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Holiday Countdown Calendar 2019 - The Lost Days 2

brand-4147-advent-asset.pngBecause of size restrictions, I have to remove older portraits from the main article. But here they are again:




Oh dear, half the time is almost over, time is running so fast...

So let's start the day with  @Tania Clarke , Senior Product Marketing Manager in Jira Service Desk. She grew up in Townsville, Queensland, Australia - right on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef. Now, Tania is living in Sydney.

Tania, what is your fondest holiday memory?

Walking around London feeling the striking sense of independence on my first solo overseas trip at 21.


Do you have a favorite childhood holiday memory?

I had the opportunity to grow up with a lot of open space, animals, and nature. I'm grateful for that looking back. I have owned a calf, a lamb, a goat, two horses, a cat, a dog, chickens and tried to adopt some frogs somewhere along the way.


Are there any unique holiday traditions in your family?

Our Christmas is always a hybrid birthday/Christmas due to my birthday falling on December 25th. We celebrate my birthday, and then dig into the Christmas shenanigans.


What is your favorite holiday movie?

I LOVE Christmas hallmark movies. I don't have a favourite because I spend all of December watching cheesy Christmas movies in the lead-up.


Tania, What do you think of holiday songs?

It feels traditional to love and hate a Michael Bublé Christmas album!


Here's an awesome funny holiday Bublé-Video, I love this!


And which meal do you prefer on holiday?

I'm biased. I was born on Christmas day so I love Christmas balls, and a summer seafood platter that's been cooked on the BBQ!


What's your best holiday gift ever?

One year I received a voucher to jump out of a plane. That was awesome!



Do you decorate your house for the holidays?

I don't like to store all the Christmas decorations all year so I go for Australian themed decorations that can be found outside. Think native gumtree branches as an alternative to a Christmas tree and wooden/minimal decorations.


Did you have a New Year's resolution for 2019?

I often set myself learning-orientated goals and yes I managed to upskill in areas I wanted to, and I read many more books this year than the last.

Do you have a resolution for 2020?

My goals in 2020 are all financial goals! Eg. set up my investment portfolio, save for a house deposit and keep my curiosity around financial literacy!


Tania, please share a heartwarming moment from 2019 with us

My old manager sending me a delightful heart-warming email on my last day in my previous role. We worked together for years and she's hands-down a great human being.


What are you grateful for?

Waking up every day and having the privilege to curate a life I want to live.


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

Shout out to my fellow Sydney superstar PMM @Alyssa Warren who has been a great support and friend over the short time she's been at Atlassian (and Australia!)


Thank you Tania, have a lot of fun on your birthday / holiday and a great BBQ!






Hello @Alana Stoltzfus  you are our number eleven this year. Great to have you here!

What is your role in the Atlassian universe?

My job is to understand how our customers are feeling and find ways to address customer pain points across Atlassian. Whether it be working with our internal teams like product and support (so there's a good understanding of Atlassian customers) or sharing information with our customers (that helps them better plan and manage their Atlassian products), my goal is to keep our customers happy.


Do you have a resolution for 2020?

Get enough sleep! My second baby is due between Christmas and New Years, so if I sleep in January I'll be happy.


Oh, this is awesome - All the best to you and your baby - have enough sleep and sweet dreams of course!


Do you have a favorite childhood holiday memory?

Every year for Thanksgiving, my family and I would fly out to Chicago where my mom grew up. We would cram 30+ people into my grandparent's small living room and play with my mom and uncle's old toys from the 50s in my grandparents' basement. I still remember playing with an old GI Joe doll that belonged to my uncle as a boy that was missing a leg and had a string you could pull to make him talk (though by that point whatever it said was all garbled). I loved playing with all their broken toys.



This a great tradition, a house full of memories and the whole family there - awesome!

Thank you so much, Alana for taking part in the countdown and for telling your stories. Happy holidays to you and your whole family!





@Josh Frank was born and raised in the Bay Area. He's Product Marketer for Jira Software Cloud. So if customers are seeing content about what's new with Jira Software, that is coming from him or other people on the team.

Josh, do you have a New Year's resolution?

I'm going to try and run a half marathon! I'm a regular runner, but usually stick with 4-6 mile increments. Looking forward to pushing to the next level this year.



Josh's favorite holiday meal is Hanukkah latkes.


I never tasted them, but they look delicious.


Josh, do you want to shout out to any of your favorite Atlassian coworkers or Community contacts?

Shoutout to Jake Brereton, who leads the Jira Software Cloud PMM team, who has been sharing the latest and greatest from Jira Software Cloud for over 6 years!

Thank you Josh - and please post your latkes recipe here in the comments! I need to have this :-)





Hello @Robert Chatwani, we're glad to have you on day 9. Where are you from?

I'm originally from a small suburb right outside of Chicago. Des Plaines, Illinois.



Did you have a New Year's resolution for 2019?

One goal was to eat healthier and be more thoughtful about the food I consume. It took a while, but mid-year I converted to eating a 100% plant-based diet. Achieving my other goals Hmm...I'll just say that I still have a few weeks left in the year for those ;)

Well, exactly 22 days... - but you achieved your first goal and that's great already!

For 2020, I want to spend more time with our customers, and this includes attending more Atlassian Community Events!

That's great, btw Hamburg is an awesome city with a nice Community and regular events  ;-)

Shameless self promotion... I know, but look here, this is Hamburg: 



Robert's most favorite holiday movie is:


starring John Candy and Steve Martin. Robert loves the idea of doing absolutely whatever it takes to get home for the holidays.


Are there any unique holiday traditions in your family?

Yes, a big family breakfast. The kiddos (we have 3) are not allowed to open any presents until after breakfast. It's fun to watch them eat so well, so efficiently!


Robert's heartwarming moment from 2019:

Earlier this year my wife fulfilled her long-standing dream of expanding her practice. She's an eye doctor, and loves her patients. She moved into a larger, modern space and she can now serve even more members of our community. Her opening was a very special moment, with our whole family and so many of her patients there to celebrate together.


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

That's a tough one, too many to name! Our Community is the heart and soul of our business. I just want to say 'thank you' to everyone who has contributed this past year. What I love most is that it doesn't matter if you're an Atlassian colleague, Community Leader, or someone who is just participating online or offline. We all share incredible values and that's what inspires and energizes me each and every day.


Thank you Robert for being part of our Community and for your heartwarming words and interesting stories. Happy holidays to you and your family and - see you in Hamburg ;-)





December, 8th, time to talk with @Jason Wong . He was the lead product manager for Jira Agile through to Jira Software for about 5 years. Now, he's working on the shift to Cloud, building Confluence, Jira and App migration experiences with the Atlassian Cloud Migrations Team.

Jason was born in Malaysia, but his parents moved to Australia when he was just one year old, so he's a Sydney boy from the Sutherland Shire.


Did you have a New Year's resolution for 2019? Do you have one for 2020?

At work it was to build up a product management practise with my new team in Atlassian Cloud Migrations. With family, it was for my children to visit their Great Grandmother in Singapore, which we did during a holiday in September.
For 2020, I think it’s shaping up to be about climate change. Starting with the things I can act on now - the way we run our house with power usage and waste, recycle better and if possible achieve carbon neutrality.


A great resolution, Jason. Let's all share this, every single one of us!


Jasons fondest holiday memory is great and is full of ideas to think about:

A time when I was in Singapore, on international student exchange. A bunch of international students got together to travel to a remote island for a week. It was the most perfectly run unplanned holiday I’ve ever been on. It was a recipe for disaster - 10 avid travellers, from different countries with huge opinions, preferences and ambitions for what they want to do and see (not only on this trip but life in general). We had so many complications along the way that would typically ruin a holiday - no transport plan, walking across the board with no transport, no pre-booked accommodation - but it all somehow all came together and cost next to nothing. I think we all just moved into explorer mode, taking what comes and making the most of the situation. Strange when I now come to look at holidays that tempt us with opulence and trophy accommodation facilities that cost the earth, and now think back to that time to remind myself what makes a great holiday.


What is your favorite holiday meal and drink?

A nice craft beer and a plate of sushi



Jasons father worked at Quantas Airways, so they did a lot of travelling. His favorite childhood holiday memory is the Yosemite National Park:

We stayed in a cabin in the valley - I got to chat to American kids for the first time, the smell of the trees - I don’t know exactly, maybe cedar or pine which are very different to the eucalyptus smells we’re used to in Australia - and the squirrels.


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

The broken record at my house is that Mariah Carey song...

Guess, which one - well, some like it, some not ;-)


Are there any unique holiday traditions in your family?

My wife is from Japan so we do have some things at New Year, such as the otoshidama money packets for the kids and Japanese food that is only usually served on New Year’s day.


Jasons decorations:

We will put up a few fairly lights, Santa and reindeer inflatables when putting on a party. We moved house last year so I’ll have to figure out a new scheme. We’ll of course decorate the tree, wear Christmas hats and put reindeer antlers on the car.


Jasons heartwarming moment from 2019:

I’ve been very warmed by the way Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister of New Zealand) addressed many challenges this year such as her response to what happened in Christchurch and the country’s new commitment to becoming carbon neutral - showing real leadership and love of country, people and the planet.


Thank you Jason for telling us so many interesting things about you. We're happy that you are our number eight! One last question: Want to shout out to any of your favorite Atlassian coworkers or Community contacts?

@Kunihiro Takahashi_Confluence Samurai_  and  @Narichika Kajihara  from the Tokyo AUG for always accommodating and helping me out with speaking opportunities and presentations in Japanese. I will be calling on them again in the new year with my latest Atlassian talk in Japanese. Kunihiro in particular with his amazing talk at this year’s Summit. Also recently a shoutout to @Robin Scanlon and  @Jeremy Buffa from the Glintech team for inviting a bunch of us from the Cloud migrations team to a local event they hosted with customers who are interested in moving to Atlassian Cloud. These opportunities to meet customers face to face are priceless.



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