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February 10, 2012 / lukewpatterson

KC User Group Tour, Part 2: Atlassian User Group

So today I was googling some background info for this post when I found myself wishing that I had some of the good problems in life – problems like trademark erosion. Hang out in development circles long enough, and your bound to hear the phrase “log a JIRA” – meaning: “file a bug report”, “add a task”, “create a user story”, etc. Often, it doesn’t even matter if the project tracking tool in use is JIRA/Atlassian or not – developers can say “log a JIRA” and others will understand what is meant. In my opinion, in this case, that level of metonymy was possible only because JIRA is pretty good at what it does.

(JIRA® is a project tracking tool from the Atlassian company)

When I hear the name “Atlassian”, JIRA is the first thing that comes to mind – but their software suite includes much more, including collaboration and development tools. A common pattern I’ve seen in companies is successful trial-runs of one product leading to adoption of the whole suite. Other factors in Atlassian’s success include its embrace of the open-source community and the popular “get them while they’re young” strategy for startups and small teams.

Special note to any Atlassian readers: ˙ɹǝʌo ʇɥbıɹ ǝq ןן,ı puɐ ‘ʇǝʞɔıʇ ǝuɐןd ǝɥʇ ǝɯ puǝs  ˙uosɹǝd uı ǝzıboןodɐ oʇ ʎddɐɥ ǝq ןן,ı ‘boןq ʎɯ uı sɹoɹɹǝ ʎuɐ ǝǝs noʎ ɟı- Ha, what they don’t realize is that I’m just trying to get a free trip to see the great barrier reef (they are in Australia).

Ok, enough commercials… here is the data dump:

  • It was the first meeting of the KC AUG
  • It was at 810 Zone on the Plaza, nice place
  • Atlassian offers tools to help coordinate, but they don’t send employees to the meeting (no sales pitch)
    • They do provide the client-coordinators up to several hundred bucks (depends on attendance) to reimburse for costs
  • Brad Puett helped coordinate the group to work through all the logistical decisions about future meetings
  • I think about 18 people showed up, representing 10 different companies
    • The farthest attendee was from Wichita
  • They did provide some nice food, plenty of drinks, and some swag
  • The first real meeting will be in early March, and then quarterly after that
    • The location is still up in the air, but wifi is a must, alcohol is a plus
    • The meetings will be about an hour long, and will rotate between lunch and evening times
  • We discussed meeting topics, the most popular were:
    • Hardcore plugin development, APIs, extension system, etc.
    • How does the business evolve when the products are introduced?  How does the tooling customization help fit the specifics of the business?
    • Techniques for project management, stories from the front-lines
  • An attendee from a local healthcare company discussed how they might start using JIRA for their public-facing issue management system. Currently, the external system is home-grown and only the internal development team uses JIRA.  He discussed some of the customization and branding aspects.
  • Another attendee discussed her efforts at synchronizing two instances (one internal, one client-facing) of Confluence. For managing/synchronizing user accounts, she was using Crowd.
Overall, I enjoyed it.  I think the next meeting (the first real meeting) should be pretty interesting.

Next Up: pythonKC is having a hackathon tomorrow, starting at 10am.  It looks fun.

–Luke Patterson,

Other Stops On The KC User Group Tour

Part 1: Perl Mongers

Part 2: Atlassian User Group

Part 3: Pythonistas

Part 4: Rubyists

Part 5: NodeLabs, by NodeKC (a guest post located on the Joyent blog site)

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