HipChat + Atom = How to Remote Pair-Program like a Boss

At Pusher, we’re all about pair-programming. We use it to produce higher quality code, plus it’s a great way to share knowledge.

But, a lot of us work remotely. Of course, there are solutions: screen sharing, browser pairing, or not pairing at all. We wanted something immediate, something that dissolves the distance between collaborators.

HipChat + Atom + Pusher = pair programming success

We use HipChat and Atom all the time; both have solved problems with productivity and changed how we work.

Atom, the open-source editor, built by GitHub, has been huge for our workflow. There’s a big community around it, and the product gets better with every release.

The customizability of HipChat helps us not just in communicating as a company, but also getting stuff done. We have extensions on HipChat that control everything from production journals to what music plays on the speakers.

Combining Atom and HipChat was the perfect solution: pair within a text editor and easily send invites over our central communications network.

So we built AtomPair, and now we want to share the ♥.


How Do I Get Started?



Install Atom if you haven’t already. Now type into your terminal:

$ apm install atom-pair

Go to the command palette via ++P and go to Install Packages and Themes. Then search for and install atom-pair.


You can either pair on a blank slate, or on existing code.

If you invite somebody to collaborate on existing code, they’ll see everything you can, and their syntax highlighting will be synchronized with yours. Using a free Pusher Sandbox plan, there will be a maximum of 20 collaborators per session.

And, as detailed below, there are two ways to invite others:

Basic Invitation

Hit ++P, and in the command palette, hit AtomPair: Start A New Pairing Session.

You will be given a session ID, hit command+c and paste that to a friend.

HipChat Invitation

The other way – one that we use – is to invite collaborators over HipChat. We wanted this as an easy way of giving collaborators a session ID, but also so that other members of the team can join in if they want to.

If you have admin privileges in a HipChat organization, type ++P and go to AtomPair: Set configuration keys. Enter your HipChat API key and the room you wish the invitation to be sent through.

Now, when you enter AtomPair: Invite Over HipChat and enter your collaborator’s HipChat @mention_name in the command palette, they will receive an invitation with a session ID.


Once your partner has a session ID, they should go to the command palette and hit AtomPair: Join a pairing session, and enter the ID.

Once there are a few of you in a session, your collaborators will be represented by a colored marker in the gutter, which will change position based on selections and inputs.

To end a pairing session, go to AtomPair: Disconnect, and you’ll be disconnected from Pusher, and the file will be free for you to save.


Free And Open For Everyone


Currently, you’re given default Pusher credentials when you install the package, so that you can get started super fast.

Communication will take place over a randomly generated channel name and you needn’t do anything. However, for security reasons, we suggest creating a free account.

Enter your own app key and app secret by going to the package settings in your Atom preferences. A free Sandbox plan should be more than enough for your pairing sessions.

Likewise, HipChat features a free account, which, if like us you have developers scattered around the globe, should be a no-brainer.


We’d Love Your Feedback!


Here is a current list of features:

  • Text synchronization
  • File-sharing
  • HipChat invitations
  • Synchronized syntax highlighting
  • Collaborator visibility.

But if there are any features you find lacking, feel more than welcome to get in touch.

Happy pairing!

Jamie Patel

What do you need to become an SEO Master?

Hello sirs,

If someone was a bit of a masochist and really wanted to become an absolute master of every key aspect of SEO (technical, on-site, offsite etc.) what areas of learning would you recommend?

(And if you’re feeling generous, in what order?)

I would like to learn the technical ins and outs of everything to the point where I’ve got a great understanding of the IT side of things ie. PHP, Apache, MySQL, and how everything works in the background in relation to the CMS in detail (we use Drupal) – then everything on the content side including building relationships and effective keyword research/reporting and tracking. Ie. Every key area that has an impact on SEO from start to finish?

Is it reasonable to try and gain a complete technical overview of all the important aspects of SEO if I work all day on SEO and if I allocate a significant amount of time learning in my own time regarding all of these technical areas? I recognise it could take a long while but I enjoy this area of work and I’d like to drastically improve my understanding of it.

Thanks all!


is he link: operator in google dead?

I am struggling to find ways to get links to my site. I figured I could look at other sites and see where they are getting links. The search in google "link:www.site.com" returns no results. I searched and it shows results on using it but they are old. Is it no longer in use?

Is there any way to see backlinks for a site?


Case Study: How to Leverage Other People’s Businesses

Here’s a simple outreach technique that you can use to leverage other social media accounts. Not only does this method generate targeted traffic that converts, as well as some quality backlinks, but it’s also a valuable way to network with business owners in a similar niche to your own.

Initially, our intention was to post up a quality article on our blog, do a bit of social media exposure for the article using our own social channels, then move along swiftly to our next blog article. However, it quickly dawned on us that we should take this whole thing further if we wanted increased exposure to our business.

So, with that said, after publishing the article on our blog, which you can see here: https://invalley.com/8-top-tools-seo…e-without.html

…we reached out to the companies that were mentioned within the blog post using a simple email template in order to let those companies know that we’d highlighted their business.

Here’s the email template we used:

Keep it short and simple. You can create the custom tweet link with clicktotweet.com.

A Win – Win for Everyone

It is important to note that we are not directly competing with these companies although we do target a very similar customer group (you might say a ‘complimentary’ customer group). This is why the technique is so effective. And what’s more, it can be applied to almost any niche:

For example, if you have a productivity blog, you could make a list of the top 10 productivity apps after which, you simply email the companies or individuals you’ve mentioned within your list. Or if you sell fitness supplements, you can write a post about the top 5 personal trainers.

It should always be a win – win; the companies that we mentioned in our blog post received free publicity, and they get to decide if they want to share our article with their audience (no pressure) in one way or another – a quick shout out to their list, a mention on Facebook, a Tweet, a Google+ post… whatever.

The Success Rate

In the example above, the success rate for us was 75%. This means six out of the eight companies positively responded to our email in one way or another. A few of the companies shared the post with their customers which brought us traffic and 3 sales:

Reaching out to the companies cost us around 15 minutes of our time, so it’s more than worthy of the effort!

Win a Red Stapler Signed by Gary Cole (Bill Lumbergh)

In honor of HipChat’s new #workinthenow campaign starring Gary Cole as the iconic Bill Lumbergh, we’ve got a cool contest to share: we’re giving away two signed red staplers.



How do you get one of these staplers you ask?


Take a photo of your “Office Space” and tweet it with our hashtag #WorkInTheNow and that’s it.

We’ll pick two folks. One at random, and the other will be based on who’s got the coolest workspace. There are some creative workspaces out there, and we’d love to see yours. Does your cubicle look like a castle? Maybe, you’ve got the nap zone where there are pillows aplenty. What if your space is Nintendo themed?

We want to see them all. The winner will get their very own Gary Cole signed red stapler.

Even if yours isn’t exciting, snap a photo, and you’re in the running, too! You can enter as many times as you want. Teams are invited to participate, too.

The red stapler content ends March 5th

The holy grail of office culture could be yours. Just snap a picture and show us how you #WorkInTheNow.


If you haven’t already, go to HipChat.com and see all 5 of the Bill Lumbergh videos. Just keep hitting the refresh button to catch them all. (Videos only available in the US)