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How I Accidently Became a Marketplace Vendor

Greetings Everyone!

Codegeist 2021 is coming to an end. If you aren’t aware of what it is/was, Atlassian Sponsored a Forge development competition. I had planned on participating last year, but I had work-life balance issues that prevented me from being able to submit something I would be proud of. However, it’s a new year and I’m working for a new company that does a much better job at work-life balance for employees. I was determined to redeem myself this year!

So, I saw the announcement on the Online Community by @Bridget, I signed up, now I just needed an idea. My best thinking comes when I’m walking the dogs in the morning, and sure enough before the end of the walk, I had an amazing idea! However, I needed to check with someone on the Community Team who would be able to validate if what I was thinking was possible or not. After speaking with @Monique vdB she pointed me at this post: https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Feedback-Forum-articles/Use-the-Community-API-to-query-tags/ba-p/618155
which proved there are a limited set of publicly exposed REST APIs for the Online Community platform.

I dove head first into this project. I decided to go all in on the Atlassian tooling.

  • Confluence - for all of my documentation and weekly sprint reports.

  • Jira - A dedicated project, with a roadmap, epics broken down into tasks and weekly sprints (I also used Jira Software Insights in between sprints which is an awesome new feature)

  • Bitbucket - As my source code repository and also pipelines because, why not?

My plan was to build an Atlassian Forge app that would allow users to search the Atlassian Online Community for answers to questions from within Jira or Confluence. It took me a little bit to get comfortable with the Forge platform. The reference documentation is fantastic, especially the UI kit components.

I decided to do one week sprints and I tried to break up the work into what I thought would be manageable chunks for part time work in the evenings and weekends. I also wanted to give myself plenty of buffer time in case “something came up“ or I ran into unexpected issues. Within the first couple of weeks I had something almost 100% functional. By the end of the first month I had something I was extremely happy with!

Where I hadn’t allocated enough time (and I was glad I had some buffer time) was around how much time it would take to fill in the project details for the Codegeist submission.

  • I needed a short elevator pitch

  • I needed some documentation about how to use the app

  • I needed to create a demo video

  • I needed to include anything else I wanted the judges to review as a part of my submission.

While I was filling in the project details (and this is where the title of the article comes in) it asked if I intended to publish my app on the Atlassian Marketplace. At this point, I hadn’t really put any thought into doing that. I simply selected “not sure“ and moved on. When completed my submission, I was over the moon that I had actually redeemed myself! It didn’t matter to me if my app won any of the prizes or not, I had already won simply by proving to myself that I could take a project from idea to execution. I also have a much greater appreciation for the Atlassian tooling from a developer perspective. I’m an Atlassian Administrator by profession, but as a user I live in a Jira Service Management project so I don’t regularly get to see the end user experience from the developer seat.

The next day, I’m walking the dogs again, and the thought pops in my head. “Could it really hurt to 'try' submitting my forge app to the Atlassian Marketplace?“ That weekend, I learned a TON about what all is involved in setting up a marketplace vendor account, and then preparing an app for approval. However, after a bit of effort (much of what was already required for my submission to Codegeist 2021). I submitted the Jira app for approval by the Atlassian team. It took a couple of weeks, but it got approved?! I was a little stunned at first, then I was filled with joy as this was additional validation that my app is working the way I intended it to.

You can find “Get Community Help for Jira“ or "Get Community Help for Confluence" for free on the Atlassian Marketplace.

I can’t express enough how happy I am that I made the time and effort to participate in Codegeist 2021. I would absolutely do it again and I feel like I learned so much from this experience!

25 comments

Wow, @Jimmy Seddon ! You are really cool! 
Your app looks interesting.

I have some ideas to it:

- it will be useful to create web-links between current Jira-issue and Community-article that help us(jira user)

- maybe it be easier if issue-summary will be automatically added to search-box (plus “clear field” button, if you want clear it and start your own search)

Like # people like this
Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Sep 02, 2021

@Alexander Bondarev thank you for the very kind words and the great feedback!

Erica Moss Community Manager Sep 02, 2021

@Jimmy Seddon This is so incredible, Jimmy, congrats! 🎉

Like # people like this

Well don @Jimmy Seddon !!  Love the free App!  

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Ben Thoma Atlassian Team Sep 02, 2021

Love the initiative, @Jimmy Seddon!

giphy

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timmy Atlassian Team Sep 02, 2021

Nice work, @Jimmy Seddon

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Sharon Tan Community Manager Sep 02, 2021

Wow!! This is so awesome @Jimmy Seddon ! What a wonderful idea and thanks for sharing about this 🙌🙌

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this
Jack Brickey Community Leader Sep 02, 2021

@Jimmy Seddon , awesome work my friend. It seems so obvious now to have that feature embedded. Expect a call from Atlassian any day to acquire your company. You are incorporated, right? LOL!

Like # people like this
Bridget Community Manager Sep 02, 2021

Wow this article made my day @Jimmy Seddon !!

Like # people like this

So excited to see the Confluence one soon!!!! Wow @Jimmy Seddon thanks!

Like # people like this
Esther Strom Community Leader Sep 02, 2021

This is amazing, @Jimmy Seddon

I've bumbled around in Forge a bit, but haven't gotten close to having a working product. Very impressive, and one that I'm going to be installing on all of our instances.

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this
Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Sep 02, 2021

Thank you everyone!  I'm a little overwhelmed by the positive response!  It really means a lot to me!

@Brittany Sudlow I will let you know as soon as the Confluence app has been approved.

Like Sharon Tan likes this

:applause:

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this
G subramanyam Community Leader Sep 03, 2021

Hi @Jimmy Seddon that's a remarkable entrance and journey. A person's achievement is complete when he/ she translates ideas into prototypes and see them being valued and used in the right place and right platform. Kudos man 👏

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this

Well done, @Jimmy Seddon and thanks for another addition to help the community!

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Dave Liao Community Leader Sep 03, 2021

@Jimmy Seddon - yaaaas! Just installed in on one of my cloudy instances!

Looks like I'm going to play "Get Help!" in my Jira Cloud this weekend!

chris-hemsworth-get-help

Like # people like this

That is way AWESOME! Congrats  @Jimmy Seddon 

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Hana Kučerová Community Leader Sep 03, 2021

Fantastic!

giphy.gif_cid=ecf05e471c1naashrnw4g4tu7jfy2q0tszbdelqheqgs0cwi&rid=giphy

Like # people like this
Darline Auguste Community Manager Sep 04, 2021

Amazing as always, Jimmy, way to go!!

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Ivan Lima Community Leader Sep 04, 2021

That's next level. Impressive. Great job 👏 

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this

Nice, @Jimmy Seddon.

If you now want to actually market your app, you could think in addition more about the use cases. Why should someone use it?

The first use case coming to my mind is the following:

I'm responsible for the Atlassian Toolsuite at my company and people approach me with their tricky questions about Atlassian tools. They're using a JSM to submit their problems they need help with. If I don't know the answer myself, the first thing I do is to search on the Atlassian Community if there's a solution to the problem. If not, I'll probably ask a question myself over there - and maybe rephrase the problem of my user to use the proper Atlassian terms and add some context so that other people  on the community will understand it. In the end, I hopefully get a solution and can forward it to the user.

With such a use case in mind, I'd get also the following feature ideas:

  • As @Alexander Bondarev suggested, prefill your search with the summary.
  • Add an issue panel and directly display community articles based on the summary (without an additional popup).
  • If you've found a useful article, add the option to share this article with the user (so that they might learn that they can also ask in the Community themselves)
  • to be continued...

Maybe that's too much for your hobby project - but you triggered me to think as a product manager.. 😏

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this
Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Sep 09, 2021

@Matthias Gaiser _K15t_ I really appreciate the well thought out feedback.  I hadn't considered this when I was first making the app and I love the idea, I can completely see how that would make things better.  Is it too much? For right now, yes.  But, when things calm down again, I might revisit the app to make additional changes.

Thanks again!

Like Matthias Gaiser _K15t_ likes this
Like # people like this
Roberto Lins Community Leader Sep 30, 2021

@Jimmy Seddon

Congratulations on your app and perseverance! In your story, a life lesson is given. Knowing our limits is always important! Congratulations!

 

Cheers!

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this
Alex Community Leader Oct 01, 2021

Hey @Jimmy Seddon 

This is awesome, congratulations!

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this

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