FAQ: Secret Decoder Ring: How To Find Product Answers From Atlassian's Multiple Locations

QUESTION:

What is the "Secret Decoder Ring" needed to find product support answers from Atlassian when the information is held in multiple locations?

ANSWER:

Be fearless, curious and relentless! Appreciate that Atlassian lets you look inside the company's various information silos.

SUMMARY:

Run through these sources in this order:

  1. Product Documentation.
  2. Atlassian Answers.
  3. Bugs and Feature Requests
  4. System Dashboard: "All our online resources".
  5. Knowledge Base
  6. Answers FAQ
  7. Google Search
  8. Atlassian Marketplace to locate vendor documentation
  9. Atlassian Support: "Search the Help Center.
  10. Atlassian Support: Technical Support: Instant Answers"
  11. Atlassian Support: Technical Support: File a Tech Support ticket.
  12. Contact Atlassian.
  13. Atlassian User Groups.
  14. LinkedIN Groups
  15. Atlassian Expert
  16. Message our CEOs.

DETAILS:

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU NEED ANSWERS OR PRODUCT TECH SUPPORT:

Carefully formulate your question or keywords as you run through the steps below. Be ready to reformulate it and repeat the steps as you discover better terms or related issues.

  1. Product Documentation. Select your product and search further. Make sure the page matches the current version of the product in question. Following every related page with its comments and the links in the comments may get you your answer. You may also log on and ask questions. Kudos Atlassian for the single Atlassian ID that works across all these locations.
  2. Atlassian Answers. Public discussions, Q&A, and voting on issues and feature requests. It replaced Atlassian forums, whose content is no longer available.
  3. Bugs and Feature Requests. Developer discussions, features, issues and actual work on your products. Log in with your Atlassian ID and it becomes your personal System Dashboard for all Atlassian products. Find your product home page (Like JIRA or Confluence) and sift through years of developers conversations about your issue. You might find Atlassian's approach to your issue, or even how they prioritize it. Atlassian is one of those rare open companies that lets us look inside and speak directly to developers, so please be a good citizen and do your research first if you have votes or comments.
  4. System Dashboard: "All our online resources". This is one attempt for a single search across many sources. As of 12/6/13 it was not as good for me as separate approaches. They have plans to make it better in 2014.
  5. Knowledge Base. This appears to be a completely different source of information. For me it did not improve on the first three steps, but it's worth a try.
  6. Answers FAQ. This is neither Answers nor FAQ. It's more like an aid station in your marathon journey of getting answers. Take a break from the hours spent so far and see if you can get a tee shirt for working so hard. As of 12/6/13 it's under the heading "Resources from Atlassian." Currently it only tells you how Karma works in Atlassian Answers.
  7. Google Search. This is not as successful as when you are working the initial steps separately. It's best when you are "feeling lucky" and in a hurry. It's also effective when you suddenly discover improved keywords or question and have to restart at step one again. You do get to see outside forums attempts at your issue and they might have the answer you seek.
  8. Atlassian Marketplace. Locate vendor documentation and forums for plugin related issues. By now you may be considering whether a plug in will answer your concern. If there is a plug in that addresses your concern, it's likely the main product does not have a solution.
  9. Duplicate step 4: Atlassian Support: "Search the Help Center. This is presented differently but it's actually the same search as System Dashboard: "All our online resources".
  10. Atlassian Support: Technical Support: Instant Answers" This is a different attempt at combining all searches into one place. It's a little more edgy and experimental I think. Watch this one in 2014 as they make improvements. It may be the one to start from.
  11. Atlassian Support: Technical Support: Click on the Create button at the top of the page to file a Tech Support ticket. You'll need your company's product license number. If your company won't give it to you, you can't fill out the form.
  12. Contact Atlassian. List "Product Information" as the reason for your communication. It may or may not work, but you don't have to provide a product license number.
  13. Atlassian User Groups. Join or start a group a user group. Also search locally at Meetup Groups to see if there's anything unofficial near you.
  14. LinkedIN Groups. Join or start group for your product, like Atlassian Community or JIRA. Make connections and ask questions there. It may be less effective that Atlassian Answers but you get a different community.
  15. Atlassian Expert - Pay for answers or development as needed.
  16. Contact Atlassian: Message our CEOs. If nothing else works, this channel may get through. As stated: "We love hearing from our customers! We can't promise a response to *every* comment, but we do read all feedback submitted through this form. Spill your guts. – Mike & Scott"

Note that these steps and links will change.

PLEASE GIVE BACK. UPVOTE AND IMPROVE THIS ENTRY IF IT HELPS YOU.

Upvoting will make it prominent where others can find it, and encourage users to improve our best practices in getting effective answers.

UPDATES:

12/6: Retitled and rewrote as a FAQ, asking for upvotes and enhancements.

12/5: Clarified how to get tech support.

7 answers

1 vote

Thanks for this Thom. We know that we have way too silo'd an experience, and are slated to fix it up a lot over the next year.

One area we're experimenting is in the federated (multiple repositories) & intelligent (machine learning) search on the new support.atlassian.com landing page. We'll be introducing search refinements pretty soon. It's using Google CSE but it with tuning it should be a little better than Google.com (otherwise we really haven't done much).

In the next year what we're going to streamline is the search engine smarts, the silo'd experience, and the abrupt design elements across all the sites.

Thanks Jeremy. For the last couple days I had to push through steps one to ten over and over until I finally got an answer to my other posting here: "How Do You Find Old Content In Confluence? We want to find content NOT modified in past six months so we can archive and declutter."

It turned out to be vague documentation and even bug reports that didn't recognize that the functionality was already there. In fairness to Atlassian, though, you can't predict every single use case especially as versions change.

I am glad to hear streamlining may be ahead. Meanwhile, I hope my secret decoder ring might help users like me to know what the silos are and how to reach them.

Thanks Nic. Good idea. You've inspired me to retitle and rewrite it as a FAQ, asking for upvotes and enhancements. Hope it helps.

/me had bookmarked it permanently even before the re-write :-)

Hi Thom. After creating an account on the Support page, you can create an issue.

Regards,

Kay

Thanks Kay, I've updated my original posting.

You are welcome. Thank you for compiling the list.

Regards,

Kay

0 vote

Excellent question.

If I had my way, Answers would have a short, snappy list of maybe 8-ish FAQs so that those of us who answer the same question over and over and over and over could simply paste "see that" (ideally, as a single click)

Your question could be converted almost verbatim into one of the top FAQs. The only reason I say "almost" is because I think that Atlassian are aware that there's a lot of information around and they want to make it easier to find the most relevant stuff. So they should have the opportunity to clean up and maybe shorten your 14 points down.

Actually, I'm not sure "question" is the right way to describe what you've written. It's an "answer" in itself. To a lot of questions.

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