JIRA is probably the most popular bug tracking and project management tool for software developers. To help you decide if it’s right for you or your organization, we’ve are collecting JIRA reviews from software developers, and have listed all the good ones so far below.
If you’ve used JIRA yourself, please also make a contribution and we’ll add it to this article.
I'm a software engineer with over 10 years of experience, most recently as a frontend engineering lead at a high-growth FinTech company.
I used Jira for 5 years, as the company grew from 80 to over 1500 people and have been through major Jira battles trying to standardize the workflow across development teams.
To answer your query with some points:
- Jira is excellent for scale and integration. If you have a company of hundreds or thousands of people, having everyone on Jira creates a centralized source of knowledge.
- Jira's integration with GitHub is an excellent addition to documentation because it preserves historical context. If the stories are properly written and linked to git branches and commits, Jira can be a godsend to be able to go back and understand the context of why a change was introduced in a codebase.
- Problems with Jira crop up when you can't get people to agree on a common workflow. For example, if you have a number of engineering teams who all want to use a different workflow, it makes it hard to aggregate reports across those teams. This is exactly how you end up with dozens of Jira Statuses that all say In Progress and appear identical, but are actually unique to different projects. Jira gives teams the flexibility to work in any style they please, but if no one is there to enforce a common workflow, that flexibility leads to fragmentation that undermines the usefulness of the reporting features.
- When would I recommend Jira to a company? When you need to be able to define a customized workflow that can still map back to something standardized for the purpose of reporting. For example, if you want to understand how long each team takes to bring tickets from definition to production, each team can have some customization of their workflow and still generate a compatible report.
- I would also recommend Jira to a company where the whole company, and all its departments, are willing to buy into Jira. Being able to reference work being done across a large organization is really helpful, both for transparency and cross-cutting historical context. Actually achieving this can be a big challenge, however, if leadership doesn't want to actively set it as a company-wide standard. In that respect, it has to be a top-down decision to implement Jira organization-wide.
- When would I NOT recommend Jira to a company? If you have a small number of feature teams, all working together in a common workflow, the overhead of Jira may not be worth it. This is especially true if you don't have anyone in the organization already that is knowledgeable about how to configure Jira. In that case, tools like Asana, Trello, or Clubhouse could be a better fit. As a new founder, I chose to use Clubhouse because it works similarly to Jira but is specifically designed for smaller companies and requires less configuration.
- Summary: The developer perspective on Jira. Most developers really dislike Jira, primarily because the interface is clunky and slow. Sometimes it feels like it takes longer to create a ticket in Jira than to actually do the work described in the ticket. However, when it comes to something highly customizable, suitable for scaling organizations, highly integration, and something with the longevity to preserve historical context, there is no alternative to Jira.
--Monica Lent, monicalent.com
Jira's integrations are what make it great for managing development. The way that it syncs with Github and other tools makes it seamless to coordinate workflows.
In my view, you don't want to spend more time meta-working (i.e. managing jira) than actually working. And for me, Jira achieves that, because once you've invested a day or two in setting it up, it's very effortless to manage.
We used to use a physical whiteboard, like in Silicon Valley, to prioritise and track progress, but Jira is just a better digital version of that.
I like that you can categorise tasks easily by project, filter by which engineer is using it, and customise the flow of your board. You can easily view your history and backlog too.
We use a rapid agile style we call carpaccio - this means we try and push stuff in small chunks as often as every day. The board shows Up next (in priority order), In Progress, For Review, and Done. Simple, but a great way to keep the team aligned.
--Jacob Wedderburn-Day, Stasher
JIRA is very convenient and well-visualized. It grants easy access to different sprint statistics, for example, you can assess the performance of each particular member or see if project estimates were proper, overblown, or underestimated. You can also set up JIRA for yourself with the help of extra plugins, such as inVision or Zeplin. The best thing about JIRA for me as for a developer is that it integrates with Bitbucket. Therefore, you can see the development progress and automate tasks. For instance, when I create a pull request, the task card automatically moves to the In review column or, when I merge pull requests, the task card automatically moves to the Ready to test column. Also, you can log hours here, which makes the lives of PMs easier. There is one small disadvantage, however: complexity. Not all projects, especially small ones, need such a complex system. I would advise JIRA over other task management software, but I would suggest the team to analyze if their project is large enough for such a complicated system to be implemented.
--Yurii Stadnyk, KeenEthics
I own a company that runs a handful of blogs. I’m also an experienced digital marketer and we have a small team so I pretty much involve myself in all active projects, including web development.
I’d say that JIRA is the industry standard in terms of bug tracking. It makes managing even the most complicated web projects a lot easier. Project managers can easily set up a custom workflow so team members can move a project through to various stages such as requirements gathering, design, and development.
JIRA also makes collaboration easier between members of our web development team. With it, they can create customized fields to request information like the type of creative, sizes, and other design elements, that requestors may not have even thought of. Sketches, prototypes, or designed elements can be added to a task so all the right assets are always there where all members can see or find them.
--Allan Borch, Dotcom Dollar
Pros: They've managed to provide easy to use projects, next-gen, that have most of the power but are SUPER easy to use. We love the new Kanban boards and the ability to turn off features and hide complexity wherever needed.
Cons: The next-gen projects are moving fast, but it feels like at this point you have to choose either power or ease of use. Classic projects (power) or next-gen (easy) are competing, so I'm hoping they will be able to eventually provide all the power in the easy next-gen projects.
--Maksym Babych, SpdLoad
I've used JIRA in a number of companies as a product manager working with software developers.
My experience using JIRA, vs other tracking tools such as PivotalTracker, Trello, Asana & Github Issues, is that JIRA is by far the most customisable and detailed.
JIRA isn't as intuitive as the others, but it has come a long way even in the last 5 years. However once it is set up correctly, it can make workflow, release planning, and recording bugs and issues quite simple.
JIRA also has much more in depth reporting for tickets and teams. It can create some super detailed burndown charts and it also provides real time analysis of how the current sprint is tracking. Compared with other tools, its much easier to break work down into Epics, Stories and Tasks with JIRA.
One of the main cons of JIRA unlike the other tools, is that it definitely requires some up front configuration before the team starts using it. Ensuring your project and workflow are setup correctly takes a little time and someone who knows what they are doing. This can make the difference between a successful and poor JIRA experience.
--Chris Repetowski, The Games Guy
Jira is awesome for software development and one of the best tools for project managers that use the agile methodology. This is the primary reason why you should use Jira to take advantage of its advanced tools and customization options. Since we upgraded from Trello I can say that we have increased our productivity, particularly since the developers can now craft their own boards and tailor them specifically for their tasks. It's also excellent for all software-related projects since it's intuitive and promotes a more horizontal business workflow where developers have more independence.
So I would say Jira is definitely one of the best tools for project managers that are looking for a powerful tool for managing their software developers. It does have a steep learning curve and I would recommend it for advanced tech professionals only. For other businesses that aren't in the tech industry, I would recommend using Trello or an easier platform to setup. For those serious about project management using the agile method to coordinate your team of developers using an advanced project management suite, Jira is an excellent choice.
--Daniel Juhl Mogensen, Kodyl
I used Jira first time around 2006-2007. At the time the very hot topic of agile development was like number one priority on my list. I made sure the companies I worked for work adapted Jira and we transferred all previous reporting /project data into it. The vibe was great and the management was excited. Over the years my vision about agile management evolved and I did not care much about tools or tracking anymore. I came to realization that tracking was just an indication of the problem but did not solve the core issue in the team. Over time I went to much more simplistic way of assigning project tasks and started to avoid Jira. Today I am running my own company, and when we do consulting, sometimes I find companies use Jira to track tasks and projects, and it is amazing how much time they spend on just wrestle with the complexity of how Jira had grown over the years. Today one of the first things I do is remove the use of Jira and free immediately time and effort previously going into technical debt. The amount of energy to sustain the entropy level is just not enough to justify the use of it. We still use some tracking software (Asana), but is so simplistic that takes 1-2 min of developers time per day.
In general Jira is a good software and I would recommend it to a large organization, where employees waste their time anyway on side effects all the time. Having Jira in that type of environment would not hurt the organization, maybe will help them.
Whoever, I would argue that agile development must move to the next generation development where if I take the analogy of creating dinner in restaurant for dining visitors, it does not matter what dance you do to create the food, nor how you track the process and the team effort.
What is important is the food to be deliver on time, on budget, with an excellent quality and finally, you want the customer to become a client and come back again and again.
I understand, companies like Atlassian make a living by producing and promoting products like Jira, but at the end of the day, the question should be to what degree we should relay on tools to produce excellent software products and how much distraction tools can bring into the project.
--Ivan Assenov, Scale Campaign
Jira’s fascinating features, such as customizable Jira agile workflows, advanced reporting, and out-of-the-box scrum, kanban, and scrumban boards, will help you sync with your team easily. You can complete project milestones quicker than if you were using outdated spreadsheets that nobody on your team understands.
Jira swimlanes are absolutely awesome for better prioritising your issues.
Furthermore, Jira smoothly integrates with most of your favorite tools. It thus strives to ease your work life. And Jira task management is made simpler compared to average PM tools.
Yet, as with any other project management tool, Jira also comes with a couple of drawbacks…
Jira’s agile UI can also be a bit cumbersome. You are bombarded with heaps of Jira features, most of which are buried in submenus. This can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are new to Jira. Experienced, especially DevOps, teams though, wouldn’t have problems navigating through Jira’s UI.
Another con that ties closely to the setup is that Jira is mainly built for development teams. And it can be hard for non-tech folks to adapt to the software.
Jira also doesn’t provide you with built-in idea management tools to keep track of your future plans and ideas. However, it integrates fine with other great idea management tools like Jama.
Jira pricing plans are fair compared to other project management tools. You can find cheaper tools just as much as you can find pricey software as well. It all comes down to basic math. You can check the Jira subscriptions here. It offers cloud pricing and on premises too.
I have loved using JIRA. It is very user-friendly and gives a quick overview of the roadmap to track the progress of each project. It helps us with any new features that we want to roll out, as well as bug tracking. We use Slack as well, which has a seamless integration with JIRA.
It has fully customizable scrum boards and has a positive impact on the workflow of the organisation. We use it to keep track of all our projects and to get a better understanding how long it takes to solve each task. We wouldn’t be able to work without it in our organisation.
--Jeroen Co, RealExpertAdvice.com
I used Jira religiously for two years when I was working as a Quality Assurance Officer in a company. My job was testing and then reporting the bugs on Jira.
I personally enjoyed working on Jira and here are three reasons why:
1. Jira is not only great for larger teams, but it is also great to manage smaller teams.
2. It has multipurpose usage eg reporting and tracking bugs, managing project tasks, and providing customer service.
3. You can create your own process as per your need meaning there is the freedom to create one’s own workflow.
I highly recommend using this tool, There are other tools of course in the market but I prefer “Jira” over them.
--Azza Shahid, syedirfanajmal.com
We’ve been using Jira for agile software development for 4 years now. Despite all its flaws and occasional bugs, we don’t see any other real alternatives. The best thing about the tool is that it offers numerous third-party integrations with all the resources we need for our convenient work — GitHub, Slack, Jenkins, etc.
For instance, when you've pushed to a branch and initialized a pull request on GitHub, a corresponding Jira issue will immediately get a designated field with a link to this pull request. The system informs everyone about the progress and keeps everyone on the same page. You can just click the link in Jira, and it will redirect you to the full pull request overview on Github.
Moreover, such features as task prioritization, issue linking, and assignments are great for keeping everything in order. We’ve also set up all kinds of email notifications to make sure that we don’t overlook a single comment or change.
--Pavel Pavlenko, HelpCrunch
I am not a developer, but I do have my fair share of understanding of version control and BitBucket (Repo management system for Atlassian, the owner of Jira). As a Product Manager, I have used Jira quite a bit in all capacities. This includes in a Scrum and Kanban capacity as well as confluence for documentation.
Here are my thoughts about Jira: It's a great project management tool overall, with the ability to create highly customized agile work boards and workflows. You can add JQL Filters to set-up custom views which is pretty useful when you're working on multiple features at a specific time. You can also add customized states, swim-lanes and work columns for added board flexibility.
An issue with that high customization is the tall learning curve. It'll take a few months without coaching to get accustomed to many of the facets of Jira, especially the templates and reporting. I found myself Googling a lot the first few months when working with Jira.
Other than that, Confluence is a great platform for documentation and archiving.
--William Chin, PickFu.com
Here at Listory, we're are huge Jira fans, we've been using Jira's system since day one.
I have used plenty of other systems in the past - Asana, Basecamp, Bugzilla, Monday, Trac, Trello, etc.
We've been using Jira in Listory since day one, but I've used other systems in the past i.e. Asana, Basecamp, Bugzilla, Monday, Trac, Trello, etc.
I found Jira to be very good for our needs. As a globally distributed software development team (and aren't all teams distributed these days?) we needed a central system to help us plan and coordinate our work, without anything getting in our way. Jira definitely has a strong opinion about how to manage software development, but as long as it matches the organization processes it has enough flexibility to adapt.
The important thing to remember is that a ticketing system is just one part of the toolset used in software development, and as such, it cannot solve every problem. The secret to successful software development is having a well-defined process and the tools to support this process.
In our case, we're working in short (1 week) sprints, with predefined goals for each sprint. In this process, Jira is used both to plan the spring and for tracking progress along with the completion of the tasks and goals.
Another big advantage of Jira is the integration it has with other software development tools such as Bitbucket for source control, which again with a good process can both save a lot of development time and improve the product quality.
In conclusion, Jira works well for us. It enables us to look at one place to find out what we need to do and to plan what's coming next. It's available on all devices (we're using the cloud version) and is very easy to use. The only drawback is that if we wanted to change the way we look at work (for example, if we need more hierarchy of tickets, not just Epic-Task-Subtask, we can't do that) it won't necessarily adapt.
--Yuval Sapir, Listory
JIRA is one of the most compact, and simultaneously, complete management systems I have come across. It is equipped to handle just about any sort of projects. The management system is easy to maintain and boards are easy to clean as well. JIRA's capacity to track tasks and handle sprints is something that I like the most. However, there are other features as well:
- Searching & sorting out tasks,
- Personalized view system,
- Milestone tracking for projects,
- Customized goals for individual track performance,
- And, calculating the ROI from the initial phase until the end of the project.
I think I will always recommend people to use JIRA among other management tools, even if we are talking about bug-tracking. The system provides a great process of logs and other tracking tools & options. Hence, one is not only tracking bugs but also looking at:
- A complete bug life cycle, which helps to iterate each step, from bug production until its fix.
- Tracking and activity of each step in the life cycle.
- Customized reporting for bug's life cycle.
- Release and version control from the bug's list.
--Mohtashim Rasheed, InvoZone
Our development and bug tracking was a mess before Jira. We would never Go-Live on time, really slow pace of go-to-market. Stakeholders, Customers & Dev Team all were unhappy & unclear on what is going to come next and most importantly when?
Since we started using Jira, it helps in giving the clear picture to Dev Team, Stakeholders & our customers.
We start every Quarter with creating a Product Roadmap which is made up of 3-4 themes/epics explaining the pain points we would be solving for our customers. Once we get approvals from the stakeholders, every 2 weeks we have a sprint planning meeting with Dev Team where we pick up the prioritised themes, divide them into Stories-Tasks with detailed acceptance criteria and assign to the each member.
Every day then we have a 15 min standup meeting and discuss about the tasks of the day or any blockers. We have created 5 steps of closing a story in Jira.
Once any member of Dev Team moves a story from To-Do to Testing, testing team finds the bugs, map them to the stories and assign it to back to them. The process continues untill the testing team clears and moves the story to Ready-For-Production & 1 day before the sprint ends Product Owner clears the the stories and then we Go-Live.
1. Our Development is like an well oiled machine now and we Go-Live every 2 weeks.
2. Stakeholders, customers, Dev Team super happy & motivated.
--Tanuj Diwan, SurveySensum
We have been trying a number of different project management and bug tracking software over the last year or so. After landing on JIRA, it seemed to be one of the best tools that we had worked with. Being able to create a number of boards all in one place and refer back to tasks, comment on them and even export metrics to an Excel Sheet is a really handy way to track progress on projects.
However, we have also been using TeamWork, for other services and project management. Both platforms have pros and cons but we have decided to move away from JIRA and solely use TeamWork. This has meant that all aspects of our services are under one roof and so we're more organised than ever.
In regards to recommending JIRA, I would definitely recommend that if you are solely a dev studio. I think that the flow of tasks and the integrations mean that you're able to manage your time really well. I would say that if you have other sides to your business like SEO or another service, Jira doesn't really accommodate.
--Lee Southwart, Imaginaire
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