Why InfraCode Is Using Jam

Once in a while, you come across something so cool that you can’t help but share it. It feels as easy as spreading fruit jam on your morning toast.

What is it?

The aptly named Jam Systems is the newest tool we’re using at InfraCode to host conversations about infrastructure as code, DevOps, and Terraform.

Jam Systems (“Jam”) is a live audio room for chats, discussion, brainstorming, micro-events, even podcasting where you banter about topics and stuff.

Jam is a great space to host conversations with product creators, get feedback from users, and explore future development.

It is also a good resource to learn new tools and discover products and services simply by dropping in on a live Jam session. You can tune into Jam in the background while you’re working, at home, or on the move, as you would listening to a podcast.

Jam is newly developed by Thomas Schranz, an enterprising Austrian developer, as an open source alternative to Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. It is currently in beta stage, with lots of improved features in the pipeline.

Why We’re Using Jam

  • Low barrier to use — works in web browser, no downloads necessary, anyone could join
  • Clear audio quality — given its audio-only format and low complexity (compared to video)
  • Versatile — open chat about topics at hand, and allows for several speakers to speak simultaneously
  • Good room capacity — a Jam room accommodates up to 40 people at any one time

How to Use Jam

Joining Jam is like attending a roundtable session — there are speakers on stage and audience on the floor. You join the session and remain in the audience as a listener. Toggling on the Monkey Tab turns your audio on or mute.

If you have a question or want to speak up, you raise your hand, the moderator sees you and invites you to the stage to speak. At any time, the moderator could move you back to the audience.

To express an emoji, click on the Smiley Tab at the bottom left.

As a start, here are our current observations and suggestions:

To elaborate on some of the points above, here are a few in-depth suggestions:

Audio goes mute when phone screen goes to sleep.

Suggestion/Future Feature:
Currently, Jam works best in the Chrome browser on Android and Safari on iOS. Users who join a Jam session on other browsers including Brave or from within a web view of another app say Gmail, Twitter, or Facebook — would have their audio mute when the phone goes to sleep. To resume audio, wake your phone from sleep.

To counter this issue altogether, download Chrome on your Android phone and join a Jam session from Chrome on Android or Safari on iOS, not from within another app.

Can’t record session.

Suggestion/Future Feature:
For now, use Quicktime, Garage Band, or Audacity to record. For best audio quality, have every speaker record themselves locally and combine the respective audio tracks in post-production

And this is unrelated to the Jam product, but rather an observation after our first session on Jam: people are shy, especially if they don’t know exactly what a room is about. We recommend that the moderator have a clear agenda and to keep the conversation flowing between speakers.

Jam issues and fixes are live on GitLab so you can contribute to issues and watch for development.

To conclude, Jam is an easy and hassle-free way to join an event, and you’re leaving with a lot more knowledge about the topics or tools discussed and making a connection or two when you take the connection offline.

Join Our Jam

We would love for you to join us at our weekly Jam session, held every Wednesday at 1pm EST.

Why join our Jam session? We’re opening a space for engineers and developers to talk about what we do at InfraCode, discuss the various infrastructure as code tools, best Terraform practices and tutorials and answer any questions you have.

Not ready to join Jam yet? No problem. You can find us on Slack to keep up-to-date with the latest Terraform news and meet other DevOps professionals. See you there!



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