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New Jira Admin that never received training

My Jira Admin was laid off a few weeks ago totally unexpectedly before any of his responsibilities were cross-trained.  I have been a software tester with some coding experience but not to the degree of my admin who was a developer in so many languages.

My company is experiencing many issues that I don't know where to begin to resolve.

I am hoping this certification will be helpful and providing the support my users (more than 6K) deserve.



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[Comment removed]

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We had plans to move to Jira Datacenter, but now we are considering Jira Cloud.  Hopefully, that decision will be made soon and then I will be able to make the right choices for certifications.

Darryl Lee
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Jun 16, 2023 • edited

While I did not have such a poor experience with certifications as @[deleted] I think most of here are in agreement that pursuing certifications will probably not really help your particular situation.

Certification tests get into some very specific information, sometimes talk about edge cases, and are expensive.

If it's an issue of what your company will pay for (and they really SHOULD pay for your training since they laid off the previous Jira admin), you should ask them to pay for TRAINING.

Atlassian offers these courses:

Ignore the word Team. These can be taken individually. 

Here's a good one to start with:

And for a second course, this is probably pretty good (and if you wanted to try taking a certification test, it's a pretty cheap way to get one):

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Hey @Barbara Johnson !

I second @[deleted]question, on which certification you are looking into.

The path I took a few years ago, was starting with the Project Admin (ACP-600 by that time), and then the Jira Admin one.

Also, community is here to help you.

Wish you the best of luck!

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It'd be good to start by poking around the admin side of things and see what the configurations were setup. In parallel do the trainings on Atlassian University, don't worry too much about the certification as yet as then you'd be looking into a lot on rarely used features and perfecting them to pass the exam. 
Use the community, make use of sandbox, it's a simple tool to understand if you are using it for issue tracking and know the terms and concepts. 
Since it's not a net new configuration to be setup, you don't need to worry about the configurations, APIs etc, but concentrate on the operational side of things to keep it working for the teams and then build upon the knowledge! Also, it's recommended to appear for the certification once you have a few years of admin experience, not when you are taking it new for the first time.

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Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Jun 15, 2023

Hello @Barbara Johnson 

Welcome to the Atlassian community!

I am sorry to hear that your company laid off your Jira Admin. It is unfortunate that a person's value to a company may not be realized until after they are gone.

Has the company assigned the administration responsibilities to you alone, or do you have others to help you?

What is your level of experience with Jira so far? And are you working with Jira Cloud or Jira self-hosted? If your Jira URL is something like the following then it is Jira Cloud.


With regard to certifications, I would say that the certifications themselves are less important than getting comfortable with the application. Personally I found the training courses available at Atlassian University to be informative, but I did take them after many years of hands on experience (without formal training). You can also learn a lot from YouTube videos, and another training resource is Udemy.

And if possible set up your own Jira environment for getting hands on experience while you're going through training courses. Find out if your company has a replica/test environment for Jira that you can access for testing our what you learn and for testing any changes that need to be made to the production environment.

The community is here to help. Don't hesitate to lean on us!

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Darryl Lee
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Jun 15, 2023

Welcome @Barbara Johnson

Just to echo what others are saying here, almost everything I learned about Jira, I learned on the job. Their documentation is... pretty good. And they have this really supportive Community of users now. (Actually there was always a supportive Community but with the forums it's a lot easier to connect with them.)

Your background in software tester with some coding experience should be plenty of experience, and you really do not need to know a lot of languages to administer Jira.

I never considered getting a certification until it was required to work for an Atlassian Partner. For me the tests were... fine. But I'd already been doing Jira admin for over 15 years, so it didn't seem too tricky. (Sorry to hear about your experience, @[deleted] - that does not sound very fun, and hopefully someone from Atlassian can take your feedback under consideration.)


As others have mentioned, it will be more beneficial to take actual admin training rather than any kind of preparation that is geared towards passing the certification test. (I'd compare it to actually learning a subject by practicing it, vs taking an SAT Prep Course.)


If you are on Cloud (and with 6000 users I hope you are at least on Premium), you should absolutely check out the Sandbox for your instance.

But even if you are on Server/Data Center, it is worthwhile spinning up your very own personal free instance of Jira Cloud. While Cloud has a lot of differences from the on-prem version, there is also much that is the same, especially conceptually, when talking about Workflows, Workflow Schemes, Issue Schemes, Screen Schemes... oh my.

With your own Cloud instance you can feel free to "play around" without any fear of losing anything important. And if you need to test a feature that only exists on Premium - it's painless to "upgrade" to a free trial of that for a week or two and then "downgrade" back down to free. You can even try out various apps (add-ons) in Cloud, although again, many of these are different from their on-prem counterparts, if they exist at all.


If you have Server/Data Center, I would try to find out who is going to help you on the infrastructure side of things. Is there an IT Team that is responsible for backing up the system? Who takes care of the database? HOPEFULLY those people have not been laid-off.

You need to make good friends with these people. Because part of running Jira is making sure the underlying system is healthy.

ADDITIONALLY, if your Jira instance is running in a virtualized environment (VMware, AWS EC2), then you'll have the opportunity of asking those IT folks if they can help you spin up a Development instance of Jira, if there isn't one already. And ideally they can also help do things like take a snapshot of the Production database and deploy it in a Dev environment so that you can point your Development Jira at it.

Similar to a Cloud Sandbox instance, this will be where you can test, learn how Jira actually works, try new add-ons, etc etc.

But you're going to probably want some help setting it up.

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Removing comment due to fraudulent persons responding with inaccurate data. 

Darryl Lee
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Jun 16, 2023

@[deleted] - I'm sorry if you think I am working from a script (or some automation?). I absolutely write every post of mine off the top of my head.

My point of tagging you was to acknowledge that you had a bad experience with certifications. I personally am not big on any form of certification, as I don't feel like it really accurately measures how much on-the-job experience somebody has with a particular tool.

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Monique vdB
Community Manager
Community Managers are Atlassian Team members who specifically run and moderate Atlassian communities. Feel free to say hello!
Jun 16, 2023

@[deleted] there is no reason for you to think Darryl is scripting his responses especially since his note to you was both empathetic and personal. Please note our rules of engagement, "Constructive criticism and feedback about Atlassian products is okay. Criticism about fellow community members is never okay."  

On the plus side: You really dont need to know much about coding (really you can get away with nothing) to Administer JIRA - IF your instance hasnt been overdeveloped with random scripts AND you have a resource on hand to help. 

Our company is similar in that they do not pay for Atlassian Certifications. As the PM on the launch project, I learned most of what I know from online manuals and the Atlassian Community. This resource is INVALUABLE for figuring out issues and making improvements/ filling requirements. I ended up becoming the involuntary admin for the whole thing. (JIRA, Tempo, Confluence on Server)

If you are able and dont already have this, establish a Community of Practice in your org. This way you dont have to handle every little thing and at the same time you can educate your peers on best practices. You may even be able to take a PTO day here and there. 

On the minus side - depending on what your config looks like, your company may soon realize their error in letting your admin go. While it is/can be 100% config with no code, it doesnt mean it isnt complex. 


If I were in your shoes, here is what Id do (hindsight from my own experience):  First: RTFM (if you dont know what that means, you are probably younger than me, lol.) Essentially -read the user guide as you walk thru the Admin screens in your instance. Hopefully you have a DEV/Test instance where you can experiment. 

If you make any changes to config - WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU DID. I cant stress this enough. Making changes to workflows and issue type/workflow and screen schemes is tricky and you will likely forget how you got there. 

As you go thru the user guide, get to know your back end as if it was your best friend. Document your settings and write up a matrix of what each one means and why it is set up that way. You need to understand the impact of each change you make. You will make mistakes, and you will learn from them. 

As a simple example, after 7 years of administering JIRA, I wanted to clean up some areas of neglect. We had a large handful of statuses that were no longer in use and NOT associated with any workflows. 

I deleted ONE single unused status, and received immediate emails that people's filters were not working. They had these old statuses in their JQL queries and the filters that drove some client dashboards threw errors. Ugh. So come on people, clean up your stuff. I had to re-create a status for NO REASON - Temporarily of course - until I wrote a blog article on how important its is to keep JQL filters relevant. Then gave them a month to clean them all up before we deleted EVERY unused status. 

This "Tech debt" of clutter was there because people were afraid to delete anything. Once you learn how it all works together, you dont need to be afraid, but you do need to educate users. 

Hope some of this helps! 

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