Come for the products,
stay for the community

The Atlassian Community can help you and your team get more value out of Atlassian products and practices.

Atlassian Community about banner
Community Members
Community Events
Community Groups

Holiday Countdown Calendar 2019 - The Lost Days 1


Because of size restrictions, I have to remove older portraits from the main article. But here they are again:





For today's portrait, we talked with @Ben Thoma  who's considering himself as a product from the Northeast. He grew up in Connecticut, went to College in Delaware, lived in New Jersey and worked in New York City.

Today, his hometown is Austin - he lived there for the past seven years and Austin is the place, he feels most connected to, overall.



What is your role in the Atlassian universe?

I am a Program Manager, helping the Field Services team — Atlassian University, Technical Account Managers, and Jira Align Solution Architects plan and develop their GTM strategy.

Do you have a favorite holiday meal?

Ever since moving to Austin, I have been deep-frying a turkey for Thanksgiving. Can't recommend that experience enough—so tasty!—but my all-time favorite has always been pumpkin pie.


I  never tasted pumpkin pie... It's not so common in Germany. What's your best recipe for the pie? Post it in the comments below - maybe it will become my all-time favorite as well.

Do you have any unique holiday traditions?

For the past several years, I've found good reason to get a bit over-dressed with friends to celebrate the holidays. Look at the pictures on flickr.

Wow, great photos!! I love these suits you both wear!

What are you grateful for?

Community—in the form of my family, work, Scouting, church, and CreativeMornings… I am fortunate to "belong" in so many circles.

Want to shout out to any of your favorite Atlassian coworkers or Community contacts?

I think the entire Atlassian University team deserves to be mentioned. They are some of the most humble, hard-working, and kind souls I've had the pleasure of calling coworkers in my career.

Thank you so much Ben for taking part in this funny little calendar thing - and happy holidays for you and your family!






Hello @blim , you are the next in line - our number six.

Bryan Lim is Product Manager for Jira Software. He's from Walnut, California but now relocated to Sydney.

He used to do skiiing and snowboarding in Mammoth Lakes, CA on holiday.


But now he has a little problem with this tradition - as Owen told us yesterday, holiday swimming in the sea is much more common in Australia than holiday skiing... This year will be Bryan's first Christmas away from the snow  :-(

I hope, you'll enjoy your time in Sydney nevertheless. Maybe this could be another option for you, looks quite similar:



Bryan's favorite holiday treat is Chocolate chip cookies and milk 



and he loves the 1996 American holiday comedy "Jingle All The Way" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, his favorite holiday movie:


Thank you, Bryan and have a good time in Sydney - we'll send you some snow to relieve your pain! Have a nice holiday and thank you for being our number six!





@Owen Wallis is Senior Product Manager for the Platform, always looking after Media; images, files, attachments, and how to collaborate on and around these.

He's originally from the UK - and he is our number five on the Holiday Countdown.

Here we have another Star Wars fan - his fondest holiday memory is getting an X-Wing fighter as present when he was a child



Of course, may the force be with you as well, Owen!


"All I want for Christmas is you" - isn't this a great holiday song? Mariah at her best, every year again and again. I'll tell you a secret: Owen loves this song. Who does not? Well, let's wait a few days, then Mariah will return and you will see who does not...



Owen recently moved out to Australia with his wife and child. So, holidays are quite different there. He's planning to go for a swim in the sea in the morning.
Something which is very far removed from what they were used to do in the UK.

Who do you want to give a shout out to, Owen?

I'll give a shoutout to Avinoam Zelenko and Pratima Arora from Confluence. They have been very active on Community, answering many tough questions with openness and dignity.

Thank you, Owen and have a great time swimming in the sea on holiday morning!






December the 4th, a perfect day to learn more about @Lewis Haidt .

Lewis' role in the Atlassian universe is focused on community and distribution for Software Marketing - Jira and Bitbucket Cloud.

Where are you from?

I was born in Bethesda, MD, spent my childhood in Cincinnati and Los Altos, CA and lived in Los Angeles for over ten years

Lewis, what is your favorite holiday drink?


Egg Nog

(Something typically American, isn't it? I only know egg nog from the Griswold's "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" movie - one of my favorite holiday movies :-) )



Which holiday song do you love?

It's "Candlelight" from the Maccabeats (click and enjoy the great video on youtube!) 


Never heard this song before, but it's great! I love it.

Thank you so much for taking part in this project, Lewis and a happy holiday for you and your family! Enjoy your eggnog (I will do as well, have just googled the recipe) !

Here's a task for everyone reading this: make yourself an egg nog, take a nice photo and post it in the comments - the nicest one will get a Clark Griswold egg nog badge, maybe, I hope so, to be honest, @Monique vdB  doesn't know anything about this yet... But I'm sure she'll do everything to make this happen  :-)


20 days left...





What would a December be without a new Star Wars movie? Pointless...

This might be Tom Tsao's motto, he is leader of Global eCommerce and Buyer Experience for Atlassian's websites. Born in New York City, he spent his childhood growing up in New York and then New Jersey before coming to California for college.




Tom's most favorite holiday meal is homemade rib roast, his special holiday drink is a cup of hot chocolate. 


(Most probably not at the same time I think, might be a strange combination) 


And, surprise, surprise: Tom's favorite holiday movie 2019 is:


Well, to be precise, it is ANY Star Wars movie. But this Christmas, he's definitely looking forward to seeing the "Rise of Skywalker". May the force be with you, Tom!


Want to shout out to any of your favorite Atlassian coworkers or Community contacts?

I'd like to give a shout-out to @Leslie Lee, who has been an amazing partner on Community and one of my favorite coworkers! I also want to give a special shout-out to the awesome cross-functional Community leadership team who I have personally gotten to know much more over the past month:  @Stephanie Grice , Maura Randall, @Monique vdB , @David Corcoran , @Kevan Lin , Jeremy Largman and Alice Merlino. You guys rock!


Thank you, Tom, thank you for being a part of our community and have a lot of fun in the cinema this December!


21 days left...






For December, 2nd, we talked with @Leslie Lee , Head of Customer Evangelism at Atlassian and asked her a few questions:

Do you have a favorite childhood holiday memory?

Growing up, most of my holidays were spent in Taiwan visiting my grandparents. That's the one time a year, we would visit them and experience life in Taipei where my parents grew up. Because of that, I didn't had the typical Christmas traditions - no stockings, Christmas tree, or elf on the shelf. Instead, we had hot pot, stinky tofu and night market visits. I loved our trips there, but also wished I could have the "typical" American Christmas, though I never really was sure what that meant!

Are there any unique holiday traditions in your family?

These days, in my family, we incorporate new traditions with our old family ones. We have stockings, bake cookies for Santa, decorate the Christmas tree and have an advent calendar (I still don't get what elf on the shelf is!), but we also have hot pot and eat dim sum in the new year. The holidays are also a great time for reflection; We think through the past year and make goals for the new one.

What are you grateful for?

A LOT! I'm grateful for our amazing community. Every time I talk to someone about it, they are perplexed - why do people help each other out, answer questions on their time off, go the extra mile for each other? There are no answers that make logical sense. We just have an amazing community of good humans and it's a privilege to be a part of that!


Thank you Leslie, and happy holidays to you and your family! It's awesome that you combine old traditions with new ones and I'm sure, someone will give you an elf on the shelf this year :-) 



22 days left...




Today, is December, 1st. Let's start the countdown with @Jamey Austin from Berkeley, California. He's a Content Marketing Manager, spending his time writing and editing Atlassian documentation (and maybe Christmas Cards as well).


Jamey loves crooning holiday songs, his favourite one is "I'll be home for Christmas". If you want to sing with him, here are the lyrics:


His favorite holiday meal: Olallieberry pie (something I never heard of before, but looks very yummy).



The holiday movie he's loving most is "It's a wonderful life" - A classical movie released 1946 starring James Stewart and Donna Reed:



Jamey's New Year's resolution for 2019 was using more checklists to start his day. It worked great, at least for three months :-)

(Hey Jamey, that's longer than most other New Year's resolutions survive).

He's grateful for his three children. And we are grateful to have him as our first Holiday Countdown Calendar portrait, thank you Jamey!



Log in or Sign up to comment
Community showcase
Published in Off-topic

Don't F&*% the planet.

Over the weekend, Atlassian ran a New York Times ad calling on business leaders to join us in committing to a net zero future through the Science-Based Targets Initiative. As part of our gl...

961 views 5 32
Read article

Community Events

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find an event

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Unfortunately there are no Community Events near you at the moment.

Host an event

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local event. Learn more about Community Events

Events near you