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How did you learn to be a Jira admin?

Jack Brickey Community Leader Aug 07, 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?


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


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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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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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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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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!

Like Nic Brough -Adaptavist- likes this
Benjamin Community Leader Aug 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. 



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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!!

Like Nic Brough -Adaptavist- likes this
Benjamin Community Leader Sep 03, 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 Sep 02, 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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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. 

Like Nic Brough -Adaptavist- likes this
elizabeth_jones Community Leader Sep 07, 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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Thank you, @elizabeth_jones, that sounds insightful!! Thank you!! 😎

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.

Dave Mathijs Community Leader Jan 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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reverse engineering hahaha, I like that.

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

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

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.

Rilwan Ahmed Community Leader Nov 02, 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. 

Like Csaba Koles likes this

@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  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



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