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Development & Engineering Teams

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What Is Technical Debt?
Project Management 5 min read

What Is Technical Debt?

What is technical debt? Technical debt is a metaphor for the cost of prioritizing delivery over performance. Learn more about avoiding technical debt with Wrike.

Wrike Hosts an #HourofCode to Support Computer Science Education Week
News 3 min read

Wrike Hosts an #HourofCode to Support Computer Science Education Week

Last Friday, Andrew Filev, Wrike CEO and development champion (he was Wrike's first developer, after all!), brought an "Hour of Code" to the people he spends time with every day — Wrike employees. Curious Wrikers joined Andrew to learn the basics of coding a computer game using Code.org's "Hour of Code" online program. What is "Hour of Code"?  As career opportunities in the field of engineering and software development continue to appear at a growing rate, the non-profit Code.org wants everyone, regardless of age, gender, or location, to have the chance to jump on board. "Hour of Code" is a week-long effort to bring the basic principles of engineering to children and adults of any age. They teamed up with Computer Science Education Week and teachers from across the globe to bring the program to over 3 million students in just 5 days. You can see more about their program in this video: Why Wrike Joined the Movement As Wrike's first developer and founding father, Andrew has been passionate about software engineering since he was only 6 years old. After reading about the "Hour of Code" program online, he offered to spend his lunch break teaching curious Wrikers a few basic software engineering principles in one of our bi-weekly "Lunch & Learn" education sessions. Folks from the sales, marketing, and customer success team all joined Andrew in a BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) session of introductory coding, errors, and laughter. Keep an eye out for new features developed by our newest software engineers! ;)

Integrating with Wrike Is Easy: API v.3 & Brand-New Developer Site
News 3 min read

Integrating with Wrike Is Easy: API v.3 & Brand-New Developer Site

In our latest Dynamic Platform Release, we've made it easier for developers to integrate with Wrike by releasing our new API v.3 and a new Developer site. Now building your own custom integration with Wrike takes less time and effort. Some of the most important improvements in Wrike's API 3.0 include: Organized using REST principles making it more robust and easier to use. Added the most popular request methods including: Custom Fields, Subtasks, and more account management functions Migrated to OAuth 2.0 protocol for authorization to align our API with industry standards. Our API is designed to be used for Enterprise grade applications. In fact, we've built our own mobile apps and Zapier integration using our API v.3, so it's possible to build very robust applications with API v.3.  Today, we also launched our new Developer site, developers.wrike.com, which provides quick access to API Documentation and developers can now request API keys directly from the developer site without having to contact support. Visit Developer portal to start working with the new API and share your experience in comments.

How to Write a Bug Report During Development
Project Management 7 min read

How to Write a Bug Report During Development

As a software designer or development project manager, you work hard to ensure the code you and your team produce is as flawless as possible. However, just like seasoned writers still make small errors from time to time, even highly experienced developers and software engineers make small coding errors that need to be caught before the final product is shipped. But it’s impossible to catch every error before release. That’s precisely why bug reports are so critical for development teams. In this article, we’re exploring how to write a bug report that will help your teams find and fix errors quickly and easily. We’ll also look at a bug report example and show you how Wrike can help you develop a software bug report template that will reduce time and energy spent creating bug reports in the future. Why bug reports are important First things first: what exactly are bug reports, and why are they so important to software development teams? Put simply, a bug report identifies an issue with a piece of software. Bug reports don’t have to be complicated, but they should contain enough detailed information that the developers can quickly understand exactly what the problem is, what specific action or actions triggered the bug, or if the issue happens sporadically with no identifiable cause. Bug reports are critical for any organization that writes code or develops software products because they help ensure quality control. Without proper testing and documentation of issues using bug reports, development teams may inadvertently ship a product that has a defect or error. How to write a good bug report So, what exactly makes a “good” bug report? Generally speaking, you want to keep your bug reports simple and to-the-point, yet detailed enough that the developers can easily identify the problem and implement a solution. To ensure that your development team gets everything it needs to solve the issue at the outset, structure your bug reports to include the following essential information: Bug name and a brief description Like any good report, your bug report should begin with a name and brief description of the problem so that the engineering team can know exactly what’s going on and what part or feature of the software is affected.  Environment details Just like actual bugs can only survive in certain climates and conditions, virtual bugs may only appear in certain cyber-environments. In this section of the bug report, you’ll identify things like: The device or hardware you’re using when you encounter the bug, including the specific model  The operating system you’re using The type of account you’re logged in with  The version number of the application or program that you’re testing  The type of internet connection you’re using, if applicable   The number of times you’ve been able to reproduce the bug as well as how many times you’ve tried Steps to reproduce the bug Here, you’ll write out the exact steps you took that triggered the bug so that the developers can repeat the process and test it for themselves.  The expected result What were you expecting to happen when you followed the steps outlined in section three of the report? Be as detailed as possible, and remember that it’s always more helpful for the developers to know what should have happened when you followed those steps instead of what should NOT have happened.  The actual result This is the section in which you can tell the developers exactly what happened when you followed the steps that triggered the bug. Did the app crash altogether? Did it boot you out of the system? Did it display an error code? Remember to be as specific as possible. Simply saying, “The command didn’t work” isn’t exactly helpful. Proof Proof of the problem will go a long way in helping your programmers get to the bottom of the bug. Whether it’s a simple screenshot or a short video, try to include some sort of visual evidence with the report. Priority Finally, you can help your development team members better organize their work by rating or classifying the severity of the bug. Keep the rating scale simple — here’s an easy template: Mission-critical: this bug impacts or prevents user flow or app usage altogether Medium priority: this bug negatively impacts user experience Minor: everything else including formatting or layout issues, typos, etc. Bug report example Here’s an example of a simple bug report laid out in an Excel spreadsheet: Source: Marker.io  How to create a bug report template in Excel As you can see from the example above, you can easily create a simple yet effective bug report template in Excel. First, make a column to contain the main bug report components, including the bug name and description, the environment, the steps to reproduce, the expected and actual results, and the assigned priority. You can also include a section to place a link to your proof, or you can simply attach any screenshots or video to the digital report when you email or otherwise transfer the bug report file to your development team lead or product manager.  While Excel spreadsheets can help you get up and running with bug reports, managing these documents can be burdensome. Luckily, Wrike makes it simple to create a bug report template that can handle your organization’s growing needs. How to use Wrike to create the best bug reports With Wrike, you can easily create customized bug report templates that are perfectly suited to your organization’s specific needs and the various types of software development projects you routinely perform. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about keeping up with constantly changing spreadsheets that are exchanged via endless email chains. That’s because Wrike provides a single, unified platform to store, share, and maintain all the reports, updates, and other documentation associated with each individual project.  You can get started with Wrike today and give your software engineers the detailed, organized reports they need to efficiently find and eradicate those bugs — try a free two-week trial today.

Scrum for Newbies: How to Use Scrum to Tame Chaos
Project Management 10 min read

Scrum for Newbies: How to Use Scrum to Tame Chaos

Scrum is a great tool for managing complex projects and multiple tasks. If you're starting out with it, here are some tips from wise Scrum Masters and Scrum evangelists.

Scrum vs. Kanban: The Ultimate Breakdown Guide
Project Management 10 min read

Scrum vs. Kanban: The Ultimate Breakdown Guide

Get to the bottom of the scrum vs. kanban debate and gain insights on when to choose one framework over the other. Learn more in this ultimate guide from Wrike.

What Is a Velocity Chart in Agile?
Project Management 7 min read

What Is a Velocity Chart in Agile?

Discover the value of using a velocity chart in Agile projects. Learn how to calculate team velocity and turn that information into actionable insights.

Customer's Tip of the Day: Cut the Routine Work; Get Your Web Requests Turned Into Tasks Automatically
Project Management 3 min read

Customer's Tip of the Day: Cut the Routine Work; Get Your Web Requests Turned Into Tasks Automatically

We hope that Wrike’s e-mail integration is a time-saver for you and your team.  But do you know that you can also leverage it for working with the requests from web forms? From our customer’s story, learn how you can easily redirect them to Wrike and instantly get all important details logged into the system. Customer’s background Geo Spa makes it easier for travel agents to quickly find exactly what their clients want. A large variety of tours, honeymoon trips and estate catalogues from more than 2000 Italian travel agencies are collected on two websites maintained by the team. A team of 20 people currently maintains a platform being used by more than 2500 people. Geo Spa Tip: Use automated web forms to save your team’s time Geo Spa’s team uses a simple web form to collect all customers’ requests and the bugs that customers have found on their website. Prior to adopting Wrike, they had to manually sort and process all requests, which took hours of work per week. With Wrike, now all requests get automatically logged into the system as tasks. Moreover, they also get automatically sorted into folders by their type. And this was really easy to do: Whenever Geo Spa customers want to report a bug or ask for a new feature, they fill out the form online, and this data is automatically sent to [email protected]. All you need for that is just to ask your webmaster to add this address into the website source code. If he or she also adds a folder name with a double-colon in the beginning of the e-mail subject line, different requests will get logged into different folders. The system instantly creates a new backlogged or 1-day task (according to the settings in your account admin’s profile). Of course, you can find all of the request details in the task description! Add your web form e-mail address as a secondary e-mail of any user in your account to make him or her the task author, or simply create a new user with this e-mail. According to Geo Spa’s team, it’s handy to keep all requests as backlogged tasks in Wrike, as this way nothing gets lost. The team checks the Activity Stream for updates about new tasks every day and assigns them to colleagues. Then they can easily prioritize them with the drag-and-drop function and plan them, depending on their current workload. As you see, such workflow helps Geo Spa to not miss a single customer’s request. At the same time, it saves the team’s time on manually registering requests, and instead they can start processing them right away. Thanks to such a fast response to clients’ needs, their websites always meet expectations. As a result, more and more people in Italy have started using their service! This approach works great for any type of website request, be it job applications, customers’ contact info or shipping addresses. Do you also have web forms on your site? Let us know what you use them for and if you have tried to integrate them into our project management tool. “Wrike has made our team more organized and productive. Your dashboard helps us to organize and personalize our work at its best, while e-mail integration helps to manage maintenance requests. Collaboration has become much easier!” Massimo Cassandro, Riccardo Cattaneo and Daniele Conti, Geo spa Web Services team

10 Fun New Ways to Use Your Backlog
Wrike Tips 7 min read

10 Fun New Ways to Use Your Backlog

We’re always looking for fun and creative new ways to use Wrike. The backlog may seem pretty straightforward: stash stuff in there for a rainy day, or if you solve problems with Agile, use it for sprint planning. But there are actually quite a few interesting ways to use the backlog that you may not have considered. Here are 10 different ways to make the most of your backlog: 1. Track High-level Goals.  Looking for a product backlog example? Not everything you put in Wrike will be tied to specific projects or individual action items. Keeping quarterly goals, product ideas, and long-term plans in the backlog makes it easy to remember the big picture and see everything you want to accomplish — which can help you prioritize wisely. And if you put these items on your Wrike Dashboard, they'll never be “out of sight, out of mind.” When life gives you a window of opportunity or the stars align, you can instantly say, “Now’s the perfect time to _____!”  In the same vein, you can use these backlogged goals as parent tasks. Create every actionable task as a subtask to at least one goal. This shows which long-term effort the work is supporting. Using the backlogged goals this way will help make sure all your time is devoted to worthwhile efforts. 2. Complete Creative Projects.  Compose song lyrics or creative writing pieces in your backlog, letting them marinate until inspiration strikes. They’re always at hand when the perfect lyric or headline pops up, and you can take full advantage of the Time Slider (revision history) tool. Since Wrike tracks every keystroke and lets you revert to previous versions, you can let your creativity off the leash and just play without worrying about losing any of the good stuff. The revision history slider is also a pretty cool way to get a timelapse view of your unique creative process.  3. Write Routine Lists.  Keep track of wish lists, grocery lists, movies to watch, books to read, bands to check out, and more in your personal backlog. Once they’re in Wrike, it’s easy to share these lists if you choose, and you can view them from your mobile devices.  4. Plan Trips and Events.  Say you start planning a trip to one of the destinations on your backlogged “Travel Europe” bucket list. You can easily create a folder to keep track of the growing number of details like itineraries, confirmations, packing lists, maps, guides, and more. And since it’s backlogged, your info is always at hand when you need it (like at the airport).  The same goes for planning events: a task called “Plan Jen’s Surprise Party” can easily grow into a folder with invite lists and RSVPs, menus and recipes, gift ideas, music playlists, and more. 5. Stash Your Read Later/Watch Later Items.  One of my personal favorite uses for the backlog is to make it my virtual back pocket. I often come across interesting articles, videos, and TED Talks that pique my curiosity while link surfing, typically when I’m researching an unrelated project, or a link shared by a colleague or friend. It’s the kind of stuff I want to keep for reference, or save to peruse when I have more time. Instead of bookmarking it or emailing myself the link, I use the Wrike Chrome Extension to automatically create a task in my dedicated "Back Pocket" folder of Wrike. I backlog the task, take a screenshot of the page if I want, and always have it right there to look at later. 6. Store Your Knowledge Base.  The backlog is the perfect spot to keep useful tidbits, whether you’re logging personal reference items (think Emergency Maintenance numbers, contact info for doctors and dentists, a list of good babysitters, that article on magical baking soda cleaning solutions) or sharing professional ones like notes on competitors, administrative passwords, routine IT/troubleshooting tips, vacation schedules/PTO request forms, best practices, and templates.  7. Track Inventory (Like a Librarian).  This one we picked up from our customer Tisso Naturprodukte: make Wrike your office librarian! If your office has a stash of books to borrow, you can easily keep track of them using the backlog. Here’s how Tisso Naturprodukte’s system works: each book gets its own task. When someone wants to check it out, they assign it to themselves and set a due date for when they plan to bring it back. Once they return it, they unassign themselves and clear the due dates again. You can also use folder tags to keep track of equipment or supplies, tagging backlogged tasks with their specific location or status. 8. Keep Agendas and Meeting Minutes.  If you have upcoming meetings with clients or colleagues, the backlog can be a great place to stash agenda items or reminders for things you’d like to bring up. If they’re shared agendas, two mouse clicks can bring someone else into the loop. Now you can avoid that nagging “I know I was supposed to talk to her about something” feeling, and use the backlog as your personal book of reminders. 9. Log Research.  Some projects just don’t conform to a set timeline. Long-term, ongoing research is one of them. Instead of trying to shoehorn these items into rigid deadlines or constantly rescheduling them, simply set up a backlog of tasks. Log every piece of acquired knowledge as a backlogged task in your "Project Research" folder, then rearrange your tasks to create a mind map. You’ll be able to see all the pieces of the puzzle, make new connections, and organize your thoughts or process. A new breakthrough could be just around the corner! 10. Collect Personal Interests/Reminders.  Keep a running list of potential weekend activities, personal best mile times, good habits you want to pick up — anything that’s ongoing you want to track or be reminded of. I like to keep a task at the top of my backlog widget on my Wrike Dashboard called “Sit Up Straight!” It catches my eye every time I check my Dashboard and reminds me to work on my posture. Once I’ve kicked that bad habit to the curb, I can replace it with a new one.  Your turn! How do you use your backlog? Share your genius tips in the comments!

Sprint to Success with Scrum for Dummies (Book Review)
Project Management 5 min read

Sprint to Success with Scrum for Dummies (Book Review)

While there are plenty of advantages to becoming a Scrum team, transitioning from traditional project management methods to this new Agile methodology has its challenges. Scrum for Dummies presents this process in an easy-to-understand way and guides readers in implementing its strategies with their teams.

Agile Certification Options for Software Developers
Project Management 5 min read

Agile Certification Options for Software Developers

Why pursue Agile certification? Perhaps your employer is requesting it, or you'd like to pump up your resume. Maybe you just want to learn more, or you're getting ready to join an Agile development team.  Whatever the case may be, it's important to note that you don't necessarily need a certification to thrive on an Agile team. After all, credentials alone don't make great programmers, project managers, or Agile practitioners — knowledge, skill, and experience do. But if you're interested in delving deeper into the Agile methodology, learning some high-level applications, and boosting your resume at the same time, certification might be for you. Here's a list of widely recognized organizations offering certification in Agile and its offshoots, Scrum and XP: Agile Agile Certification InstituteTake an exam to prove your Agile expertise and earn one of ACI's 6 professional certifications, including Accredited Agile Practitioner, Accredited Kanban Practitioner, and Accredited Lean Software Development Practitioner.Details: No training necessary; pass the exams and you're certified. You must earn 45 knowledge points every 4 years to maintain certification. International Consortium for AgileChoose from certifications in Agile Programming, Agile Software Design, and Agile Development. Training courses teach participants how to design, develop, and test software while embracing Agile principles like collaboration and adaption to change. In total, ICA offers 13 "Professional" certifications, 8 "Expert" certifications, and 1 "Master" certification (Read the full list of course options).Details: ICA courses typically involve 2-3 days of instruction. Scaled Agile Academy5 certification options, including a two-day Agile Practitioner course that teaches developers to apply Scrum, Lean, and XP-inspired practices to large-scale, Enterprise-level projects.Pre-requisites: 1+ years of experience in software development, testing, business analysis, product management, or project management. Scrum Scrum AllianceLearn the ins-and-outs of Scrum, Scrum software, and the developer's role on the team with the Certified Scrum Developer and certified Scrum product owner program. Take at least five days of formal training from Scrum Alliance REPs, then take the exam to earn certification. (CSD track course list.)Details: Certification is good for two years. Full requirements. Scrum.orgThe 3-day Professional Scrum Developer course sorts students into teams and takes them through the Scrum process, from Scrum tools to completing a sprint to developing software in increments.Prerequisites: Must have studied the Scrum Guide and passed the free Developer and Scrum assessments through Scrum.org's website. Must also have experience with Java and .NET. (Full requirements) International Scrum InstituteComplete their Online Scrum Training Program and take a 50-question, multiple-choice exam to earn the Accredited Scrum Team Member certification.Details: No renewals are required to maintain certification.  ScrumStudy6 certification options, including Scrum Developer Certified. This entry-level certification is designed to teach participants the basics of Scrum so they can fully contribute to their projects and teams.Maintenance: Need to earn 25 re-certification credits every 2 years. Extreme Programming (XP) Agile FAQsThe Extreme Week course is a 5-day workshop for development teams who want intensive, hands-on training in XP. Teams will learn how to self-organize, adapt their designs to changing requirements, and make their development process more efficient.Details: The course is delivered to the team online, so a projector & screen are required, along with a designated space for the team to work together. (Full requirements) ASPE SDLC TrainingThe three-day Extreme Programming Workshop teaches participants the essentials of XP and how to implement it. A combination of lecture and hands-on activities helps teams complete planning, development, and testing for a real software project.Details: Since these labs include live coding, some experience with Java or a similar object-oriented language is required to complete the project. Industrial LogicThe 4-day Extreme Programming Workshop teaches participants core Agile principles, including evolutionary design, customer stories, and development tools and strategies.Details: You’ll need a projector, screen, reliable high-speed internet access, and workstations for your team. (Full requirements) If you hold an Agile certification, hit the comments to tell us about your experience! What courses do you suggest? 

Agile Collaboration in a Virtual World: Takeaways from PMI Global Congress North America
Collaboration 5 min read

Agile Collaboration in a Virtual World: Takeaways from PMI Global Congress North America

With over a third of projects being agile and more work being done by virtual teams, we aimed to look at how project managers can successfully combine the two. Having combined our expertise in managing distributed teams, we came up with a few practical, battlefield-tested tips in the area of communication practices, Web 2.0 tools and beyond, which can help bridge the gap for agile teams working across geographic boundaries. In the first part of the session, Cornelius started with a case study of his own team, spread across 6 countries on 3 continents, and shared which tools and practices help them the most to collaborate efficiently. For instance, according to the experience of Cornelius' team, the best architectures, requirements and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. There's no doubt that virtual teams have some very strong benefits, but there are certain serious bottlenecks, too, like the risk of miscommunication, limited visibility, etc. In my part of the session, I highlighted 5 pain-relievers that help me overcome the most common challenges in managing my team. Some additional tips came up during the Q&A. For example, when your team members speak different languages, don't let accents influence your perception of a professional. This is especially critical in the initial conversations, when team members don’t know each other yet and haven't yet built social and professional trust. Make sure that you give your team members "trust credit" in this initial phase, and always remember that behind that email ID is a real person, who likely works as hard as you do and is as professional as you are. It’s also crucial to remember and respect the cultural differences, and while keeping this in mind, work toward building a shared culture. Last but not least, as with everything else, it’s hard to create an ideal collaboration pattern right from the start. However, if you keep your eyes and mind open, constantly communicate and gather feedback from your team members, you can continuously iterate and improve. Eventually, you'll find your secret sauce for efficient remote teamwork. I believe that one of the main prerequisites for the success of a distributed team is to make sure that everyone is on the same page – not only in terms of the assigned tasks, but also the general vision, applied processes, cultural awareness, information sharing and trust. It’ll be extremely helpful for team members to know not just what to do, but why and what lies ahead. This will help a lot in asynchronous communications, when you’re not immediately available to answer all of their questions and course correct. You have to think and communicate proactively in distributed teams, making sure you’re your team shares the same mission and vision, and understands the goals. So meetings in virtual teams are very important. Not only are they important, they are different, and in the final part of our session Elizabeth named some important techniques for making virtual meetings productive. I’ve posted our joint slide deck on Slideshare, so that you can adapt some of these practical takeaways to your team: Agile Collaboration in a Virtual World: Harnessing Social Media, Web 2.0 and Beyond View more presentations from Wrike com To learn more details about our session and other ones, too, you can also check out recent tweets with the hash tag #pminac. Here are a couple of them: @pm4girls: "Don't just give them tasks, give them reasons to help them understand vision and goals" @wrike talking about empowering teams at #pminac @LewisCindy: From @wrike don't let accents influence emotional feelings about the person. Nice reminder #pminac By the way, Wrike has just opened an interesting survey about remote work and the way workers see its benefits and challenges. I would really appreciate if you could spend a few minutes to have your say in this survey. As soon as we get enough responses, I’ll analyze the results and share them with you.

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