Jira from Atlassian Sucks

Jira, the project management and bug tracking software from Atlassian SUCKS BIG TIME. It sucks so much that I had to log into my website and write this rant even though I have a thousand other more pressing things to do. Jira and it’s lack of brilliance is the most irritating piece of software I have had the misfortune of experiencing and almost not using at all since Windows 98.

I just received another pre-alpha release of my app from my developer and as you would expect from such an early-stage release it was buggy. When something is buggy you write down the bugs so they can be fixed. And this is what Jira fails so hard at doing. By the time I logged into their slow sluggish hosted solution and clicked my way through their grotesque old-world menu system and finally found that little miniscule button for reporting a bug – I had already forgotten what it was. Safe to say I resorted to the most logical thing to do at that point – I opened a Google Docs text editor and added all the bugs as bullet points with the app version number as the title (even better, I shared that doc with my developer so he gets instant updates whenever I add something. Even better again, I can add bugs from anywhere now including my phone with the Google Drive App). And that is where all my bugs will go from now on.

This is the first time I am put in front of what the industry apparently thinks is a great, useful, brilliant and overall easy-to-use “behind-the-scenes” software and boy are they wrong. If this is as good as it gets my next piece of software will be a project management and bug-tracking app that makes Jira look like the crippled mouth-breathing relic that it is.

If Jira was free this rant wouldn’t be fair. But Jira is a subscription-based $10/month extortion where you pony up the cash because you are one of the unfortunate souls that have invested in all-things 90’s such as subversion.

Enterprise software is a funny world because things like Jira and Bugzilla can exist. But that’s also a huge opportunity. Let me give you a hint: mobile software development is still a huge booming gold rush in its infancy. It is expected to be worth $25 billion dollars in 2015. More entrepreneurs than ever before will enter this booming market with limited coding ability and they will need something other than Jira. If you can create a project management and bug tracking software that is tailored for mobile app development, resides in the cloud, is accessible from anything with a screen and an internet connection, is just as easy and straight forward to use as Gmail and its related services, costs $5.99 a month and let’s a cross-functional team spend more time fixing bugs than documenting them, you might have a winner. Please put me in the credits if you do.

Update

Use Trello. It has all the features I listed above, it is free, it works on any device, it is hosted in the cloud and it is very easy to use for a smaller team.

34 thoughts on “Jira from Atlassian Sucks”

  1. Couldn’t agree more JIRA is a pile of S. Permission schemes and bizarre rules and constraints. I work at a tech company and deal with code all day long, and we can’t figure this crap out. Not surprisingly I stumbled on this blog while trouble shooting more JIRA issues, “My project doesn’t show up” “Users can’t see a project their assigned to” “Can’t delete users, because they have assigned issues, CHRIST ALMIGHTY !

    1. We abandoned ship and moved over to Trello. We don’t have a huge team to manage but it’s still a relief compared to Jira. i heard it got updated a while after I posted the above rant, have you seen any improvements?

  2. Totally agree. JIRA is the biggest load of SHITE software, and for those that just want an issue tracker (as a minimum) it is more than frustrating to have to resort to flaming it…but wasting time advertising shit is very annoying.
    It should be avoided.
    I am going to look at Trello and see what it is like.

  3. YES! FUCK jira so hard. For extra laughs, have a look at their public jira (the jira for jira itself) and check out their massive bugs (utter design flaws) that have been open for upwards of ten years. I’m not even kidding. There is one there that I saw from 2002, still unresolved. How this piece of crap got popular recently is beyond belief.

  4. I completely agree that Jira is C**p, and yet many large companies use it. So hard to configure they way you’d like and if something goes wrong the error messages point in some completely different direction. As a Software Engineer (25 years), I just don’t understand how they can stay in business or how they got large companies to buy into it.

  5. We decided to switch to Atlassian Jira for our product management since we already use Atlassian BitBucket for our source code and we figured BitBucket and Jira would integrate well since they are owned by the same company. Boy were we ever mistaken. – Jira could not figure out that a BitBucket account with the same email should be linked to the same Jira account, so we ended up with staff with pre-exisiting BitBucket accounts having multiple Jira accounts. We migrated all our source code repositories to the Jira accounts after a couple of days scratching our heads trying to figure out what was going on. Then we tried to figure out how to use the Jira bug tracker and when you create a ticket in the default view it doesn’t provide any of the basic bug tracker functionality that you expect (no ability to assign to a person, mark as in progress, duplicate, etc.). Eventually I figured out that if you change the view to list view then you will see a drop-down that you can right-click and mark it as in progress, in which case it will automatically assign it to you and from that point you can do all the stuff you would expect to be able to do when you create the ticket, but this is so counter-intuitive that it took me a week to figure out that you could even do it. The integration between Jira and BitBucket only allows 1-to-1 mapping of a BitBucket archive to Jira project so if you have a project split up into multiple BitBucket repositories you’re out of luck putting them under a single project in Jira. Ironically, the BitBucket issue tracker and WIKI that come with BitBucket are much more suited to our needs than Jira so we decided to ditch Jira and just use BitBucket in combination with Trello for managing tasks.

  6. Teambox ! Trello ! Liquid, all far superior solutions to Jira. Slower than a pig in shite, more complex than any human with a PHd requires, and its UI is a disaster. Just looks liek they tried to be everything to everyone, and nothing to anyone. Linking and integration with Jira are a logistical, as well as a tehcnical nightmare given its inability to track things or trigger things as one would expect any other solution to. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY.

  7. Hey Karl,

    I’m working on a simple issue tracking side project, and I was wondering if I could send you a $10 Starbucks gift card in exchange for your thoughts on it (not public on your blog, just via email).

    Let me know. I would really appreciate being able to learn from your experience. 🙂

    1. I work as an IT Consultant on client site and have seen the quality of JIRA and JIRA Agile literally plummet over the last 6 months. We get patches to fix things that cause even bigger stack traces (including in the browser window!) and only help to add to the feeling there is a serious lack of testing happening before releases. Ran countless SQLs against our back-end database, a hack in itself, and I’m afraid we are at the point were even that does not solve the problems.

  8. You think JIRA is a piece of shit? Try using Confluence! After using JIRA, I didn’t think anyone could make a web application any worse, but Atlassian succeeded with Confluence. It would actually be a better value proposition NOT to have documentation than to force your developers to use Confluence or JIRA.

  9. I agree. Total garbage. It’s complexity has spun way out of control, and the interface and logic is pure spaghetti. I can’t imagine what the code actually looks like. Their documentation is always out of date, and their api is messy as hell. I have been working on an oauth integration, and it has been a nightmare. I highly recommend stating away from JIRA and Atlassian in general. Bitbucket is almost as bad.

  10. I’m sick of JIRA as well. But Confluence – I prefer that one from wiki-markup solutions… Well… maybe beacuse we’ve recently started with Confluence and there are not so many pages to search in. What don’t you like Confluence? Any recommended alternatives?

  11. ZOMG! Why me? The management insisted on switching to Jira because that’s what someone else uses. For the love of all that’s good and holy! If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would my management do it?! Bugzilla was superior in every way compared to this annoying POS! Nothing is intuitive! Any time you need to do anything, you need to run the gauntlet of obtuse options that hardly even take you half way there. Editing a custom field? Nope! That was the other “edit field” link playing hide-and-seek two screens away. Want to set a value for your newly created field? You can’t! It’s not shown because no values have been set. Configuring your fields? Nope! That just selects which fields your viewing (not to be confused with viewable fields for your project [not to be confused with your field configuration { not to be confused with items that look like fields but aren’t } ] ) and so on. Don’t even get me started on the workflows!

    Seriously, did half of my brain cells just commit suicide since we got this thing or is it THIS counter-intuitive? Maybe both…

  12. Just to keep this hate train rolling.
    I hate JIRA, CONFLUENCE and everything Atlassian related, why? Because they failed to take one simple consideration into account: the amount of time it takes to load a page. That 5 to 10 (or more!) second delay is the same on even the fastest networks. How come their css for a simple page is 2000 lines? Why is the javascript so tanked it freezes the site? Why use modal popups if you cant even render them properly? But I digress… loading times, and not once, not twice but -every time you try to do anything-. Combine this with impossibly long winded nesting of basic functions, and a boss who expects constant reflection of work on the site (which in itself, is a fair requirement) and you have a recipe for disaster. It takes too long to find what you need to do and it takes too long to do it (assuming it renders properly at all). Finally, one may resort to ‘exporting’ data from the atlassian suite via the API or some of its other features and they will discover a convoluted heap of unclean data dumps that would then need to be scrubbed which -still take ages to load- because their service, design makeup and general output is far too slow to be considered anything productive (which many managers will not understand given it’s ‘amazing’ track record in the media, which is typical).
    This scummy pile of filth needs to be disposed of and the despots who created it jailed for crimes against humanity.

  13. Hi,

    potentially you could save my work life 😉
    I’m one of those above mentioned hatred managers working for a big SW service provider and responsible from project mgt. tool side for multi-billion $ projects. But I in my POV Jira is a big POS.

    Since we’re first tier and didn’t find any appropriate tool able to represent a multi-dimensional delivery chain long ago we developed an own tool.

    It runs for 10y properly now but the new upper mgt is a JIRA fan, hence I now desperately look for arguments against our common enemy – JIRA.

    Where are the deviants of J. to any process needs (CMMI/SPICE) or is it able to represent simple basics like master-slave relations ( cloning an issue type bug into another project of a 3rd party while the first issue is blocked (slave) until the cloned one is fixed and automatically released and the fix correctly adressed? In addition I never understood the so called permission schemes which seem to be just another word for incompetence

    is it really able to cope with mass data (in our products we expect about 300,000 bug tickets during 2y development, traces > 50 TB, users >10,000, permanent replication with other bug tracking tools like QC (even worse than J.)…

    Can anyone give me arguments against J.?

    a big thanks in advance from me [and humanity:-) ]

  14. What’s funny is that the many-years-old Jira that my company uses is so very superior to the current versions. Our system is actually quite snappy, despite having a decade of data in it and running on a fairly old server and while the UI is a bit ugly it is mostly fairly simple and actually works. The button to create a new bug is right there at the top of the page. It still has that baroquenss to its permissioning schemes and whatnot, but once you figure that stuff out it’s actually kind of powerful. And maybe the old UI didn’t make it as hard to figure out.

    Best I can tell Atlassian doesn’t ever fix their underlying design or backend code, and have been in that mode for many years. They just continue to complicate the UI and glom more crap onto it and make it worse and worse. I’d guess this is a software company that has been taken over by the marketing side of things and let engineering go to shit.

    Don’t even get me started on Confluence.

    The Jira version we run is 3.13.2. released Dec 2008.

  15. Coulden’t agree more. I cannot understand how Jira got popular. On top of that some of their people are to be giving talks at conferences… Just shows how screwed up this world really is. It has to be the most User unfriendly piece of sh!t I have ever worked with…

  16. Another frustrated Confluence user. Jira is obtuse enough but Confluence, utterly a time and resource waster. Does not integrate with jira, cant share images etc. (the hosted version). I can’t believe I’m stating this publicly, it’s so bad I want to flee back to the .NET stack and TFS. Anything that makes the Redmond trash look intuitive and easy to use, well that says it all. Unstructured spaghetti wikis, useless search, features hidden in a manner that would make Kafka gasp.

  17. Our manager is in love with JIRA and we all find it to be unusable garbage, our project managers don’t like it – nobody likes it except the manager and his buddies who latch on to anything new whether it sucks or not. It’s clunky and obtuse and the interface sucks.

    We’ve used many such systems over the years and none of them ever really fit the way we do things or are ever fully liked. As a developer, it’s always scewy to me that rather than CREATE a system for ourselves that works for us that we continue to pay for products that don’t work for us, but I don’t make the decisions.

    We have Confluence too. Basically our current management latch on to anything that’s new and hot even though tech history repeatedly shows that the latest thing is often not the best thing and is often the thing that’s abandoned in short order after a lot of hype.

  18. The new company I’m with uses Jira and Confluence and me being on this blog should say it all. I HATE JIRA! Confluence has been ok for me so far. Nothing to write home about, but decent enough. I am in Product Management and this is the worst tool for Agile product development that I’ve ever used…my past two companies used Rally and TFS (btw, I love Rally). How can a Agile software not display a tree is beyond me. I shouldn’t need a plugin for it, which by the way doesn’t work for the cloud hosted version, which is what my company has. It’s my understanding that they don’t understand Agile…user story followed by tasks to complete the user story in the Sprint. Why are my tasks floating around by themselves rather than displaying by sight that they are attached to my user story?! Not sure if this hashtag would work, but #Jirasucksbigtime

  19. I too made this mistake to install Atlassian S H I T on my server. First even if servers don’t do completely nothing (and I mean nothing) they used 800MB per server. Then when you finally install this crap and you start using it, you see a total mess and confusing webpages (ok Stash was partially tolerable, but from my previous usage of GitBlit it was still a huge memory eating monster which made your backup a nighmare). So after 6 months of usage, I’ve removed everything Atlassian… it’s simply not worth it even if they would give it for free… it’s crap.

  20. I don’t get it, it’s like UX has significantly degraded over the past 20 years. Windows 3.1 was far easier to reason about than the vast majority of web applications on the scene in this day and age. I felt like I needed a master’s degree to understand 3D Studio Max, but I feel like I need multiple Ph.D’s to understand Jira, GitHub Enterprise or even bloody Evernote. Is there some obsession with “cool” UX components that I missed the boat on? Because I feel that for the vast majority of web applications, “coolness” is prioritized over dumb things like, oh I dunno, CONSISTENCY, VISUAL CUES, BALANCED LAYOUT. I’m not even a UX engineer and even I know something has gone horribly wrong in this industry with respect to UX over the past decade. Everytime I want to do something other than post an update on Facebook I have to spend 2 hours figuring-out how to do it. No wait, I have to spend at least half an hour even figuring out how to post updates because they keep changing the UI and moving things around.

    Make no mistake, the modern web has regressed significantly. I could get more done with a combination of DOS, QuickBasic and WordPerfect than the plethora of confusing, non-intuitive, inconsistent, careless junk we have to put-up with today.

  21. I’m both shocked and dismayed that a software platform like JIRA could be released in this day and age. Even as freeware it would suck. Impossible to navigate. Many, many unnecessary mouse clicks. Hidden buttons. Non-descript buttons. The irony is leadership seems to love it. The bigger irony? I was told by these same leaders NOT to use JIRA to track bugs because that function has been so totally incapacitated and unusable. Wasn’t that the original intent of JIRA? to track bugs? So I’m told that we MUST use JIRA even though its primary function is non-functional.

  22. Jira f****ing sucks, it’s such a crappy software, ive written over 1000 lines of code utilizing their rest api to make it function the way we want to, even a basic thing as export of issues is a pile of ****

  23. We use JIRA at work and it is beyond me why this POS company still exists. JIRA is the most horrible software I have ever used. It’s ridiculous trying to figure out how to do the most simplest of things such as deleting ticket or moving a ticket to another project. The documentation for it is horrendous as well.

  24. YES omg. it sucks so much I just had to enter “JIRA SUCKS” on google and see what came out. What a giant piece of shit.

  25. Jira does indeed suck. Why people think its a test management system when its clearly not is just beyond me. Traceability? who needs it. Tests? nah, lets not bother.

  26. I could not agree more. We have been “trying” to make a good system out of Atlassian’s sh$% products since 2014. We now gave up. This so called software is really a cluster-phuk of endless sloppy pieces of code written by half the world’s bad newbie programmers, and clued together with horse sh$%. WHY is atlassian in business, I dont get, the two punk ass hoodie wearing smart ass Aussies are jokes. I remember one month where we sat around trying to create a confluence screen for our clients. The end result using their tools looked that crap. We had to create a portal using just HTML and it only took one week, and looks very nice.

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