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Jobs & Careers Month discussion: Pay it Forward

Andy Gladstone
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 13, 2023

j+c month banner.jpeg

It's Jobs and Careers Month, and now it's your turn to become the mentor by paying it forward

Can you recall the first time you interacted with any Atlassian Product, Tool or Service? Do you remember which one it was? Do you remember why?

I have been a Confluence enthusiast for over a decade, and only discovered the power of Confluence (then Server, now Cloud) in 2011-12 when looking for a platform to replace our company's Linux based Apache Wiki Server. I can truly say that finding Confluence has both influenced and helped shape the journey of my career. 

In college I learned about programming languages and structured systems while pursing my BS in Computer Science. Concepts such as Agile and Scrum were not taught, and the systems used to create order from chaos such as Confluence, Jira, Trello, Bitbucket, etc. were not covered or discussed. It took entering the workforce and being exposed to these concepts and platforms to recognize their value and learn how to harness their power.

Why should today's students go through the same inherently broken process of discovery, testing and adoption?

Pay it forward by sharing the following below.

  1.  How you first discovered your favorite Atlassian Tool, why it's your favorite, and how it has affected the trajectory of your career.
  2. If you could provide advice about that tool to a High School or University student today, what would it be? 

Obligatory inspirational quote to get your mentorship 🎓 on:

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." (Winston Churchill)


 

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Laurie Sciutti
Rising Star
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September 13, 2023

Hi @Andy Gladstone !  

I first became exposed to Jira and Confluence when I was "asked" (voluntold) to manage both at my company.  I was managing Remedy and TFS but we were moving platforms to ServiceNow and Jira so I moved with it!  

Confluence quickly became my go-to for organizing / dumping all the scattered info in my brain (into easy-to-follow documentation, of course) and sharing it with my coworkers.  Needless to say, I no longer had to repeat everything 500 times and I was more readily recognized as the SME.  I've found that users are much more self-reliant and have turned to our Confluence content frequently ~ I mean, isn't that what it's FOR?  It's definitely helped me become much more efficient and allowed me to learn about Atlassian's other product offerings.  Who knows ~ maybe I'll have a new favorite within a few months.

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Andy Gladstone
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 13, 2023

Voluntold is a common theme among other Atlassian Admins I have met and spoken with. How amazing would it be if the next generation entering the work force didn't have to be voluntold but rather able to show their skillset with the proper training and introduction during their formative learning years?

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Laurie Sciutti
Rising Star
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September 14, 2023

That WOULD be amazing!  🙌🏻🎓

Like Summer_Hogan likes this
Raymond Muyuka January 20, 2024

This is awesome,

Amanda Barber
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 13, 2023

Great topic, @Andy Gladstone

I used Jira at my first job after I left my teaching career. I still had very little experience in the tech world. Then, when I landed my current role, I became deeply involved in Jira and Confluence. I believe it's yet to be seen how it will impact the trajectory of my career. I could absolutely see enjoying Atlassian Administration (or Jira Administration) in the future.

My best advice is to remember you're not limited by the decisions you make now (in school) - stay open to new adventures down the road!

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Andy Gladstone
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 13, 2023

Great advice!

And i would argue that even if it didn't change the trajectory of your career (yet) it certainly introduced this wonderful community to you that we see you participating in each day and certainly has had professional and social impact on YOU and US!

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Chandler Caulkins September 13, 2023

My favorite Atlassian tool for the moment is JIRA, as a kind of culmination of change management and ticketing systems.

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Andy Gladstone
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 13, 2023

@Chandler Caulkins welcome to the Atlassian Community! Anything specific about Jira that is making it your favorite? Is it the process of discovering the tool and learning new attributes each day? Any advice you'd give a student about how to get involved in Jira?

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Chandler Caulkins September 13, 2023

@Andy Gladstone , My first piece of advice would be to look  for a project to get involved with.

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
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September 13, 2023

Ahh, a story :-)

>Can you recall the first time you interacted with any Atlassian Product, Tool or Service?

23rd December 2004. 

It sticks because I had gone to my boss the week before and said "James, I've scripted myself out of a job, you only need me to be an SME and do a bit of monitoring and that's a day a week at most"  Turns out he had inherited a Jira and build-server admin that didn't fit anywhere else (and the rest of his team had no idea), who had handed his notice in the day before, and James just said "spend the 23rd with Donal, and if you like the look of it, you can have his job". 

Donal introduced me to a production Jira 2.something, and the Jira 3.0.3 he'd set up for testing the upgrade.  We broke for Christmas, then I spent January shadowing him before he left, and then upgraded from 2 to 3.something in February.  Next task - import another Jira 1.x into it...

Atlassian stuff has been my career ever since. 

I blame the Community - I got so much help in those first couple of years that I had to try to give back.  Still do.  I don't ask many questions nowadays, but that's not because I know it all (I certainly do not), but because I can find so much help from the community and the other circles I've ended up working with as a result, I generally don't need to ask, there's something out there already that answers it and I can find it with search. 

I've got three bits of advice for students, but I don't really think they're just for new starters in the Atlassian field, they're for everyone, at every level

  • Search, read, and listen.  Docs, videos, Community, chat, RSS feeds, search engines, AI
  • Doubt the first thing you find.  Question it, look at the source (hint - if it's an Atlassian Community answer that's been marked right, and for bonus points, a post by an Atlassian or a leader, it's going to be right.  But also check the date), test it, and check it against other stuff. 
    • This used to be a minor point, but now people are using generative AI to answer questions, it has become more important. 
    • Generative AI is great in many ways but is not an expert system.  It does not understand Atlassian software (or anything else for that matter) or know how to use it, it will tend to tell you what you want to hear, rather than the truth, which is mostly going to be wrong.
    • 3 years ago, moderation of Community needed the mods to reply to an incorrect answer maybe once a week.  Now, we're removing 30-40 wildly useless AI generated answers a week).
    • Always cross-check what you find.
  • Play
    • For a surprising number of animals, play is essential to learning.  Spend a bit of time observing your local puppy, child, baby octopus, kitten, or corvid.  They all play to explore.
    • Play is not the first best way to learn for everyone.  Some people learn better by demonstration, some by reading, some by diving in and breaking it all.  But eventually, every learner has to try what they have read/watched/tinkered with, and that means playing with a system
    • Fire up a play system, and play with it.  Ideally, get a real-life scenario that people want set up and try to do that in your play system, but even if you can't, just play.
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Andy Gladstone
Community Leader
Community Leader
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September 13, 2023

Wow.  You have just literally armed anyone that reads this post with tools for success. Thank you for taking the time to share.

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Monique vdB
Community Manager
Community Managers are Atlassian Team members who specifically run and moderate Atlassian communities. Feel free to say hello!
September 14, 2023

This is why @Nic Brough -Adaptavist- is a legend. 

noworhty.gif

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Manoj Gangwar
Community Leader
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September 14, 2023

Good topic!! 

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Tomasz Rogawski September 14, 2023

Ad. 1 

My 1st Atlassian tool was Confluence, because I joined CRM team as Scrum Master, and it turned our they do not have requirements documented. Right after I started to use Jira, because both of them work best together :) 

Now I'm IT Analyst and use these tools to save time of the team handling too much work at the same time.

Ad. 2

My advice to a High School student would be to install Jira Cloud on your Mobile and start using it to manage your work. University student could do the same + go through the trainings and help colleagues coordinate some some project work.

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Monique vdB
Community Manager
Community Managers are Atlassian Team members who specifically run and moderate Atlassian communities. Feel free to say hello!
September 14, 2023

My first Atlassian tool was Confluence in 2013, and at my old company it was used just as a static wiki. No collaboration, no fancy pages, no blogging.  I had no idea the power that would be unleashed when I started using it at Atlassian! Also I am now a heavy user and huge fan of Trello, Jira Service Management, and Atlas. 

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Shinde_ Mukund September 14, 2023

Appreciate for sharing! Keep it up!

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Craig Nodwell
Community Leader
Community Leader
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September 15, 2023

A nice way to show age @Andy Gladstone 

Feb 2005, I'd just left RIM.
I ran the SCM dept. there(DevOps wasn't a thing yet, heck Agile wasn't really a thing yet), and had just implemented a custom Issue Tracker / Build Trigger / Capacity Measuring Tool for Building and Releasing Software.
Running from the high impact corporate job nose first into an implementation of a standardized Build and Release process and automation.  
I was introduced to Jira 3 by being handed the Admin job on top of all the other work to achieve the above.
It was Love/Hate at first bite.
Since that time I've implemented Jira into just about every organization I've had the pleasure of working with.  I became an independent consultant soon after this job ended in 07.
My current client has chosen the DC route, and I've also had them implement Confluence and soon Align.  This years push to eliminate BSM has me now pushing Jira service mgmt. as a possible solution to the pains they feel there.
Even after all these years I still Love/Hate Jira.  I still work in the Build and Release space, and push Jira to new limits with each new client.  Jira/Confluence are now serving up DORA for the Directors, published to Confluence on the weekly.

My best advice is to always have a development environment of your toolsets so that things can always be vetted out before touching production.  I enforce that the teams I work with follow the same development best practices that we enforce on our end users.

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Summer_Hogan
Community Leader
Community Leader
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September 15, 2023

Great questions @Andy Gladstone!

My first introduction to any Atlassian tool was in 2013 when I worked for McKesson Specialty Health. They wanted to introduce a new way to collect and document requirements and also a place to write process documentation such as SOP's and Work Instructions. They introduced us all to Jira and Confluence and that is where my Atlassian journey started. When they first introduced Jira, I remember a representative from Atlassian came to visit the office in Scottsdale, AZ and I was so elated to have something to write requirements in besides MS Word! It was not the first time I had used a requirements tool and it definitely was not the last. Seeing Jira and Confluence grow over the years has been amazing and I love Atlassian tools! 

My advice would be look at your life as an adventure in learning and never stop! Take in as much as you can that the world has to offer! Oh, and get involved in the Atlassian Community early on and stay for many years to come.

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Brant Schroeder
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 16, 2023
  1. First used Jira on a consulting gig and have never stopped using it since.  It has allowed me to keep everything organized and succeed in the work I do.  
  2. Learn Atlassian tools now and become a member of the community.
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Kai Becker
Community Leader
Community Leader
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September 18, 2023

+1 
That's exactly how I would do it.

Prabhu Palanisamy _Onward_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
September 17, 2023

Like many, Atlassian products were recommended to me by practitioners who loved using for their work. There was no glitzy marketing, pushy sales or over the top promises - just real features with an active community.
My 2 cents to the younger generation is focus on the core and not get carried away by the nice-to-haves.

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Kai Becker
Community Leader
Community Leader
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September 18, 2023

I would highly recommend Jira. I have been using it for over a decade now, in a personal and business context and it makes life and project organization so much easier. 

1. I first used it as a student in a small company and really loved the ease of use and the transparency it provides.

2. Get your hands dirty. Try out some stuff and organize a simple project with Jira. It would also be an option to write down the tasks for a complex project like a bachelor/master thesis. 

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Dan Breyen
Rising Star
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September 18, 2023

Having worked in the Software Business, I've been using Jira for three different companies for close to 20 years.  Prior to using Jira, we were using home grown software to track issues.  Having a software package to do all of this work for you is much better than having to reinvent the wheel.

For the cost of Jira, I'd recommend Jira and JSM to anyone in the software business.  I'm new to Confluence.

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Sayed Bares [ServiceRocket]
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 19, 2023

How you first discovered your favorite Atlassian Tool, why it's your favorite, and how it has affected the trajectory of your career.

My first Atlassian tool was Confluence, and setting it up was the first question I was asked in my job interview.

If you could provide advice about that tool to a High School or University student today, what would it be?

I'd say it is one of the best knowledge management tools for high schools and universities. It can be used to store and organize research materials, encourage collaboration between different faculties, students and lecturers, and many more use cases to make your org effective. 

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vikram
Rising Star
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September 19, 2023

I first started with Bugzilla, which I have first installed and implemented for my first organization. 

at that time it was a great achievment for me as well as my organization.

Vikram P

Aaron Geister
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 19, 2023
  1.  How you first discovered your favorite Atlassian Tool, why it's your favorite, and how it has affected the trajectory of your career.

    So I first discovered my favorite tool by being ask to build a JSD/JSM project for IT Help Desk team. It was a lot to learn even in the early days of cloud. Learning the schemes and how Jira works was very different than many other systems. Once I understood the concepts of Jira and when they clicked into my brain I became amazed by its abilities. From that time I wanted to know about ITSM and service management and how I could best serve my customers. This has helped me scale my Admin journey and career as I wanted to know more about Atlassian and all the other products. I became a full time admin of Atlassian products and learned as much as I could and continue to learn as new products come to light and vision. It has been my favorite place and space.


  2. If you could provide advice about that tool to a High School or University student today, what would it be? 
    I would offer the students to learn from the Atlassian University as I did. It helped me so much to better understand the tools and what they are there to do. I would talk about how they can make us more efficient as a team. I would guide them as many other admins and community leaders have guided me with best practice and knowledge of the tools. I think it would be great to work with college or university to present these tools and offering so that it could help them. I think there are great use cases for college students to use products like Confluence, Trello, and, Jira in our daily lives or schooling.

    Here is a few of my thoughts.
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Rosana Aira September 19, 2023

I was asked to start documenting and Confluence was the tool used and I instantly loved it and it is my favorite documentation tool for a long time! As I like documenting, it is always a plus!

Start using it and getting familiar with it as it is used in several companies. Also, collaborate and share your findings.

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Dave Mathijs
Community Leader
Community Leader
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September 19, 2023
  1. The first time I came across an Atlassian product must have been my sign-up to Trello (but I don't know whether it was already acquired by Atlassian. But the one moment I remember most is when I received a phone call from my former manager to ask if I was interested in becoming an Atlassian Consultant without even knowing what Atlassian was at the time. By chance, a few days after, I discovered that an ex-colleague of my former employer had decided to use Confluence for their team documentation. When I saw it for the first time, I wish I had known about it years before when trying to build a knowledge base for the service desk.
  2. Discover, experiment, play, leave it aside, try it again and make it yours.
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Andy Gladstone
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 20, 2023

Thanks for sharing these pearls of wisdom @Dave Mathijs. Always gems from you! 

Ram Kumar Aravindakshan _Adaptavist_
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 20, 2023

It was around 2008 for a short period (around 2 months) of time while working on a project. If I recall it was Jira 3.

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Saralie S.
Community Manager
Community Managers are Atlassian Team members who specifically run and moderate Atlassian communities. Feel free to say hello!
September 20, 2023

Wonderful post once again! @Andy Gladstone 

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Cassie the Jira Mechanic
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
September 28, 2023

I discovered Atlassian when I accidentally got hired as a backfill for someone going out on maternity leave. At the time I lived in Software projects and was so excited to learn more. Now to be honest I love software projects but secretly my favorite things to work on are JSM projects.

Id give the advice to remember to set and / or wipe your resolutions via post function or transition screen! ( Don't forget those ALL transitions!!) I feel like this is one of the number one rookie moves I see on any project type that can impact soo many things. ( boards, reporting, filters, SLAs.. etc)

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Sue Wilson October 2, 2023
  1. How you first discovered your favorite Atlassian Tool, why it's your favorite, and how it has affected the trajectory of your career.
    1. My favorite Atlassian tool is JIRA.  My 1st experience was as an end user at one company. Then, when I changed jobs not long after, they were looking for a new bug tracking tool.  Of the several I provided that met all their requirements, Atlassian was selected.  I was given admin access with a freshly installed Jira Server application and asked to get it up & running ASAP.  From that point, I was hooked and Jira Administration became my side gig for the next decade or so.
  2. If you could provide advice about that tool to a High School or University student today, what would it be? 
    1. If you want to become proficient as both an end user and administrator of any or all Atlassian tools, become a member of the Atlassian Community, earn the badges, and obtain the certifications, first the relevant ones, then any others of interest. This will help you more fully understand the products AND may give prospective employers extra incentive to hire you.
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James Richards
I'm New Here
I'm New Here
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October 31, 2023

Hey, I love the idea of ""Pay it Forward"" in the context of Jobs & Careers Month! It's all about sharing knowledge, experience, and helping each other out on our professional journeys. Speaking of which, has anyone here considered opportunities with crpf apply online? It's always good to explore a variety of paths and learn from others who have been through the process.

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Shawn Doyle - ReleaseTEAM
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
November 17, 2023

My favorite is Confluence.  I've always liked wikis and have used and been an admin for a lot of them.  I run my company mainly from inside Confluence.

My advice is to "explore the space". There is not a lot you can break, so go nuts, learn all the features, and see what everything does.  

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