Book Review: JIRA 5.2 Essentials

Because I wrote an Emacs plugin for using Jira with org-mode.el, named org-jira.el, some guy at this book's publishing house came up with my name and asked me to write a book review for it. And here it is.

Jira is very popular. My ex-employer, my current employer, and one of my possible next employer (Intel) are all using Jira. One reason of this wild popularity is because Jira is very easy to use. Every body can start to use it with minimum effort. When I work at Motorola, they use ClearQuest, and the reference manual is so thick that you can use it as a weapon to strike people unconscious. But Jira, it's so simple and intuitive that you can go a long way without seeing any need even for its on-line help, which is already high quality. So why a book on Jira?

Well, this book provides you the Big Picture of Jira. If you only learn Jira by using it and probably also with the help of the online documents, you are easily trapped in a small corner of Jira, albeit the most obvious and easy to access part. True, it might be the most useful part of Jira, and you will expand it with increased exposure with and poking around in Jira. This book just make it easier for you with the expanding process. With the big picture in your eyes, you gain the freedom to do more wild stuff to get your things done. Just don't overdo it, keep your process light:-)

It also teaches you how to administrate Jira. This may seem not so useful to a common Jira user. But if you happen to be a Jira Admin or a PM, then these info are valuable. Even to the User, it can be more helpful than it seems. Because everybody should be a PM nowadays (or so I've heard).

The final chapter is on how to use Jira (with an additional Jira plug-in, GreenHopper) for Agile Development. Agile people might love to check it out.

After you gain the Big Picture, this book is also great as a reference manual, the topics are well organized and easy to look up.

Last but not least, some ad for my org-jira. If you are a hacker using Emacs and org-mode and Jira all at the same time, then you definitely will like org-jira.