Teams across the world due to COVID-19 moved from their offices to remote work. They are no longer able to use shared physical board with stickers, markers, or printed issues from their Jira. Digital Cards app is an answer to this problem, it ads a virtual board functionality to Jira Cloud.

What it does

Thanks to this tool you can run agile rituals in virtual environment: sprint planning, prioritisation, retrospectives, sprint boards, brainstorms, or anything you would normally do on a physical board with your team in the office.

It enables real time collaboration for remote teams in a free form environment just like it was possible on a physical board. You can create stickers, add Jira issues, draw lines, and create simple diagrams. All participant cursors are visible in the viewport, which is scrollable, and zoomable.

Virtual board comes with a powerful Jira integration, so anything that happens with an issue on the virtual board will be immediately synchronised to Jira, and v-ce versa - issue updates are immediately visible on the board.

It's actually more convenient than a physical board: forget about making photos, or writing down your meeting notes - everything is already available in Digital Cards!

How I built it

Technology buzzwords behind Digital Cards:

  • Google Cloud Platform, Firebase, Cloud Functions, Atlassian Connect
  • React, Atlaskit, node.js

Digital Cards were used by my team almost since day 1, so dogfooding process was one of key driving factors of the project. I was able to observe how real people are using the product, and quickly learn about problems, bugs, shortcomings, or missing features. My team is using this tool for running retrospectives, planning, and managing daily work on Jira issues. Later I was lucky to find a group of users outside, and learn from their use case, and needs. This team on the other hand was interested in diagramming capabilities. That's how Digital Cards were developed simultaneously in two directions: Jira integration, and diagramming.

Challenges I ran into

Product challenge: how to define the scope of MVP, what are the most important user journeys, and use cases. Programming challenge: complexity of the implementation, degrading performance, peculiarities of Firebase, React, Atlassian Connect, and Atlaskit.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

It works, and I've got positive feedback from various people. Getting all of this together is an achievement, and I feel that I can easily continue further development without any major roadblocks.

What I learned

It is yet another project which helped me to grow as a programmer. My learning was focused around React, and Firebase. Betting on integration with Jira also allowed me to deepen my knowledge about Atlassian Connect, and Jira.

What's next for Digital Cards for Jira Cloud

Business as usual: gather&address user feedback, improve UX, make the app easier to use, fix bugs, remove code debt, improve performance. I'm already running a closed beta program, and I'm looking for early adopters, so feel free to contact me if you are interested!

Turning this product into a profitable business is the ultimate goal.

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