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How did you learn to be a Jira admin?

Jack Brickey
Community Leader
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Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
August 7, 2021

Like many things in my life I learned Jira by jumping in and using the product. In a lot of ways this can be the most rewarding method. However, I have certainly made a number of mistakes as a result. I definitely would recommend getting some training whether formal or informal. 

How did you learn and what lessons do you have for new users?

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Alex Koxaras _Relational_
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August 7, 2021

Nice question @Jack Brickey !

Like you, I had the opportunity to jump right in, and find out many things by myself. Interesting enough, I quickly fell in love with Jira and the way it works! Chaos rules my ex-company, and I felt the urge to place them all in "boxes", to control any damage, and to organize things.

It didn't happen in a day. On the contrary is took almost two years, before I could convince all the developers to start using Jira, and to keep track of their work inside it. It was a fantastic experience to have lived that.

I would share more of my experience about my previous position, but I am soooo bitter about the way they treated me, that I will not speak about them anymore :)

Now, for the lessons about new users: It's always great to have a certification, but it's even better to dig in yourself and learn things. After you've learned them, it will be good to cross-check them with the official documentation.

The fact is one: I learned about Jira and Atlassian. And that opened up other doors. Thank God! :D

Jiron!

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Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
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August 7, 2021

I don't think it's an uncommon way to get into Jira admin, but the short version of my story was "here's a Jira system, the admin leaves soon, learn how to replace them"

Donal was an excellent tutor, but when he left, I had to learn all the other stuff we couldn't cram into the few weeks we had together.   I leaned heavily on the Community then, but I still say the way I learned it was simply "by doing"

My lessons would be entitled:

  • Are we there yet?  (What "done" and "resolution" really are)
  • Why?
  • Do you really understand what Scrum and Kanban are?  (and for that matter, Agile in general)
  • How to avoid the angry penguin (Or maybe "How to ask a useful question")
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Huwen Arnone _Deiser_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
August 20, 2021

This is a very interesting question @Jack Brickey, thank you, and insightful because of your answers @Alex Koxaras _Relational_@Nic Brough -Adaptavist-  

I want to take it further because I'm interested: Which basic knowledge should I have before starting with Jira? Is it necessary to have a specific career or expertise? Is it essential to code?

UPDATE: I've made the same question on this thread (Spoiler alert: It also has insightful answers).

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Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
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August 20, 2021

Nope.  You don't need any specific knowledge, experience or training, but a lot of them can help.

Knowledge of coding might be useful, but it's only really going to stand out when you're scripting, writing apps or automating.  With Server going away, there's less call for writing your own app which pushes "developer" further down the list!

Having worked closely with (or in) a development team is far more useful, as you'll have an understanding of how they work, which puts you in a good place to think about what you should or should not do in a Jira workflow/screen/field in order to make life easier for any kind of user.

Ditto with project management.

And being a support person.

I came to Jira as a move from being a developer and support engineer (my team were doing DevOps more than a decade before the practice got the name)

I had learned to hate all of the development and support issue tracking tools that I'd run into over the years - Bugzilla, Redmine, Mantis etc handing too much control to the "customer" and not asking for the information I needed in order to develop something useful for them, FogBugz being quite good, but only if it was a Windows product (sorry, no, I was taught to code on proper operating systems), and then things like spreadsheets, Remedy, Clear(as mud)quest and HP-QC that should have been burned with fire before they ever got inflicted on people.

Jira was just so much better.  It was the first tracking tool I didn't feel the need to vent at (screaming swearwords at a screen because the software was just so bad, and not just badly configured, but deliberately written to be bad).  I could set it up to support the developers without annoying the people feeding them their stories. 

I did not need any particular experience to be able to do that.  My experiences as a developer and a support engineer and in running big projects were all very useful, but if I had not done those jobs, I could have been just as useful as a Jira admin by spending more time talking to developers, PMs, customers and managers.  All my experience really did was shorten the conversations with them because they didn't need to explain their role to me in any detail.

That said, yes, there's some basic knowledge you do need.  Not that technical though: 

  • How to use a computer (and the understanding that they're insanely fast, accurate and precise, and less intelligent than a house brick.   They just do what you and the coder tell them to)
  • How to talk to people (your users mainly)
  • How to ask a good question (so that you can get a good answer from a search engine, the people around you, or a community like we have here)
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Huwen Arnone _Deiser_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
August 25, 2021

Thank you very much for replying @Nic Brough -Adaptavist-,

Despite working with different people with a broad knowledge about Jira, this is usually an answer that none usually takes the time to answer, or at least don't pay much attention to do so, so thank you very much for taking the time and explaining it thoughtfully. 

Jira always has been a bit intimidating for me because most of the people involved come from a coding background.

So, thanks again! Regards!

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Benjamin
Community Leader
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August 31, 2021

Same. Jump right in and learn about the product. Grew to really enjoy using the application and took ownership of being the admin. 

 

For me, just dive right in and learn what works best for your teams. But always try to simplify things. The more customs fields and complicated the workflow...the less people want to use the application. In addition, could end up with a lot of baggage of bad data and a lot of object clean up and maintenance in the long run. 

 

Most importantly. Read the documentation and get certified. There are some great best practices in there. 

 

-Ben

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Huwen Arnone _Deiser_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
September 3, 2021

Thank you very much for sharing @Benjamin, overall I take the "really enjoy using the application" as the central learning.

All the responses I've had sum up to that: enjoy what you do, and success will follow after.

Thanks again!!

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Benjamin
Community Leader
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September 3, 2021

You welcome. Yep, that's true in a lot of regards. If you don't enjoy what you do, you lose interest and motivation, and possibly stop all together. 

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elizabeth_jones
Community Leader
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September 2, 2021

I began using Jira back in the early to mid 2000's. As a Project Manager it helped me to visualize work and I was always learning new ways to use jira more effectively for my teams. Later, my company began creating many instances, and our own custom plugins. As a result, I became the Product Owner for our internal Atlassian ecosystem. I learned mostly by doing, often by googling, and ultimately by attending the conferences and taking formal training courses. Youtube has some wonderful content on step by step instructions for many admin activities. 

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Huwen Arnone _Deiser_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
September 3, 2021

Besides the Atlassian Youtube channel and vendors, Which other would you recommend? 😮 @elizabeth_jones 

Thanks for sharing your story; it is inspiring to see how you have grown within the Jira and Atlassian world. 

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elizabeth_jones
Community Leader
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September 7, 2021

@Huwen Arnone _Deiser_ Create a "test" project, "test team", test user and just practice setting up and configuring different aspects until you know how to do everything quickly and correctly. Practice makes perfect. Interview a few stakeholders if you can to find out what pain points they have with viewing data in jira, and then see if you can solve those issues. It's great practice as well :)

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Huwen Arnone _Deiser_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
September 8, 2021

Thank you, @elizabeth_jones, that sounds insightful!! Thank you!! 😎

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Kristján Geir Mathiesen
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October 29, 2021

Great topic @Jack Brickey   I would say keep an open and positive mind. We are always learning and different use cases can teach us new tricks. Also learn from others. Don't be shy to ask questions.

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Dave Mathijs
Community Leader
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January 10, 2022

I learned to be a Jira admin by going through all the options of the Administration menu, reading the documentation over and over again, trying to solve end user questions and by actually using the product and its settings. Furthermore, I subscribed to all the possible YouTube channels, especially those from the Marketplace Vendors to learn and understand "visually". The hardest part was prepping for the certifications! Permissions is still a topic I would like to improve on, especially when discovering Cloud and the differences with Server.

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Teodor Hoza May 6, 2022

reverse engineering hahaha, I like that.

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Csaba Koles
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September 7, 2022

@Dave Mathijs do you have any channel recommendations from YouTube? :)

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Tommy Augustine June 14, 2022

Trial. By. Fire. For me. That was back in 2016

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James Leyte
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August 25, 2022

Hi, I'm new to Jira. Before my team actually started using it, I tried setting up customizations and configurations using the free version. Most of my newbie questions have been answered by googling.

So far, I find it easy to understand.

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Rilwan Ahmed
Community Leader
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November 2, 2022

I was just a jira user in my X company. Back in 2015, when I was searching for a new job, I came to know the requirements for Jira admins. Installed jira in my system, started trial and error method. Within few months I was able to crack the interview for Jira and confluence admin position and happily still working as admin now. 

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Vikram Sathish ASOKAN
Community Leader
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November 24, 2022

@Jack Brickey  Thank you for the thought provoking question

When I first started using JIRA, The UI was very easy & self explanatory 

I would like to share few things which I tried that helped me phenomenally  in my progress include

1) ATLASSIAN Community Website https://community.atlassian.com/  Groups & Forums like New to JIRA & New to work management

2) Youtube videos of atlassian and other JIRA Trainers

3) Articles in Linkedin and Medium

4) ATLASSIAN Community events  ( would suggest to join regional groups to stay tuned)

5) Trying Hands on using trail version with sample data ( Try Now in atlassian website)

Hope this is useful for beginner's Try and share me your Inputs  

Thanks and Regards

Vikram ASOKAN

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Carlos Garcia Navarro
Community Leader
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April 30, 2023

Hi there- for me it's also a combination of the experiences that others posted here. I started getting my hands dirty trying to set up Jira as an admin while I was working at a startup. The journey included making mistakes, asking many questions and spending hours of learning. Preparing for the Atlassian certifications helped me a lot too!

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Tania Graham February 26, 2024

Hi!
I have been a Jira Admin for a year now and was kinda thrust into the role when I had joined a team to be an Applications Admin and the company did a lay off of the entire team leaving just me...the most junior person who was an internal promotion and had zero experience and was to be trained on the job. I had to learn by myself how to be an admin for both a server and cloud version as we were in the beginning process of a migration. Luckily we had a partner firm to help me with the migration but I tell you, when things go wrong, you have to learn FAST!
I followed every class I could for free off of Atlassian University and then googled or used AI to find answers to other problems.
It was a harrowing experience but I wouldn't change a thing! I am loving being a Jira Admin!

Previous career experience had NOTHING to do with Jira admin:
12 years as a veterinary clinic manager
4 years as a customer service manager

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