Have Your Questions Answered Without Being Distracted From Coding
These days, one can hardly argue that communication is one of the main components of the success. The customer communicates with the service provider, the developers constantly contact other developers, as well as marketing managers, designers need to stay in touch with web developers - all in all, the communication network is very complex.
Basically, everyone communicates with everyone. I remember the times when Agile methodology was first introduced, and the ‘conservative’ managers expressed their scepticism about the incessant meetings, complaining that they were a waste of developers’ time. Still it turned out that the overall productivity increased by times. Who would have thought, huh?
Since nowadays the benefits of constant communication are obvious to everybody, the communication means are integrated into virtually all business systems: project management systems, document management systems, even into simple word processors. Let alone CRM solutions =) Chances are, all of you have worked (used, set up, upgraded) with Salesforce Chatter. Taking a closer look at it, I got an impression that everyone - Project Managers, Technical Writers, Sales and Support Managers - need communication, as it is essential for their jobs, while the developers are left out. Do they not need the communication means at hand? They actually do! In fact, they possibly (although I am positive about that) need them more than everyone else!
Naturally, you can select from a range of Internet Messengers. However, there are a few aspects to take into the account:
- The communication needs to be context-dependent. Those of you, who went searching for the answers to some questions in the lengthy weeks-old conversations with colleagues in Skype/Viber/Hangouts/Your variant this week (knowing that the necessary information is there somewhere), please raise your hand. Looks like everyone have. Just as I have thought. Hello again, Chatter. Sales Managers don’t seem to have such a problem. Their communication is directly linked to certain business objects, and appears to be at hand whenever needed. I think it is somewhat unfair. I mean, it is great as such, but it is not so good that us, developers, don’t have such an instrument.
- More often than not, you may not know who to address with a certain issue. Even if you have your guesses, you may still be shooting in the dark. That is why large groups are organized, with various people sharing their opinion in these groups. Finally, the question can be thrown for discussion on the social networks.
- Most importantly (let's say hello to Chatter again): why do Sales Managers have communication tools integrated into their working environment, while software developers lack such an option???
As always: the shoemaker’s family goes barefoot.
In The Welkin Suite, we decided to fix this misstep and work on establishing the means of communication between the developers directly in the IDE. Especially given the nature of Salesforce community, and how handy it will come in for its members. It is more than common for Salesforce devs to help their colleagues and share their experience. This community already uses a spectrum of communication means: #askforce in Twitter, developer forums (https://developer.salesforce.com/forums#!/feedtype=RECENT&criteria=ALLQUESTIONS&), Salesforce Stack Exchange (http://salesforce.stackexchange.com/). And I’d like to thank all of the people involved: with your commitment, one can always get an expert answer, or discuss the existing problem.
Our first step on the way to achieving our goal is our new feature - Twitter Integration. In theupcoming release of The Welkin Suite we have added a possibility to use #askforce hashtag directly when working with your code, with absolutely no distraction. How does it work? Simple!
1. You select the piece of code you are questioning, or the one you’d simply like to share with your developer colleagues. Then click the right mouse button.
2. Select ‘#askforce about the code.’
3. Add a question/comment/note of praise to yourself as an author of an ingenuous piece of code and send it out to the world.
Voila! All set!
Even though so far it is a very simple and minor update, we believe it still can help you save a few minutes of your precious time, and most importantly, will allow you to stay focused on the most important matters. We would like to make our community even more engaging, and to become closer to one another. A bit later, in our next release, we will add an option to browse through the answers and communicate directly when coding. You will see when new messages and replies will be received, and much more!
We have already started working on improving the integrated context communication, and we will keep moving in this direction. Does this sound interesting to you? Give it a try, make full use of it and share your ideas! What else would you like us to add in this aspect? Would you like to see the integration with certain forums? Communication platforms? Corporate systems? The Welkin Suite is always open to discussion - everything we do, we do it for you.