NYC Atlassian Community Thriving
July 5, 2016
When asked what some of the pivotal moments in GeekHive’s history are, I often pull up the adoption of Atlassian’s products such as Jira, Confluence, and BitBucket. The tools we tried before implementing Atlassian’s products just weren’t able to do the things we needed them to. I credit a lot of the maturity and sophistication in our development and project management processes to Jira and other Atlassian products like Bamboo, FishEye, and Crucible that allow us to perform code reviews and continuous integration. So… you could call me an Atlassian fan.
Atlassian User Groups – A Worldwide Community
Atlassian engages with its community of users in a variety of ways. One such way is the Atlassian User Group (AUG) program. AUG meetups take place all over the world and New York, of course, has a strong showing every time. AUG meetings are attended by current and prospective Atlassian users, Atlassian team members and community managers, and other organizations who work closely with Atlassian customers. Some people are complete power users while others are just learning the ecosystem. It’s usually held at a great looking office with free food and drinks. Plus, my personal favorite, the giveaways! (Last month I won the raffle. My Atlassian swag is featured in this post!)
The topics discussed at the NYC AUG vary from meetup to meetup. In a recent meeting, we were treated to a Skype Q&A with an Atlassian Product Manager, a feature preview from an Atlassian team member, and an introduction to one of Atlassian’s newer products: Jira Core.
The Atlassian Customer Manager shared a number of metrics and the AUG program appears to be growing. There are more meetups held in more cities by more people than ever before. And New York is considered to be a flagship example for the program.
Power User Takeaway: During this past meetup, I learned something new on the “power user” side of Jira. The default behavior for task and sub-task workflows is to allow a user to resolve a task without having to resolve any of its sub-tasks. This may be counterintuitive for you – it’s certainly not logical to me. I had believed that was just something I’d have to live with, but Jira is highly customizable and this default behavior can be changed.
Sven Peters Gives His Take
The last topic of the evening was a presentation by Sven Peters, an Atlassian Evangelist. This was my favorite part of the event because he spoke about the recent AtlasCamp 2016 event. At AtlasCamp, Sven gave a talk called “Rise of the Machines” about forthcoming features Atlassian is building to advance automated builds and deployments. He also spoke about a push within Atlassian to begin “open sourcing” their corporate culture. To paraphrase, the idea is to share lessons they’ve learned as an organization in the hope that it might help improve our own professional lives.
Sven explained how Atlassian uses Confluence within their organization. One phrase they’ve latched onto: “Confluence it, or it didn’t happen.” When a new team member joins the company, they’re required to write a blog post about themselves on day one. Sometimes the post is technical, sometimes it’s business, and sometimes personal. These blog posts serve to start a conversation between existing team members and new ones to help them integrate and onboard quickly. They also help to promote company culture faster and span the digital divide of their global teams located worldwide. Sven likes to review recent blog posts across Atlassian, daily, like a newspaper of recent events.
Atlassian holds all-hands meetings periodically, at the meetings there’s time where the floor is open for questions. They found, with hundreds of people in attendance, that some were too shy to ask their question at the meeting. To solve this, and give everyone a chance to participate, they built a system within their Confluence to submit questions. Questions are up/down voted and the top 10 questions (no matter how silly) have to be answered at the next all-hands meeting.
Finally, Sven talked about the Confluence commenting feature. It allows for healthy conversation and debate, for sure. But Sven reported, as avid Confluence users, there’s a point where conversation is no longer healthy and veers into wasting time. When a conversation has run it’s course, they’ve become comfortable putting a final note on the page and closing it from further discussion.
In all, it was a great time meeting others in the Atlassian ecosystem and learning about current and upcoming features. I’m especially excited to adapt the submitting questions concept for a GeekHive suggestions box. As a company that believes in open book management, we meet every 2 weeks for staff huddles and can address suggestions there. I was also inspired to address our content in confluence. For us, once content gets stale, no one looks at it, and they don’t go in and add new content because they aren’t looking at it, it’s a vicious cycle that this blog posting idea can solve.
Are you an Atlassian user? Which of these ideas can you see your company benefiting from? Tweet us @GeekHive.
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