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It is me, Andy B ! a.k.a. FUN MAN ANDY [Community Showcase]

COMMUNITY SHOWCASE – FUN MAN ANDY

“Showcases spotlight Atlassian Leaders who make a big impact on our Community. The Atlassian Community Team taps Leaders to share more about themselves and their Atlassian journeys, and that Leader in turn passes the torch (and question set) to another Leader they regard highly. This time around, we’re highlighting Andy Barker. Enjoy!”

Bridget Sauer, Snr. Manager Content and Customer Programs

1. How would your friends describe you?

I asked them this once, and I’d prefer not to repeat on this family friendly platform! 😂🤫Hah hah!

In all seriousness, at school I got the nickname “Too much.” I never really got it until recently when in separate, unrelated conversations, both a friend and a colleague explained why: it can just precede everything when it comes to describing me:

Too much… enthusiasm! …food! …booze! …excitement! …nerdiness! …grumpiness! …strictness! …vanity! …caring! Etc. Etc.  

I think you get the picture. 🤡👏

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2. What do you do for work? What gets you excited to go into the office every morning?

Mostly, I pull my hair out and try to remain calm in the face of chaos. Only joking! Can you tell that I’m a project manager?!

I work for this awesome IOT/AR Bespoke Solutions department (formerly TWNKLS | AR) over at PTC. We’re a small division delivering tailAR-made IOT, Augmented Reality and Computer Vision solutions - it’s only 25 of us within the 7,000-people of a monster that is our mother company Parametric Technology Corporation.

[Come check us out => www.ptc.com]

We deliver the most-forward thinking, innovative and award-winning technology you can imagine! If a company has come up with a great idea today, we most likely thought of it over 5 years ago. In some cases, we even BUILT it 5 years ago too! We got a pretty impressive “trophy cabinet” to back that statement up!

On a day-to-day basis I run the commercial project teams, manage best practices / methodology, sort out the support work and am the Atlassian Admin.

Few months ago I actually self-promoted myself (#LordOfTheFlies) and ran the company on behalf of our SVP who was taking time off – luckily it was short-lived but it was a great opportunity to flex my management muscles at the highest level. Totally in the deep end. Bring it on! (Although, great relief when I got to stop – all of that extra responsibility was distracting me from my Online Community addiction… ggrrrr!!!)

It’s a bloody tough gig and many days I’m pissed off, grump and unmotivated… but overall it is amazing! I get so excited about the challenges and problems awaiting me for the office: I’m frequently exhausted after a day’s work, and have been known to fall asleep before 8PM (That is, if I haven’t lost sleep that night completely)!.  

But all of this hard work is done with the knowledge that this role is a challenge, and that my company will be better because of it. This is the same whether I’m “playing” SVP or doing my regular PM work – it’s like being on a white-water raft. More on that testimonial here: https://twnkls.com/careers/sr-digital-project-manager/
(Ps: Yes, I did just plug our career opportunities! No, I don’t regret it! 😝 LOLz! We need new colleagues, and especially if they are  Atlassian buffs!)

It also helps that right now I am super lucky to have the best boss in the world. Direct, to the point, supportive, challenges me… the description is endless. They are amazing and I am so grateful.

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3. What Atlassian products do you work with on a daily basis? Which one is your favourite and why?

Jira, JIra Service Desk, Confluence, Bitbucket, Trello (both personal and business) and Slack. (Cloud versions for all). PLus loads of Apps plugged-in like Tempo, Time In Status, TeamCity, and Gliffy!

Hard to say which is my favourite really... I love them all, especially as I’ve worked with companies previously that had absolutely no systems or tools whatsoever. I have a heightened appreciation of everything due to that.

Having thought about it, I would say Confluence – being able to draw diagrams / processes with Gliffy, document project statuses, build roadmaps and product requirements, use it for training and standardizing our way of working, governance, retrospectives (both projects and personal) and so much more is just amazing. As a PM who grew up in the PRINCE2® world then transitioned to Agile, it’s really my kind of thing! 

That said… in the last year Trello has become an essential Tool for everyday life, both professionally and personally. It is really helping me, my friends/family and colleagues move work forward! For PTC and our dev team it is so important we submitted a Summit talk and now we will be on stage to tell the whole world about it all! (Shameless self-promotion? Too right ! ! Summit2020 -> Session 626814 -> 01-APR 11:00 - Mandalay H)

4. What Atlassian products would you love to work with and why? 

I would love to have a proper StatusPage and also be using OpsGenie – those are seriously badass tools that I highly admire! Sadly, we’re just not the type of business that requires them. Maybe once AR and CV solutions are as mainstream as webshops and ecommerce we’ll be in need of them, but right now we don’t have the same type of intensity in our projects, products and services.

I also dream one day of being in need of awesome tools like EasyBI, Jira Align, PowerAdmin and many other various Marketplace Apps. 🤓🏆🤟 I am just a massive Atlassian nerd!

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5. What professional advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?

Funny question! Five years ago, I did give myself some advice that helped me get to where I am today.

Between 2014 and 2016 I went through a pretty intense period of self-reflection and came out a completely different and better person! Out of all the clichés and self-motivation quotes I was telling myself constantly, the one that sticks out most is “Be patient, trust in the cosmos, and see where fate leads you”

Flashback to Monday, October 23rd, 2017.. I was tired and frustrated by a year of intensive job hunting. Felt like I was constantly getting to the last round of everything just to be dropped mercilessly and often with rubbish feedback I couldn’t do anything with. I was cleaning up my nerdy excel file that I monitored progress with and was reviewing the TWNKLS item: opened for 3mth, 2 reminders sent… nothing. Not even a “we have received your application” as a response.

So, I started an email to the HR inbox: “Just FYI… I’m giving up on you… … laters!” But gut feeling kicked in strongly, told me not to do so and to wait that particular one out. And so I left it to the cosmos.

Four days later, late at night on Thursday October 26th, I received an email saying,  “Andy, this is Robert, CEO at TWNKLS – I really want to meet you, ASAP!” Four weeks and three intensive interviews later I accepted their offer and handed in my notice to my former company. The rest is history!

My advice to anyone of any age and any profession is simple: LISTEN TO YOUR GUT FEELING. Sixth sense is the most powerful, emotional tool we have to hand. It’s not easy to tap into, but when you do, it’s life changing!

Another motto I have:

“Follow your heart, think with your head, but listen to your colon.” (I believe it derives or has been inspired from a German saying… I think!) 😑😇🙏✨

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6. Tell us a little bit about how you became a Community Leader? What is one of your favourite memories since joining the program?

This is a GREAT story!

So, there I was, on the Online Community, mouthing off about how Amsterdam has a User Group and Rotterdam doesn’t and that it needs to be expanded within the Netherlands when BOOM: Monique van den Berg, (a fellow “Dutchie” and Community Manager), jumps in and says,
“Congratulations Andy! Rotterdam AUG is all yours!” 

Sure enough, after a few chats with Darline I submitted my application, got acceptedand became the proud founder of Rotterdam AUG!

Without a single doubt my favourite memory is:

WINNER WINNER! VIENNA DINNER ! Read about it HERE on Community

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7. What do you do outside of work for fun?

Fun… outside work!? What is this experience you speak of!?

Hah! Again, just joking...

By day I am a Project Manager running strategic projects at PTC..

On the weekends I am a family man: Mr Barker! Recently we got into Geocaching. NERD!! But am also a poet, artist and musician: Urban Gorilla Boy (very much an amateur, but enjoying it! Come follow me on Instagram @urbangorillaboy)

But by NIGHT! I pretty much spend all my free time as Fun Man Andy within the Atlassian Community, both here online, and at Community Events (formally AUGs) as the Chapter Leader for Rotterdam! 😎💪 

Atlassian Community Events Rotterdam // Online Community - Fun Man Andy

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8. Which leader would you nominate for the next highlight?

My word…. what a tough question! There are so many who should be highlighted Kae, Nic, Jodi, Brittany, Edwin, Aaron, Kristian, Tanya, Ronald, Steve, Jack, Esme, Jimmy… the list goes on and ON! I hold all these leaders and many more in such high regards…!

But my vote would have to go to TEODORA @Teodora _Botron_ ! She’s one of the newer peeps of the Leadership game but she has hit the ground absolutely running. She’s super awesome at it, brings loads of energy and enthusiasm, and I can see her in years to come still bringing great leadership to the community, day-in-day-out!

She also baked me amazing cookies and brought them to Open. Such a great lass. ✌🏆💝😍 I can’t wait to see what she has in store for @Jimmy Seddon  and I at Summit!

#Summit2020 #Exciting #ACLRagtags

11 comments

Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Feb 25, 2020

@FUN MAN ANDY hands down one of the most enjoyable articles I've read!  You are truly an inspiration to us all!

Like # people like this
FUN MAN ANDY Community Leader Feb 25, 2020

Hahaha! Cracking GIF @Jimmy Seddon LOVE IT! That is some seriously awesome feedback buddy. Thank you kindly! #BigHugs 💙🌟

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this
Bridget Community Manager Feb 25, 2020

Can't stop laughing at #Lordoftheflies. Great job, Fun Man!!! 

Like # people like this
FUN MAN ANDY Community Leader Feb 25, 2020

Hah hah hah! That's great @Bridget 😂

So glad you liked it!! 💖

Is that a glass pod with a super comfy yellow chair to sit in while on the phone? Does something like that exist in your office?

I could sit there all day if I had my laptop and a cup of tea! I wouldn't even notice the see-through walls after the first few minutes.

Great article!

Like # people like this
FUN MAN ANDY Community Leader Feb 25, 2020

Sadly it is NOT @Kat Warner _TechTime_ : it is a very expensive marketing unit... there's one in each corridor of our building and it's damn expensive. But I prefer the phone booth pod idea!! I'll tell the building owners!

It can be LOCKED as well! Perfect for your peaceful tea moments!

@FUN MAN ANDY I know I keep telling you that, but you are amazing! 😍

Sending you and @Jimmy Seddon both my biggest hugs to keep you warm before the cookies in Vegas. I'm creating something special - it's a long flight for food to stay perfect, but I'll do my best hehe.

#ACLRagtags for the WIN! 

Like # people like this
Erica Moss Community Manager Feb 26, 2020

@FUN MAN ANDY You never cease to amaze me, Fun Man! Loved reading this Q&A. 😄

Like FUN MAN ANDY likes this
Darline Auguste Community Manager Feb 26, 2020

Not surprised that this is so awesome @FUN MAN ANDY Team #toomuch 💖

Like FUN MAN ANDY likes this

@FUN MAN ANDY Thank you for sharing with your experience and positive emotions! 😍

Like FUN MAN ANDY likes this
Jack Community Leader Nov 08, 2020

Great read! Always good to learn more about our leaders!

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Community showcase
Published in Atlassian Community Events

It is me, Andy B ! a.k.a. FUN MAN ANDY [Community Showcase]

COMMUNITY SHOWCASE – FUN MAN ANDY “Showcases spotlight Atlassian Leaders who make a big impact on our Community. The Atlassian Community Team taps Leaders to share more about themselves and their A...

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