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Holiday Countdown 2020 - The lost days part 4 - Soumyadeep Mandal - Mark Higgins


Due to the article size limit, older days have to be removed from the main article.

Here are day 6 and seven:




Song of the day: Mele Kalikimaka by Bette Midler  (

Let’s move on from the Netherlands to India. This is the home country of Soumyadeep Mandal. He’s from Kolkata, he’s on top of our new Kudos Leaderboard, reached the mysterious Level 9 (which was long said to not exist) and he’s number six on our countdown. 



SaM, nice to meet you! How and when did you become one of Atlassian's Community Leaders?
It was the month of December 2019; I was planning to host an event for AWS User Group Kolkata & Slack Platform Community: Kolkata on Trello and suddenly an idea hit my mind to form a community on Atlassian might be helpful for many Atlassian users of my city! After that, I took some time to survey a few Atlassian users. The response was really great and I also thought that It will be really beneficial for every Atlassian user in my city because I have the knowledge & skills to operate & solve issues of different products offered by Atlassian starting from Jira to Trello. So, I finally applied and became an Atlassian Community Leader in April 2020.

What motivates you being a Community Leader?
That's interesting questing! A lot of things motivate me as a Community Leader.
Whenever I was able to solve a query of an individual/user that makes me motivated. When I scroll the online community pages and I see a question/query, I get motivated to solve the query. Even when other Community Leaders solve a query of a user in the online community, even it makes me motivated to solve more & more. I love to gain knowledge and share it with everyone.
My leadership success lies in my community users/member’s success.

Do you remember the first time you ever used an Atlassian product?
I think it was the mid-year of 2016! Yup, since 2016 I'm using Atlassian Products.

Do you have a favorite Atlassian memory to date?
14th April 2020! The day I became an Atlassian Community Leader and started solving many different users worldwide by being an Atlassian Community Leader.

What are you passionate about, SaM?
I like to work on Cloud Computing (AWS, GCP & Azure) and Design & Develop Website & related stuff like Wireframing, UI/UX Design, Mock-ups, etc.

Did you have a New Year's resolution for 2020? Did you achieve it?
To do something better than last year (2019) in 2020 but as you know the current situation made things not possible. But I haven’t left the hope and continued to do what I have aimed for and I'm continuing to do so.

Do you have a resolution for 2021?
That's a secret! As the year 2021 comes everyone will able to notice the big difference in improvement from 2020.

What is your favorite holiday meal/drink/treat?
Pizza, Fruit Cake, Chocolates, Coke, Butter Chicken, a lot more…


Yummy, who don’t like a nice slice of pizza…

What are you grateful for?
Life! I'm grateful for my life because my life was surrounded by my awesome family & friends.

Do you decorate your house for the holidays? If so, what kind of decorations do you put up?
Yes! But only with led lights and few other handmade home decorations items.

Tell us more about your country. What makes living in your country so special?
I'm from Kolkata, this is a really nice city! It has earned the nickname 'city of joy' for its soulful embodiment of culture, love, mystery, respect, enthusiasm, and definitely some amazing sweet delicacies.


Well, what make India so special? A lot of things can be the reason! Let me list it down:

  • India is a food lover’s paradise


  • Holi, Diwali, Durga Puja, Eid, Christmas and more... more than 40 festivals in a year (some are in small scale & some are in big scale)

  • We have 22 official languages and 1652 unofficial languages

  • Mangoes! taste one in India and you won’t like them anywhere else.


Living in India will test your limits in every way and toughen you up.

That sounds awesome - So, spice and mango lovers, let’s go and visit SaM in Kolkata, India!

Grinch or Santa?
Santa! Because when Santa comes, he comes with Happiness & Gifts!!

So, the score Santa vs Grinch is by now:


How do you usually celebrate New Year's Eve? Will it be different this year?
It's my Birthday!! On 1st January I celebrate my birthday with my family & friends. I hope 2021 will be more awesome than in previous years!

Oh nice, you’ll always have a big party on your birthday!

What was your best movie, concert and tv show in 2020?

Movie: All Marvel & DC movies! I am a huge fan of Marvel & DC movies and the actors who play them! More movies like Bloodshot, Extraction, Fantasy Island, Bad Boys are just random movies.

SaM, do you know, there’s a superhero crew called “The Tag Cleanup Crew” on the Community as well:


We fought years ago against 20.000 evil tags on the platform - and we still do...


Concert: Travis Scott concert, it has collaborated with Fortnite. I play Fortnite more than any other games so I watched the whole concert in-game.


(Picture by Frank Schwichtenberg - Eigenes Werk - CC BY-SA 4.0,

TV Show: Dragon Ball Super & One Punch Man, I'm a big fan of anime. So, whenever I get some time, I watch some anime. More shows like The Flash etc these are just random Tv shows


What’s your best holiday gift ever?
Family! The most precious holiday gift ever! We spend a lot of time during the holidays staying together.


SaM, thank you for being our number six this year! It was a pleasure to get to know you. I hope to see you someday in person! 

Have great time with your family, and a nice birthday party! 





Song of the day: The Aussie Christmas Song (

Let's move on around the world - Today is the 7th day of the calendar and it’s Mark Higgins' day. Mark is from Australia and, with the help of Jovanka Pesika, Cindy Parker and Prashant Gami, he hosts Community Events in Sydney.

Hello Mark, how and when did you become one of Atlassian's Community Leaders?

I am Leader since the end of 2018, there where openings and I have been using Atlassian products for 10 years.

What motivates you being a Community Leader?

Spreading the gospel

Do you have a favorite Atlassian memory to date?

Listening to @Dominic Price and thinking that's the job I'd like :-)


If you could go back in time to give yourself an advice, professional or personal. What would it be?

Document what you do.

Haha, that’s what I tell my students all the time…

Mark loves football (I mean soccer, not the American football thing) and bicycle riding.

This would be the perfect ornament for him:


What is your fondest holiday memory?

Lord Howe Island


Wow, that looks awesome!

What is your favorite holiday meal or drink?

I love Lobster and Champagne


Is there a holiday song that you can't stand?

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas (nope).


I think, you’ll almost never have a white christmas in Sydney, don’t you?

What is your favorite holiday movie and why?

Die-Hard. Its got Bruce :-) 

Please share a heartwarming moment from 2020 with us

Before Covid, sharing New Year with my kids, who I now haven't hugged since February

What was your best holiday gift ever?

It was a Blue tooth Cycle helmet

What are you grateful for?

My family

Do you decorate your house for the holidays? If so, what kind of decorations do you put up?

Lights, a tree, stuff on the front door.

Here’s my tree:


Grinch or Santa?



Mark, how do you usually celebrate New Year's Eve? Will it be different this year?

I don't, I’m usually in bed by 10:00.

If you could change something about the way we celebrate the last days of the year, what would it be?

Give to others less fortunate.


What makes living in Australia so special?

It's Australia, we are an island, we have beaches, mountains, lakes, unique animals and a high standard of living.

What was your best movie in 2020? Why?

RAMS, It's Australian and Sam Neil, Michael Caton.


What was the most unsual thing you did this year?

I created a photo of my dog Casper, so he could go to the NRL games during lockdown.

Here's your chance to give a special shoutout to someone - who is it and why?

My Son, Nicholas, who works for Atlassian, and has been in Mountain View, in isolation since February. He's been outside once. We chat often, but we just want to make sure he is okay and safe.

Thank you, Mark for being our number seven this year. Have a merry christmas and I wish you a happy new year!


Mm, butter chicken

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Thanks for the shout out Mark Higgins. I’m with @Matt Doar__ LinkedIn that curry looks amazing!

happy festive season everyone and keep well 

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Thanks, Mark Higgins & Thomas for sharing this awesome annual calendar article for 2020!

Special Thanks to Thomas & Atlassian community! It's my pleasure to be a part of the Atlassian community!

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