After Atlassian's recent acquisition of HipChat, the hosted private group chat service, we have been using it internally and I wanted to share a few top tips to help you get the most out of it.
Any self-respecting team chat service with a strong developer user base will know about the keyboard-love which developers have. HipChat includes several Keyboard shortcuts in its desktop and web apps, such as:
… and if that's not enough for you, there are more shortcuts to learn.
Another favourite for developers who haven't quite gotten over their love of IRC is Slash Commands. You can use '/<command> <argument>' to achieve a bunch of different actions, such as:
- /join <room name> - Join a room.
- /away <message> -Set your status to away.
- /part - Leave the current room.
- /topic <message> - Set the topic for the current room
There are more of these too.
Handy for when discussing site re-designs or new features is HipChat's auto-embedding of in-line colour previews when you mention hex colour codes like #FFFF00. Try it.
HipChat also has a lot of Emoticons and not just your average smiley faces either. My faves are: (allthethings) , (yuno) and being British (tea) gets used more than is healthy. Oh and of course, (atlassian) .
You can stay up to date with them all at http://hipchat-emoticons.heroku.com/?order=recent. There's a whole bunch and they're adding new ones all of the time. What's more, they can add a sense of gravitas and drama to your chat. And with that...