Tools We Use
This aims to give an overview of the tools we use and the way we use them to build software in the Legal Innovation Lab Wales. It describes a current state, things are likely to change over time and we’ll try to keep this up to date as things evolve.
MS Teams is our primary communication platform. We use it in a couple of different ways. There are two main “Teams”; “Law - Legal Innovation Lab Wales” which is public within the Swansea.ac.uk domain and “LILW - Project Team” which is private to the Legal Innovation Lab Team.
The main communication in teams happens in chats. These are informal conversations about a range of topics with specific people or groups of people. We have a Dev Team chat and a Legal Tech chat which are used most frequently.
Channels are a more structured way of having conversations around a specific topic. The nature of channels is more persistent and asynchronous. We should use channels for discussions around specific topics which aren’t necessarily related to a task in Jira.
We currently use MS planner for tracking all the project ideas which come to us. Every idea which we discuss should get added to the “Initial Ideas” column and then progress through the chart as the project progresses.
This is public within the Swansea.ac.uk domain so anyone can see what we are working on.
The cards link to further documents in OneDrive / Sharepoint which provide further detail on the project.
Planner doesn’t feel like the best tool for this but its the best we have at the moment - if anyone has any suggestions then please share!
Jira is our main software development project management tool. This is where the day-to-day of our dev team happens. We have several boards where individual cards correspond to individual tasks. These cards are often referred to interchangeably as tasks, issues or tickets.
The main Dev Team board is for general tasks which don’t relate to any specific project, or relate to projects which are not mature enough to warrant their own board. We also have separate boards for other ongoing projects, currently the Scenario Platform and the Include Journey.
On these project specific boards, each issue card should relate to one specific feature, bug or task. This normally equates to one Pull Request on GitHub.
Jira is also where we have discussions related to specific tasks. Comments can guide the conversation while the description can be updated collaboratively with improvements from the comments.
We use GitHub for version control, code repositories and peer reviews of our code.
For more information on how we use GitHub, Jira, and build features see “How to Build a Feature”