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  • Jimi Wikman
    Jimi Wikman

    SPACE from JetBrains - The integrated team environment

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    During KotlinConf in December 2019 Jetbrains made a special announcement where they presented SPACE. This is Jetbrain's new collaborative tool that they refer to as a integrated team environment. In short this is a developer focused collaboration space that combines the power of tools such as GitHub, Slack, Azure DevOps, Confluence, Trello, and Outlook Calendar.

    On paper this looks very impressive with a massive tool set. Once you start playing around with it it is even more impressive, even if there are some things that in the current release are a bit annoying. The perhaps most annoying part is that SPACE do not yet have a distraction free mode for the chat. Despite that it has pretty much everything you as a developer can need.

    You have your documentation spaces, your issue tracker, chat, Git manager, code reviews and deployment tools. You even have integrations to the IDE if you are using IntelliJ and a ton of other stuff that really make this an amazing package for developers. SPACE is still very new and there are a lot of things being developed that will make this package even more impressive soon.

    If we look at the areas where SPACE seem to be lacking at the moment I have seen some negative comments regarding it's UI and UX. Personally I do not think it's to bad and having worked with developers for a long time I know that they are usually not that concerned about esthetics as long as it make their life easier. It can use some love for sure, but that is not my main concern to be honest.

    This is very much a developers setup and as such it lack the business side of things. While documents is planned and while there is a checklist feature that will not take care of business planning or requirement management. SPACE would either need to have integrations for these kind of tools, or Jetbrains need to build them. I also would like to see some form of design system tied into this so they can have this as a complete tool set.

    I love the first iteration of SPACE and I think a lot of developers will want to use it. The lack of support for business processes however probably will limit the number of companies that will embrace SPACE at the moment. It will probably be a year or two before we will see it in the bigger organizations and until then I think it will put some pressure on other tools to step up their game.

     


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