While I was learning more on distributed team and remote working. I saw many startups are using HipChat, a group chatting service. If you have been using IRC, you will feel right at home. But it is not just a group chat, you can also share files and source code. Here are a few things I like so far.

Virtual office

The most appealing is the concept of “virtual office”. This certainly will help a distributed team. It gives you a sense of being in the office at the same time but without constant disruption.

Reduce emails

The advantage it has over email is that all messages are within team only. Team messages should take priority over others. And you know that you cannot control your inbox. Hopefully this will cut down the unnecessary emails and facilitate quicker response.

Search past chat history

All chats are saved and indexed, so if you say that you are going to do something, you’d better do it, because it will be recorded and searcheable in the future. Meetings could be conducted in the chat room as well, as all details are saved, without pulling all people out of their seats at the same time.

Integration and API

I have integrated with BitBucket, so all commits will show up in one of our chat rooms. This chat room becomes our notification center. There are many other integration such as Basecamp, Evernote. And There is also an API that can be used to create custom integration.

Slash commands and emoticons

I also like the slash commands and emoticons.

So, I just got it started with my team, let me see how it goes.