitive decisions that need to be made in your absence. It’s important to have a second-in-command that has full authority to make most decisions while you are gone. Have a meeting with this person about the parameters of this responsibility and make sure the other players on your team are aware of who you have delegated to. In addition to leaving decision authority in capable hands, you’ll likely see this person respond well and appreciate the trust. Understand that mistakes may happen, but it’s also a learning opportunity. 

Joseph Lane, Atlassian automation expert and one of our partners at Praecipio Consulting, takes a more tactile approach. He stresses that in the Agile mindset, effective managers must use the right tools that are purpose-built and customizable to keep critical business functions working effectively. If any project relies on any one person for completion, this potential single point of failure is problematic for the organization and stressful for the employee. When this key person needs rest and relaxation, business stops, and that’s expensive. 

joseph_lane selfieMore specifically, Lane is referring to the Atlassian suite of products: Jira, Confluence, Trello, and others. When used to their fullest potential, team members can work independently if needed and collaborate following a quality assurance process the company developed. Users and managers can almost instantly view the progress on a project and comment. Lane recommends having a clear system for accountability and escalation when challenges arise. If this is clearly defined before a manager goes on vacation, team members can bring in more people, access more resources, or find vendor partners to solve problems. Failure to have these processes in place means that projects could stall and teams lose momentum. Lane summarizes, “Be more process-oriented than person dependent.” 

Christian Lane encourages everyone on software teams to develop a mindset for responsibility. That means if you find a problem, you own it. See it through to a solution. He loves the idea of stress-testing your systems by creating fires. “It keeps people on their toes,” he says. An example might be inserting a snippet of code that wreaks havoc. Engineers must backtrack and see where it was introduced. Also known as chaos engineering, it’s the practice of experimenting on a software system in production to build confidence in the system's capability to withstand turbulent and unexpected conditions.

Still, totally unplugging, although the healthiest option, isn’t always possible. Lane tells a story of when he was conflicted about taking his laptop on an overseas vacation. “On one hand, if I took it, I knew I couldn’t help myself and work. On the other hand, if there was a legitimate emergency and I needed to log in, I wouldn’t be able to.” 

In the end, he decided to travel with his computer and stay disciplined to only look at his Atlassian enabled dashboard when he logs in. If he saw all green lights, he would close the laptop after just 5 minutes or so per day. 

In the end, great leaders are measured by how well the business continues without you. As leaders, our job is about driving continuous improvement. When you take off time, operations may not be improving and optimizing, but they should still continue. 

A recap for a stress-free holiday:

  • Announce your plans, block off your schedule
  • Bust your tail for 3 weeks prior
  • Empower your #2
  • Use the right Atlassian tools 
  • Have process and systems for escalation in place
  • Develop a mindset of responsibility
  • Stress-test your systems

 

Topics: holiday atlassian-solution-partner work-life-balance
5 min read

Bamboo 3.4 Holiday Release - Git Submodules and EC2 Windows Support

By Praecipio Consulting on Dec 15, 2011 11:00:00 AM

Bamboo 3.4s ready for download and ready to spread a little joy for the holidays. This release provides some gifts for Atlassian’s Git users, and will bring joy to those expanding their continuous integration process into the cloud.

What’s New in Bamboo?

Improved Git Support & Compatibility

Git users can get more out of Bamboo during their holiday break. Satisfying many votes from our Git users, Bamboo’s integration with Git’s now compatible with Git submodules. Git submodules are simply a reference to another repository at a particular snapshot in time.

  • Ruby, Python, and Javascript software projects often have dependencies on third-party libraries
  • Java developers need specific versions of a library in java that have not been released

The new support for Git submodules allows Atlassian users to structure your projects the way you want, and makes it easy to build multi-module projects. The full capabilities of your Git client are now at your disposal for Git-based development. Simple and powerful, just like Git!

Note: Building with Git submodules requires that you have a native Git client and add it as an agent capability in Bamboo. If you’ve not configured your agent capabilities to use your native Git client Bamboo will use the embedded Git client (which doesn’t support submodules).

 

Curious about Git submodules and how you can use them? Learn about Git submodules here.

Share Repositories

The holidays are all about sharing, so Atlassian thought repositories in Bamboo should join the fun. In Atlassian’s previous Bamboo release, Atlassian introduced the ability to monitor and check out code from multiple repositories. Multiple repositories in Bamboo are great for both small projects that wish to build and include externally developed open source software as part of their project, and large projects that consist of multiple modules located in different repositories. Whether you are working on a small or large project, you may be using the same repositories across multiple build plans in Bamboo. Following the DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principle, you can now share your repositories across these plans. Bulk manage repositories across multiple plans with a single configuration change. For admins, that means you don’t have to edit each plan/job to change a repository. All you have to do is go into the Shared Source Repositories, and make your changes there.

  • Changing working branches: post release, you may want to change the working branch. Now you don’t have to go into each job and update the Source URL manually.
  • Changing servers: if you are moving servers and changing base URLs, simply change the base URL in one place.
  • Changing passwords: admins update SCM passwords (every month) as per company policy; now you don’t have to edit each plan/job to reflect those changes.

A huge time saver for those trying to keep repositories in sync across multiple plans.

Define a shared repository that can be used globally. From there, you can share the configuration with as many plans as you want.

After you update your shared repository configuration, the changes will be picked up by all Plans that use that repository. Share away!

Grow in the Cloud – Elastic Agents with Windows Support

Give your team the ultimate gift, more build power. For those of you taking advantage of elastic agents in the Amazon EC2 cloud, Atlassian now has Windows and .NET support.

Growing capacity
Considering growing your Windows instances without having to install Windows? It all comes within an Amazon EC2 image. After the image is spun up, you can be easily connect to your instance with a Windows Remote Desktop application from any operating system.

Windows application testing
Windows instances from Amazon are great for any Windows installer testing. Like a typical VMware image, an EC2 image can easily be discarded after use, which is important because some Windows applications leave too much left over in the registry. If you need to test Internet Explorer for your web front end tests or Microsoft SQL Server for your database backend, it’s all possible on Amazon EC2.

Saving installed applications
Just like Linux AMIs, you can install any packages, add software, and make system configurations. Easily save these changes to your new AMI image, which can be added to your Bamboo EC2 Image configuration.

Windows EC2 with Amazon and Bamboo allows for elastic growth to meet your demands.  Don’t have enough VMWare hardware to go around? Expand your build system into the Amazon cloud, along with Bamboo’s elastic agents.

Want to get going on installing elastic agents on Windows/.NET? Check out a how-to blog on elastic agents and Windows.

“Easy on the Eyes” Emails

There’s alot of “bling” flashing around, so Atlassian decided to make emails more “blingy”. There are many options to receive builds notifications in Bamboo – RSS, instant messenger, IDE pop-up, through Jira and email (the most popular). The goal of all these notifications is to digest the information you need quickly, so you can resolve any issues. The new email template makes it a whole lot easier to find important information about a build at a glance. Identify which test(s) failed, view code changes, and jump to the context of changes directly from the email. Not to mention, it looks and feels like the Bamboo UI.

 

Agent Security

Sensitive information’s now even more secure in Bamboo. Verify that remote agents are allowed to connect to the Bamboo server, and prevent unknown agents from connecting to the server. When Agent Security’s enabled, an administrator must manually approve agents before they can communicate with the server in any way.

There’s more…

  • Improved dashboard performance: your dashboard should feel a little snappier with improved caching
  • New Bamboo logo: You may have seen the new Bamboo logo on our website. It’s now in the product!  

This release has over 107 new features and improvements implemented. Check out the full release notes for more details.

Ready to download

The Bamboo Holiday Release is now ready for download – get started with a 30-day FREE trial or upgrade your current instance.

Or upgrade to Bamboo 3.4

Topics: atlassian blog agents bamboo holiday java management project release windows cloud development git javascript email-notifications

Praecipio Consulting is an Atlassian Platinum Partner

This means that we have the most experience working with Atlassian tools and have insight into new products, features, and beta testing. Through our profound knowledge of Atlassian environments and their intricacies, we can guide your organization as you navigate these important changes.

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