Arguments Over Software

28 May 2015

Religious arguments over software are commonplace in most technology companies, and OnePageCRM is no different. The team here have previously disagreed about choice of revision control software (git ftw!) and there’s daily slagging about Linux distributions and choice of text editor (vim vs Sublime vs RubyMine).

The latest debate is over company communication tools - specifically Slack vs HipChat.

I recently took a few weeks off. Before I left the development team were mainly using Google Hangouts for tech discussions, social planning and the odd /ponystream session.

While I was away, some of my team moved to different locations and are now working remotely. This meant we needed to improve our internal communication, and different people trialled two options - Slack and HipChat.

Both are great tools and come with some advantages over Hangouts. We really like the /standup feature in HipChat and the ability to share code snippets in Slack.

Both have our favorite feature - the ability to add funny gifs to conversations.

Linux Support

One important consideration for our Lead Developer was the availability of a Linux client - HipChat have an official one while Slack users rely on an unofficial open source project that wraps the web application. This doesn’t bother me - I actually prefer the web interface of both products.

At the moment, it looks like HipChat is winning the argument as all of the developers have come on board. Interestingly, other departments don’t seem as interested. The product managers and support teams are still communicating mainly by email and through our issue tracker, and our CEO is a big Slack fan.

This argument reminds me of a similar argument about our own application recently. About one year ago, we introduced two different layouts for OnePageCRM - ‘Sales’ mode and ‘Qualification’ mode.

The customer success team were comfortable using Qualification mode and were really resistant to change. About six months ago, a request came from the CEO - to use the new mode exclusively for two weeks, and after that decide which layout they prefer. They never changed back and now all love the new Sales mode.

I don’t know how this particular argument will end but I have a feeling we will be getting a similar request from the CEO soon - use Slack for all internal communication for two weeks and then review.

Although I’m more of a Slack fan, I don’t really mind what the team ends up using - the process of testing and evaluating other products is valuable in itself. It forces the team to evaluate options and helps the developers and designers stay up to date with current trends in software usability.

If there’s anyone out there having a similar internal argument over adopting OnePageCRM vs another CRM system, please get in touch with our support or development team! We would love to hear your story and help you make an informed decision.

Post in our developer forum to talk directly with the development team or contact the customer success team on support@onepagecrm.com.

author image

Peter Armstrong

Peter is a software engineer at OnePageCRM. http://peterarmstrong.ie