Fantastic Flowcharts and Where to Find Them

Posted on by Lauren McNeely

Flowchart Fridays

Anyone who claims flowcharts are boring obviously hasn’t met our creative director and his team. Hopefully by now you’ve seen some non-traditional flowcharts floating around, and hopefully you’ve taken the time to check out at least a few of them. After all, these flowcharts are part of an award-winning marketing campaign—but more about that later.

Here at Lucid, we’re passionate about flowcharts. Unfortunately, not many share our sentiment on that particular subject. This lack of enthusiasm is a problem we desperately wanted to remedy—because we believe there truly is a flowchart for everyone. However, we realized that even if we talked about diagrams until the cows come home, in order to truly convince people of the untapped potential of a flowchart, we needed to think visually.

And thus the Flowchart Fridays campaign was born. To prove that flowcharts can speak any language and that anything can be transferred to a visual medium, we decided to take everyday pop culture topics and build flowcharts around them. Our creative team (along with subject-specific experts across the company) crafts engaging copy peppered with a dose of snarkiness, and then we design beautiful flowcharts matching the overall theme. We play on currently trending topics to engage a large demographic and prompt conversation—anything from new movie releases to the latest sports hype to juicy election drama. Each week we roll out a new creative flowchart—and none of them have absolutely anything to do with AWS architecture or network diagrams.

We’ve done it all—everything from speculating who Rey’s parents are in honor of May the Fourth, to discovering which Golden State Warrior you would be before the NBA finals, to discussing whether to buy the iPhone 7 directly after the Apple keynote. We help people determine which wizarding profession they should choose, which Toy Story character they would be, and who Trump and Hillary should pick as their VPs. Our most popular flowchart lets you craft a winning Fantasy Football league.

What started out as a fun pet project for our art director has essentially exploded. Collectively, the flowcharts have garnered 1.5 million page views with over 5,000 social shares. Support for the project has consistently grown, with a mere 5,000 views on our first flowchart climbing to 200,000 on our most popular one. Our flowcharts have been picked up by outlets such as The Huffington Post, Gizmodo, Screen Rant, and CNET.

Recently, our flowcharts have been honored with a number of local and national awards. Last month, Flowchart Fridays was awarded best content marketing campaign by the Utah Marketing Association. In January, the campaign will be recognized again as the best content marketing campaign in the state by Utah Business Magazine.

Just released today, Lucid Software is featured on the Kapost 50, a list honoring the best B2B marketing brands of 2016, for this campaign. Kapost evaluates hundreds of B2B brands before coming up with a list of top-notch marketing teams who integrate strategies, create full-funnel content, and value quality over quantity. This year’s list includes companies such as American Express, FedEx, and Allstate.

Now how can you call a flowchart boring after that? You can explore our Flowchart Fridays campaign in all its glory here. Even better, try making your own

We’ve got some pretty fantastic flowcharts in the works as we speak, so stay tunedwe’ll change the way you see diagramming, one flowchart at a time…

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The 5 Most Popular Sessions at AWS re:Invent 2016

Posted on by Lauren McNeely

AWS re:Invent

AWS delivered once again at its annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas last week. Gartner estimates that the company’s market share is 10 times bigger than its 14 closest competitors combined—a fact that likely wouldn’t shock the 30,000 attendees who watched (occasionally with jaws dropping) as AWS revealed one new service after another at AWS re:Invent 2016.

With a plethora of keynotes, breakout sessions, and bootcamps to choose from, plus after-hours events ranging from a 5K to a buffalo wings marathon to an epic after-party, it was sometimes hard to keep up on all the action. Back at the office today, you’re likely still sleep deprived and attempting to digest all the info floating around in your brain so you can deliver a coherent presentation to your team.

We understand — which is why we’ve compiled the five most popular sessions from AWS re:Invent to help you recall some of those key takeaways.

#1: AWS re:Invent 2016 Keynote: Andy Jassy

Watch Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, deliver the latest news and announcements from AWS re:Invent 2016, including the launch of AWS products Amazon Athena, Amazon LEX, Elastic GPUs for Amazon EC2, AWS Greengrass, Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL compatibility, Amazon Lightsail, Amazon Polly, Amazon Rekognition, AWS Snowball Edge, AWS Snowmobile, and four new instance types.

#2: AWS re:Invent 2016 Keynote: Werner Vogels

Watch Amazon.com CTO Dr. Werner Vogels discuss the latest trends in cloud computing at AWS re:Invent 2016, including the launch of AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate, Amazon EC2 Systems Manager, AWS CodeBuild, AWS X-Ray, AWS Personal Health Dashboard, AWS Shield, Amazon Pinpoint, AWS Glue, AWS Batch, AWS Step Functions, Lambda@Edge, Blox, and more.

#3: AWS re:Invent 2016: Encryption: It Was the Best of Controls, It Was the Worst of Controls

AWS wants to encrypt data. And our customers, including Amazon, want to encrypt data. In this talk, we look at some of the challenges with using encryption, how AWS thinks internally about encryption, and how that thinking has informed the services we have built, the features we have vended, and our own usage of AWS.

#4: AWS re:Invent 2016: Developing Serverless C# Applications

Just as serverless application development is rapidly becoming the most popular way to bring highly scalable applications to the cloud, .NET has undergone radical changes with .NET Core to become a premier development platform for the cloud. In this session, you will learn how to use the newly launched C# support for .NET Core with AWS Lambda to create highly scalable serverless applications that target platforms from the traditional desktop to mobile devices.

#5: AWS re:Invent 2016: VMware and AWS Together – VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware CloudTM on AWS brings VMware’s enterprise class Software-Defined Data Center software to Amazon’s public cloud, delivered as an on-demand, elastically scalable, cloud-based VMware sold, operated and supported service for any application and optimized for next-generation, elastic, bare metal AWS infrastructure. This session will introduce this exciting new service and examine some of the use cases and benefits of the service. The session will also include a VMware Tech Preview that demonstrates standing up a complete SDDC cluster on AWS and various operations using standard tools like vCenter.

So there you have it—your AWS re:Invent crash course. If you’re ready to start diagramming your AWS infrastructure, try using Lucidchart. Our robust shape libraries and AWS import tool can simplify your diagramming experience. Learn more here.

We enjoyed meeting so many of you and hope your week was one for the books—see you next year!

AWS Team

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10 Sessions Not To Miss at AWS re:Invent

Posted on by Emily Christensen

AWS re:Invent is just around the corner! As you start thinking about your travel plans and packing lists, make sure to take some time to optimize your conference schedule. Although the conference is sold out, this year, by popular request, you can reserve a seat for breakout sessions, ensuring that you’ll make it to all of your favorite presentations. Here are 10 that we think you won’t want to miss!

1. STG207- Case Study: How Atlassian Uses Amazon EFS with JIRA to Cut Costs and Accelerate Performance

Presented by Darryl Osborne of AWS and Brad Bressler and Neal Riley of Atlassian, learn how and why Atlassian uses EFS to support their own product, JIRA Data Center. Gain insights and recommendations from their expert experience that you can use as you decide which AWS services to implement at your workplace.

2. ENT401- Unlocking the Four Seasons of Migrations and Operations: Enterprise Grade, Cloud Assured with Infosys and AWS

This session is a must-see for IT professionals using AWS. Abhijit Shroff of Infosys will share how Infosys can help clients develop infrastructure solutions that result in increased value for businesses.

3. BAP305- Zero to Google Chrome in 60 Minutes: Lightweight and Inexpensive Client Devices for Amazon WorkSpaces

Are you spending too much effort managing physical devices? Visit this session to explore how Amazon WorkSpaces can combine with lightweight hardware solutions to make your life easier and your business more productive. This session will include live product demonstrations and the expertise of Rajen Sheth, Senior Director of Product Management of Google, along with Ziad Lammam, Forrest Smith and Steve Mueller of Teradici, Neverware and AWS.

4. DEV2014- How A Federal Agency Transformed Work and Adopted DevOps with GitHub

A team-up between AWS Competency Partners, Accenture and GitHub, this session will demonstrate how one agency’s transition to AWS and GitHub increased work quality, efficiency, and velocity. Matthew McCullough, Director of Field Services at GitHub, and Natalie Bradley, Senior Technical Program Manager at Accenture, will present.

5. PTS305- RWE Platform for Next Generation Data Analysis and Research Collaboration, Powered by AWS and Deloitte

Seb Burnett, Director at Deloitte and data analyst extraordinaire, shares his insights about leveraging AWS to optimize data processing. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to improve research at your workplace.

6. ARC204- From Resilience to Ubiquity- #NetflixEverywhere Global Architecture

Far from Netflix and chill, this presentation will have you on the edge of your seat as you experience the journey of expanding online infrastructure to support a global enterprise. Coburn Watson, Director of Performance and Reliability at Netflix, will pass along the secrets you need to expand your business internationally.

7. SAC309- You Can’t Protect What You Can’t See: AWS Security Monitoring & Compliance Validation from Adobe

Scott Pack of Adobe and Randy Young of Splunk will present a deep dive into solutions for ensuring security and compliance across a global enterprise. Learn about AWS native monitoring and security services as well as Splunk technologies.

8. CON302- Development Workflow with Docker and Amazon ECS

In conjunction with AWS Manager of Solutions Architecture, Danielle Greshock, our friends Tim Secor and Jon Todd at Okta share secrets of using Docker containers to develop, test, and produce systems in a consistent environment. You’ll discover how Okta runs an impressive number of tests per commit and releases massive amounts of code each week while relying entirely on AWS services.

9. PTS205- VMware Cloud on AWS

Presented by Marc Umeno, this session will get you in the know about a new service delivered by VMware and AWS. It runs on “next-generation, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure with seamless integration with AWS services.”

1o. Keynote addresses presented by Andy Jassy and Werner Vogels

Last, but certainly not least, make sure to attend the re:Invent keynote addresses by Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS, and Werner Vogels, CTO and Vice President of Amazon.com.

Remember that even though AWS re:Invent is sold out, there will be a live stream of both keynote addresses. You can sign up for the live stream on the AWS re:Invent conference website.  


We hope you enjoy the conference! Be sure to stop by booth #900 at re:Invent CENTRAL to snatch a free Lucidchart t-shirt and take a selfie with our team. We’ll see you there!

 

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The Before & After: Product Planning with Lucidchart

Posted on by Lauren McNeely

 

DocuSign and Lucidchart

We geek out when we hear about ways our customers use Lucidchart to make work better. While we have a pretty good idea of how our product is used, hearing it straight from the mouths of our customers is a million times better. Every story is gold.

And we figure hearing about Lucidchart use cases in the real world is probably helpful for you as well. So we’re going to spread the love. Maybe you’ll be inspired with a new use case for Lucidchart on your team. Perhaps you’ll have a lightbulb moment and realize how you can easily improve a current process at your company. Or you might just get to enjoy a good story.

Recently, we got to chat with our friends at DocuSign about how they are using Lucidchart. If you’re involved in any sort of increment product planning, you’ll hopefully be inspired by their story.

The Before

DocuSign started using a Scaled Agile Framework in an effort to increase visibility, collaboration, and efficiency across geographically dispersed teams. As they did so, the team came to rely on quarterly product planning.

Each quarter, the product development team at DocuSign pulled out a massive product development board, Post-its, and string. The board was transformed into a checkerboard with horizontal swimlanes designating the different teams and vertical swimlanes designating the different sprints. Team members decorated the board with Post-its recording different stories, epics, or pieces of work. String linked dependencies.

DocuSign product planning

While an impressive work of art, this giant board didn’t serve well as a visual and collaborative method beyond the room in which it was kept. Only a select group of leadership crammed in a hot and stuffy room reaped its benefits.

“We would be in there all day, overwhelmed by this giant poster chart and simply trying to keep everyone sane until the end of the day,” recalls Kunal Arora, Senior Program Manager at DocuSign.

Clearly, something needed to change.

The After

So team manager Jen Zagofsky started looking for a solution. After an extensive and initially fruitless search, she came upon Lucidchart. It didn’t take long for her to realize she had found her answer. In the cloud, Lucidchart is accessible to everyone, and its ease of use ensured anyone on her team could jump in and start using the product.

“That’s what makes Lucidchart great,” Jen explains. “It’s real-time, and it’s in the cloud. Three teams can be updating it at once.”

Jen and her team took Lucidchart to their quarterly planning and completely revolutionized the process. Each planning session, Jen creates a Lucidchart document mimicking the physical board, using swimlanes to organize the teams and sprint dates. She gives her team editing access, and for two days, team members brainstorm their projects for the quarter and then add their deliverables to the document. At the end of each day, there is a team-wide check-in to walk through the Lucidchart diagram. Regardless of physical location, everyone can jump on the document and edit or add comments in real time. There’s no need for emailing different versions back and forth.

DocuSign Lucidchart diagram

“Lucidchart allows teams to more accurately and efficiently reflect what their commitments are each sprint. The tool helps us make adjustments to those commitments on the fly, as we have the flexibility to revise as needed. Lucidchart is working wonders for us,” Kunal said of the new process.

Today Lucidchart is an absolute requirement for DocuSign’s quarterly planning. It has allowed for a more interactive and collaborative experience and has allowed all employees to be involved without having to travel to a central location.

“Making the change from the paper model to Lucidchart has made us more efficient. It allows us to communicate and convey information to teams across the globe interested in learning about what we’re working on next quarter,” Kunal states. “Before we had to fly in different teams to one location, but now anyone can access the diagram remotely from various locations, update their plan throughout the day, and join the Webex call to walk through the plan.”

Using this new process has resulted in the team significantly improving its quarterly delivery rate. Realizing the potential of this collaborative and visual tool, the product development team has expanded its use beyond just product planning, using it to build workflows, train new hires, and perform quality process control.

Other teams have caught the diagramming bug at DocuSign as well. Requests for licenses keep pouring in, and today the UX, engineering, and sales teams take advantage of Lucidchart for their own projects. Employees have started exploring Lucidchart’s different integrations with Okta, Microsoft, JIRA, and Confluence, allowing them to simply add Lucidchart into all the places they are currently working.

DocuSign saw dramatic improvements to their planning process once they started thinking visually with Lucidchart. What process can Lucidchart help you improve?

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We’ll Be Seeing You at AWS re:Invent 2016—Here’s Why

Posted on by Lauren McNeely

Lucidchart at AWS re:Invent

Whether you’re documenting PCI compliance, trying to understand a current environment, or designing a new system, mapping out your AWS architecture can be crucial, if not absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, doing so can be tricky, time-consuming, and frustrating—if you’re dragging your feet when dealing with your AWS infrastructure, you’re not alone.

We know because our own engineers understood this pain all too well. They used to spend two days diagramming PCI compliance, only to have all that work become out of date almost immediately. They decided enough was enough and took matters into their own hands.

The Lucidchart AWS import feature was born. Forget wasting hours and days on one stubborn network diagram. This powerful tool helps you create one within minutes, even if you know absolutely nothing about the current environment.

So how does the magic work? Once you import your AWS architecture, Lucidchart uses AWS APIs to collect metadata from EC2, RDS, S3, Cloudfront, SQS, and more. Using security groups, IAM roles, and other information, the tool can infer relationships between instances.

You’ll have a custom library of all your AWS network components waiting for you in Lucidchart. Just drag and drop shapes onto the canvas and watch them automatically connect. Explore your infrastructure by navigating the connections for each component.  

Just like that, you’ll be able to view details about these connections so you can easily audit network access, and you can view additional metadata about each component in the editor. Once your diagram is put together, you’ve got the full functionality of the Lucidchart editor so you customize it as much as you’d like.

Lucid AWS import

Even if you don’t need to import your own AWS architecture, you should still take advantage of our existing AWS shape libraries and drag-and-drop functionality to easily create network diagrams in no time.

Obviously, we’re pretty big AWS fans—and that’s why we’ve got a week booked in Vegas at the end of this month. Mark your calendars November 28 through December 2 and join us for the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

The Lucid team will be set up and waiting for you at booth #900. We’ll have plenty of swag—because what’s a conference without it—free Lucidchart t-shirts and water bottles, plus a raffle for some awesome prizes. Reserve your free Lucidchart t-shirt here in your selected size. We’ll also be giving attendees access to an extended premium trial of Lucidchart with AWS features so you can get diagramming at absolutely no cost!

But we want to see you for longer than five minutes. Sign up for a 30-minute private meeting with one of us for an exclusive look at our AWS integration. See it in action and learn what Lucidchart can do for you and your organization.

And finally, come party with us! We’ll have a VIP reception Tuesday, November 29th.

Make dealing with your AWS architecture a cinch rather than a chore. We’ll see you in exactly 13 days. But who’s counting?

Lucid AWS Conference

Sign up for Lucidchart today to start exploring our AWS functionality!

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Four Project Management Best Practices That’ll Keep Your Operations Pipeline Running Smoothly

Posted on by Emily Christensen

This is a guest post by Quimby Melton, founder and president of Studio Hyperset.

Introduction

Project management best practices, frameworks, policies, and workflows can help organizations of all sizes operate more efficiently. By establishing ultra-responsive support and operations frameworks, these systems can also help minimize a number of common frustrations associated with professional relationships:

  • tangled email chains
  • endless follow ups
  • unresponsive talent and disengaged leadership
  • strategic confusion and tactical gaps

In addition to serving as a formal check against chaos, project management best practices can also put tremendous downward pressure on development and review cycles, increase speed to market, and streamline the processes of solving complex challenges.

I’d argue, however, that their primary purpose is actually much warmer:

By facilitating high-quality professional relationships and maximizing satisfaction and intended results, systems developed around project management best practices make customers and teammates feel that they’re an organization’s most important assets, which, of course, they are.

Like a critical reader, great project managers focus on creating greater clarity than would otherwise exist. The role’s special genius lies in transforming noise into harmonized order and creating a space in which all kinds of professional gestures can flourish. Challenging works of art without insightful annotations are just jumbles of signs. Likewise, projects without adequate leadership are almost always nightmares of entropy.

Project managers are heroes in the most ancient senses of the word: “defenders,” “protectors,” “watch-keepers,” “brave-ones.” In this role, they prevent problems from happening and solve them when they arise. They’re the essential connection between customers and talent resources and facilitate the building of bridges outward to audiences.

I’ve organized this post and our project management best practices eBook around the following core project management values:

  • balance
  • order
  • clarity
  • gentility
  • grace

Each outlines four “noble truths” of project management as the SH team and I understand them as well as some specific tactics and modular elements that can help keep any operations pipeline running as smoothly as possible.

We’ve gained these insights and built our project management solution stack through trial-and-error, hard work, team discussions, reading and research, personal experience, and a lot of client and teammate patience. We hope taking an “open source” approach to these systems will help teammates, clients, and service vendors build great professional relationships by establishing better communications systems earlier and faster.

Not Too Chatty

We use minimum constructive dialogue to achieve maximum results. We want to be responsive and action-oriented without fatiguing clients with too much dialogue or over-sharing. This is true in the best of times, but it’s most important in the worst.

When a client project becomes ultra-chaotic or ultra-dysfunctional, we generally decrease our outbound, client-facing chatter to a minimum. (Internal, teammate chatter may increase quite a bit, of course.) No matter how chaotic the incoming communications flow becomes, we:

  • use lean, direct language to reassure clients we’re in control of the situation
  • receive all information and organize it behind the scenes
  • quietly and effectively execute whatever can be executed without client involvement
  • document and organize all client-facing questions and issues (which we’ll revisit with the client once the chaos dies down)

In these situations, we strive to become tranquil receptors of information rather than broadcasters of it. Instead of making a dysfunctional situation worse, our goal is to absorb the chaos, control and organize the dialogue, and help successfully resolve the situation so the larger project can proceed.

Lucidchart can help teams build effective internal and client-facing communication resources. Learn more on our examples page.


Let There Be Light

We want to make sure both (a) the overall project status and (b) the status of individual action items are transparent and self-evident. Within a few moments of reading, anyone attached to a project should be able to independently discover:

  • the overall project status
  • the status of a given action item and, if it’s open, why it hasn’t yet been completed

Admittedly, there’s an inherent conflict between the “Not too chatty” and “Let there be light” principles. They’re in constant dialogue with one another, and it’s the project manager’s job to decide how to strike the most constructive balance between the two.

As a result of the “Not too chatty” principle, a client might not see every discussion or to do. For example, Basecamp — the client-facing portion of our project management stack — allows us to select which content clients can and cannot see, and keeping some activity private (in Basecamp and Slack) allows us to prevent overwhelming clients with dialogue.

Lucidchart can help users create illuminating system models that keep everyone informed. Learn more about our process mapping tool.


Mind the Gaps

As businesses grow and projects increase in complexity, gaps begin to form between important silos and the players in those silos:

  • between marketing and sales
  • between marketing and production
  • between engineering and marketing
  • between leadership and talent

The list goes on and on. And as project managers, it’s our job to mind these gaps, anticipate any potential communications shortfalls, bridge any kinetic communications shortfalls, and build systems that constantly improve alignment and clarity.

Whether they’re structural or temporary, cultural or project-based, most all gaps are communication- and knowledge-based. Monitoring the “Let there be light” spectrum helps prevent gaps from forming among day-to-day players. However, to prevent gaps from forming between “satellite” players — most often those in management- and command-level roles — we often create summaries filled with scope information, outlines of logical build phases, and lists of elements in play.

In a few moments of reading, anyone attached to the project can quickly close whatever knowledge- and communication-gaps they have by reviewing these summaries.

Lucidchart can help project managers close important knowledge gaps with powerful visualizations. Learn more on our website.


Turn Funnels Into Pipes

Being as ultra-responsive as it’s constructive to be — this is our client-facing goal. We never want to be the cause of a bottleneck, and our ideal operational state involves awaiting client feedback. No client should spend more time than is absolutely necessary anticipating an update or deliverable from us.

Ensuring all participants have access to the same set of up-to-date information neutralizes common, frustrating bottlenecks associated with sharing (and re-sharing) account usernames and passwords, file and repository links, FTP and SSL information, and other utility data.

Dated, well-organized to do lists with prioritized tasks are pipeline workhorses. Properly managed, they can help transform the narrowest funnels into the highest-capacity pipes.

By illustrating important workflows, Lucidchart can help keep operations systems running fluidly. Learn more on our page about process documentation.

For more project management best practices, please see our project management eBook “Light the Way.”

What are your project management best practices? Comment below!

 


Studio Hyperset helps organizations solve complex challenges associated with project management, marketing and media, and technology. Learn more at studiohyperset.com, and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Quimby Melton is the founder and president of Studio Hyperset. He started Studio Hyperset in 2006 after studying Transatlantic literature and culture, new media, and humanities computing at the Universities of Georgia (AB, 00) and Nevada, Las Vegas (MA, 03; PhD, 08). Connect with him on LinkedIin and Twitter.

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Onboarding Software Engineers With Lucidchart

Posted on by Emily Christensen

Take a minute and remember your first day at a new job. How did you feel? Nervous? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Starting a new job comes with many challenges and much to learn, especially for software engineers. Not only are there the usual names and faces to remember, but also a mountain of code to unravel and a new work process to master. Fortunately, with Lucidchart, onboarding software engineers is relatively painless and can have your new hires up to speed in no time.

Here are three ways you can use Lucidchart to expedite your onboarding process.

1. Create an org chart.

After you introduce your team in person, give your new hires a cheat sheet to help them remember their new coworkers. In Lucidchart, you can quickly create an org chart by dragging and dropping boxes manually, using text markup, or importing a .csv file.

org chart maker

Customize it to include pictures, job titles, and areas of expertise. This way, new engineers will always know who to turn to with their questions.

org chart for onboarding software engineers

2. Use a diagram to walk through the code.

Have your engineers familiarize themselves with the code by jumping right into it. This may be a daunting prospect for some, but if you provide a diagram to help them follow along, your engineers will be able to get through their onboarding more quickly and with a better idea of how the code works.

code flowchart for onboarding software engineers

The biggest challenge is often creating an accurate diagram of your code and keeping it up to date. Fortunately, Lucidchart is cloud based and allows multiple participants to edit documents simultaneously. This means that any time your team makes a change to the code base, they can document it on the master chart without having to worry about finding the most updated version or being overwritten by a coworker. Documentation is not only possible, it’s easy, and your new hires will thank you later.  

3. Explain your team’s process with a flowchart.

Every organization has a different way of doing things, so starting a new job means learning a new process. You can relieve a lot of anxiety for your new engineers by making it clear what your expectations are. Create a flowchart that demonstrates your basic workflow. As needed, use hotspots to link to separate pages within the same document and elaborate upon the details of a sub-process. Your engineers will save a lot of time if they don’t have to wonder what they are supposed to do next.

process flowchart for onboarding software engineers

Store diagrams in a central place.

Now that you have a library of onboarding documents, store them all in a central location. Lucidchart integrates with Confluence, G Suite, Microsoft, and Dropbox, so you can save them wherever your team works most. From now on, onboarding software engineers will be the least of your worries and theirs.

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Announcing Lucidchart’s Integration with Google Slides

Posted on by Lauren McNeely

Lucidchart Google Slides API integration

Lucid Software is proud to continue its long-standing relationship with Google, this time with an integration with the new Slides API that will allow you to not only visually display your diagram but to tell its story as well.

Behind every diagram is necessary context—Google Slides allows you to provide each section of your diagram with the context needed to tell the whole story. Now, any Lucidchart user who has already integrated with Google Drive will automatically have access to the Google Slides integration.

If you’re presenting the entire view of your diagram all at once, it’s easy for people to lose focus and get ahead of what you are explaining. With Google Slides, you can break down your diagram into separate pieces. Maintain control over the conversation by helping your audience stay hyperfocused on the specific part of the diagram you are walking through at that moment.

Using Lucidchart’s presentation mode, you can zoom in to highlight specific aspects of your diagram and make a separate slide for each view.

Google Slides and Lucidchart

When you’ve finished, export your presentation to Google Slides. You can then add other kinds of content and context to your presentation without worrying about affecting your original Lucidchart diagram.

Each slide can explain a different section of your diagram in as much detail as necessary to help your audience better comprehend what is going on. Doing so is much more effective than overwhelming them with one giant diagram on a single slide that stays very high-level.

Google Slides

Utilizing this integration can greatly facilitate your everyday workflow as you collaborate on different projects:

  • Talk with involved stakeholders to determine the project’s specific tasks and requirements.
  • Create a diagram in Lucidchart.
  • Use the Google Slides integration to present the first iteration of your proposal in order to gather feedback from stakeholders.
  • Revise your diagram as necessary based on input from others.
  • Export your final slides to Google Slides so you can present your finished version to all involved. You can walk them through your entire diagram slide by slide in order to provide all the information necessary to ensure that final approval.

Sign up today to see how harnessing the power of Lucidchart and Google Slides can bring any diagram to life.

For more information on the new Slides API, check out Google’s blog. To learn more about our integration, visit our website.

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Lucidchart + SchemaPuker: The Winning Combination for a Salesforce Consultant

Posted on by Emily Christensen

Schema PukerIf you are a Salesforce consultant, chances are you know all about ER diagrams. Although they may be the best method for visualizing your clients’ Salesforce data model, making them from scratch is a mundane and time-consuming task. Salesforce’s native Schema Builder will create one for you, but if you want to modify it to make proposals for your client, you’re out of luck.

Until now.

Your new favorite app is called SchemaPuker. Salesforce consultant extraordinaire Michael Wheeler developed this app to take advantage of Salesforce’s Metadata API, the Heroku Cloud Application Platform, and Lucidchart’s ERD import tool, saving you time and a headache. Here’s how it works.

When you open SchemaPuker and click “Login,” you are taken directly to the Salesforce login page. After entering your credentials, SchemaPuker can access metadata to recreate your Salesforce schema though, for your security, it cannot read any files or client information. You can then decide which objects you want SchemaPuker to include in your schema. These objects will be formatted as a PostgreSQL output that you can copy and paste or save and import directly into Lucidchart to produce a fully automated ER diagram.

Schema Puker 2

That’s it.

You are now free to carry on with the job you were hired to do: designing a better system for your clients. In Lucidchart, it’s simple to add new objects and adjust processes as you propose changes to an existing system. Real-time editing, commenting features, and @mention notifications make it easy to solicit feedback and collaborate with your stakeholders as needed.

schema puker and lucidchart

For a Salesforce consultant, Lucidchart and SchemaPuker are the perfect marriage of utility and sophistication, like a PB&J with the crusts cut off.

As compared to making ER diagrams yourself or using Schema Builder, the Lucidchart + SchemaPuker system provides the following advantages:

  • You are able to produce an automated ER diagram that you can also edit.
  • You do not have to install an app within your client’s Salesforce instance.
  • Your clients do not have to give you their Salesforce login credentials if they don’t want to. All of the information you need can be quickly compiled while they look over your shoulder.
  • SchemaPuker only uses metadata. It does not read files or download client information.
  • No data is stored in Heroku.

Lucidchart and SchemaPuker together are a winning combination for both you and your clients. Their accounts remain secure while you are able to save time and quickly propose the improvements they want. Even better, both Lucidchart and SchemaPuker are free! Give them both a try today.

 

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Register for Our Webinar and Create a Better Bug Report

Posted on by Shannon Williams

You’ve probably noticed a lot more content on our blog recently. At Lucidchart, we’ve wanted to step up our blog content—rather than an occasional post, we aim to consistently provide helpful content for Lucidchart users across industries. Starting in September, we held a blog competition to promote this initiative. Several Lucidites who are talented writers and experts in their fields came out of the woodwork—look through our recent blog posts —but one blog post stood supreme.

McKay Christensen, an IT engineer at Lucidchart, wrote “How to Write an Effective Bug Report.” Although not all software engineers may want to admit it, they depend on users reporting bugs to refine their software and make sure it works as intended. The trick is for users to develop a clear system for collecting evidence of the bug. McKay weighs in on this issue, and since its publication, this post has received over 11,000 views!

So we’ve decided to delve deeper into this subject through a webinar. McKay Christensen and Brian Pugh, VP of Engineering, will present “How to Create an Effective Bug Report That Actually Gets Resolved” on November 17th at 11:00 am PST.

Sign up for this free webinar today! You’ll learn:

  • What defines a bug
  • How to best report a bug
  • Why everyone should report bugs
  • What every bug report should include

We’ll even provide a free bug reporting flowchart template so you’ll be ready when a problem arises.

If you’re unable to join the webinar live, no problem. When you register, we will automatically send the slides and recording to you after the webinar. Register now and give yourself and your users the power to improve your software.

Posted in Lucid News | Leave a comment