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Winner, winner; Vienna dinner: my post Open depression

Atlassian Open – Vienna 2019

What can be said about this week’s inaugural Open in Vienna?

Amazing? Epic? Fantastic? Exceptional?

All of those words and more… grab a dictionary, start at the beginning and just highlight every word synonymous with “time of your life”. That is probably the best way I could describe it for me. It's now lead to serious Post Open Depression. And yet, unbelievably… it almost didn’t happen! 😵😭

I wrote this article to both help me get over my POD as well as convince you that if you’re considering a trip to Boston or Sydney for the upcoming Opens then you MUST go book that trip. Read this amazeballs story to see why.

(This article is from the perspective of a Leader… but believe me, it wasn’t just ACLs that had fun!!!! 😉).


A last minute decision...

So literally as I start to write this - Thursday evening 8pm - this time last week I didn’t even have a ticket booked for Open. 😨✖

But that all changed:

It was 2 days before registration for Open would close - Wednesday morning – and I was chatting with our sister company in Vienna, who reminded me that the invitation to come visit still stood and that the following week (the week of Open) happened to be good for them…. Hmmm, nice coincidence! Maybe combine the two?

So I dropped Darline a message: “Tickets?”

Her immediate response:  “For Leaders: YES! Always…! But be quick so we know numbers for Community Activities”.

And so an urgent business trip approval got underway:  Open Vienna would be epic and seeing as I’m due a visit at the Vienna office anyway I could kill two birds with one stone. 🐤🐤🌑

But there was a significant challenge. Boss man was on a well-earned holiday… up some Canadian mountain range with no access to internet. How would I get the approval to enter the trip in the TMS?
36hr pass… no approval. Not even an acknowledgement by my boss that request is received. Damn.
By now it’s late on Thursday night…. 9pm. Darline’s reminder comes in… “and?”

Sod it! I thought. No harm in getting registration done. It did take some time to register - I was knackered and didn’t want mistakes - but 40min later: “Darline, count me in!”

But now the rest of the trip, a story so many budding Atlassian enthusiasts can probably relate to: “I’ve got this awesome event registered and now I could just do with work sorting me out the rest!”

By now Its damn late… I’m on a 60hr+ week and fading hard. I just wanna go to bed, fall unconscious and worry about travel/accommodation another time. But in a spur of the moment I consider the options:

  1. Wait on approval… try desperately to get it and then in a panic get the TMA to book everything last minute; I mean, I can only attend Tuesday so there’s time… or:
  2. Jump onto the search engines, get the cheapest deals, bite the bullet, put it on my own CC and fight for the expense reimbursement another day…

Gut feeling kicks in: “Do it you fool!! Go for B! Go for Broke!” 🤘

It took several hours to really work it all out and book… but by 1am I went to bed with a F^^KING enormous smile in my face!

 “Winner Winner! SCHNITZEL Dinner! Next week I’m off to OPEN VIENNA !!!” epic day…

Boy oh boy how pleased I am that I went !! Super early Tuesday morning flight and by 10am I was taking my first of many idiot selfies, outside the Messe halls with the Atlassian sign and uploading it to the Event App – which, despite all its Bugginess was bloody amazing in my opinion. Good job Chris, Jaclyn and the team!!

I’ve missed the key note by Jay Simmons though… bummer! On the Event App feed, it’s looked epic… but a silver lining! It’s overrun and the Expo is devoid of Open goers. Perfect time to already go do the networking

First stop – Botron! My good buddy Theodora said she had a 🎁 gift for me…. And what a GIFT!!

!!Winner, Winner! COOKIE Dinner!

They were amazing and I gladly shared them out at the Community Team Badge Bar. Very well received. Totally lush! 🍪💝

Then Gliffy to meet up with John to continue our online conversations face2face…. Holy crap! They’re raffling off a Lego Technic Porsche! I didn’t win it but that was a damn cool prize.

Then ALM Works, have a good natter about Portfolio and Gantt charts…. they too had a prize raffle: amazing Bose Bluetooth headset.

Cassie then took me to the Trello guys for introductions and discussion around how our IKEA Place App dev team is exclusively using Trello to manage their work.

And so it went on and on – chat, learn, share, repeat! Oh and scanning the QR codes and connecting with people for the Event App gamification. Of course!!

Also hanging out with good old Steve most of the day, a Leader of ACE Amsterdam! Always a pleasure. Especially as he gave me an Austrian craft beer to take home. Noice one buddy! 🍻💝

12 Tier 1 sponsors… 26 Tier 2 sponsors. At the beginning it didn’t feel like a lot but by 15:30 I realised that actually it really was quite a lot! Almost didn’t get round them all.

And the talks….. whatever you think of them, the speakers, their content, whether it’s new info or you’ve heard it all before, no one can argue that the quality of delivery was absolutely top class.

Agile ITSM with Paul Buffington stood out for me! Once again, a talk on ITSM got me thinking! Go figure… it's my number one challenge at work. Lots of hard work ahead of me, and yet now I am more pumped and inspired than ever!
I was too busy networking at the time, but I've also been informed by many that Dom Price's Create the Future of Work While You're Living It was outstanding and thought provoking! Shame to have missed it...
But oh well; there's always Boston, Sydney and Summit2020 for a rerun! Right?

And not to forget the magic mirror, the charity foundation, the graffiti wall and so much more!!!


a lasting memory…

Now it’s time to go to the hotel, drop off the heavy swag-laden back pack, freshen up and go to the ACL Social at Der Riesenrad… the Ferris wheel.

Oh, holy WOW! What an amazing time up in the air overlooking all of Vienna….! Canapés, Champagne, good company and we even managed to get the music in the cabin working. Legends!

Then it was time to do some more drinking and socialising at the Ferris wheel bar and have a bit of dinner.

I must say… I can’t remember the last time I have just stood for hours laughing constantly! We even made up a game: Win With Edwin! (Rules available upon request… you do need to make sure Edwin is there to MC it though!)

There was even time for some serious reflection on Open and what we genuinely thought of it. And as we’re only human, occasionally have a moan about the negative side of Atlassian. But all noteworthy points to provide some constructive feedback to Atlassian. They’re a nice open bunch. They’ll appreciate it.

And so sadly 22:00 (the end) came round quicker than one can say:

“!!Winner, Winner! MARILLENSCHNAPS Dinner!”

By now I’m drunker than a cricket in a hub cap and I thought to myself “Fun time over, time to crash. I’m knackered”

Turned around to start saying my goodbyes  and there’s Atlassian’s very own Head of Community Stephanie staring me right into the depths of my soul…

“There’s a bar called Hendrik’s…. lead the way Fun Man Andy!”

How does Fun Man Andy politely decline such a request…? After a super early start and a looooong day I was so tired and doubted it. So a quick review of the options:

  1. Go to hotel, sleep off the merillanschnaps, and be fresh for a day at the office, or:
  2. Continue the good times and extend this social evening with no idea of how it will end!

Gut feeling kicked in again: “Dude,  this even a contest!?" it screamed:

"Winner Winner! VIENNA Dinner!!”

And once again, following the gut feeling paid off big time. In only two short hours the remaining ACLs had the most fun imaginable… and to save you from a story even longer than the extensive pros written above, here’s the highlights:

  • The greatest Bumper Cars / Dodgems session of my life!
  • Jaime! Airport! 5am!
  • Beer coasters: The Edwin Double Flip
  • The resultant SloNo movie of it captured by Stephanie.
  • Beer coasters: The “In The Crack” Aaron Toss
  • Beer coasters: The Fun Man Andy 51 Record Flip
  • Mike, Scott, look what we’re doing with your money! Thaaaank you!!!
  • Jaime? Airport?? 5am!!?!?
  • One last memorable hang out in the last bar with the die hards… just 6 of us left over
  • Walking through the metro for the last train with Edwin, but suddenly losing him. Oops! Where’d he go?? 😱 (Don’t worry… he was fine and got to his hotel OK)


.. a special Open memento…

The Atlassian Open and all my ACL buddies gave me so much and more, so now something from me in return – a special Fun Man Andy GIF!

One that for me perfectly captures the experience.  I hope you cherish it as much as I do:


…and now the end is near!

Sometimes we never want the fun to end, to just let the good times roll but alas, the truth is, all good things must come to an end.

Therefore, to get over my Post Open Depression, I want to end this experience in the best way that I could think of: personally thanking you all for this truly amazing and unforgettable experience, and in particular:

  • Darline for the reminder and helping instigate my attendance!
  • Teodora for being such a great buddy and her wonderful gift.
  • Cassie for her ever present smile and sorting me out with the Trello guys
  • Steve for always hanging out with me at events and that craft beer!
  • The Community Team for the gifts and fabulous handwritten card!
  • Edwin for the games and social stimulation…. likewise for Aaron, Jaime, JP, Nic, Tanya, Antonio, Gal, Kristijan, Matea, Kristian, Bobi, Petar - basically everyone I guess !!
  • Nic and Guy for the Swedish Porn anecdote (you really had to be there for that one to understand context)
  • The Dodgems Crew for that insane session!
  • Aaron and Jaime for unforgettable beer coaster fun! (Aaron almost killed JP Oodjob style... eek!)
  • And last but most definitely not least: STEPHANIE! If Fun Man Andy was the bus everyone rode on, then Stephanie was the engine that made sure it ran like a dream!




Depression... GONE! Open… OVER! Fun Man… OUT!



Andy, great article! On point. A great in between summit meeting with great talks & insights. Up for some craft beer with you next time. Missing you Monday night... 

Like Andy - PTC Redundant likes this
Antonio Ferruz Community Leader Sep 14, 2019

@Andy - PTC Redundant , you are true LEADER! . What a positive energy!  
The only thing that I can add .. I was there too! with .. Fun Man! 

The whole Atlassian team & Leaders are great people that I already consider my friends! 

Like # people like this

Thanks so much @JP _AC Bielefeld Leader_ ! You are so right, it really was. I am already looking forward to the Craft Beer Social! I hope it happens sooner rather than later!

@Antonio Ferruz : That is so kind of you to say - what a compliment! Muchas gracias amigo! I get a lot of my energy from you guys. It is so wonderful to be surrounded by so many great people that we can call our friends :oD

Mirek Community Leader Sep 14, 2019

Great summary! :) It was outstanding time! And happy to meet you Andy in person! :) It was true.. Fun! Big thank you for everyone! And I hope that we can meet again soon without worrying about approval from a boss that is on vacation :) Great Andy that you made it! I was also one of the last registered and happy that I also did!

Like Andy - PTC Redundant likes this

@Mirek : So great to hear you felt the same. Was great to meet you (and the others) in person. Feeling very much mutual. 

How awesome that we both made it last minute!? Epic stories!

@Edwin Kato & @Aaron Williams / @Aaron Williams : if you can't access this through the tag, then Queen Mo or Daniel Eads need to check your account settings! Cheers.

Reread this today, how amazing was the time with you all!

@Andy - PTC Redundant next time we can go further - bringing cookies from Sofia to Las Vegas! Each 1000 km is doubling the ultimate experience! :)


PS: The End(Game) gif - awesome!

Like # people like this
Ste Community Leader Sep 15, 2019



Like Andy - PTC Redundant likes this

@Teodora _Old Street Solutions_ : LOVE the fact you had a reread! 😍💝 
OH, yes please ! 1,000s of Cookie Flight KMs ! ! YUMMY 🍪🛫✨👍

@Ste Yeaaaaah!!!! Gotta love the GIFs 😎🤘

Great Article - Andy - Looking forward to the next time I get to meet up with yourself and all of the other community leaders.

Like # people like this

@Kristian Walker _Adaptavist_ : Thanks so much Kristian. It was a blast. I too cannot wait. Will be an amazing time once again!!

@Juan Ramón Alonso : Can you access it if I tag you in a comment? Otherwise Queen Mo needs to check your settings.

Kate Clavet Atlassian Team Sep 18, 2019

A very entertaining read! Thanks for sharing your experiences and providing me with ample chuckles. 

BiancaE Atlassian Team Sep 18, 2019

I'm getting all kinds of FOMO reading this!

Like Alison likes this

Was really nice experience to hang out with all of you guys! :)

Interesting read @Andy - PTC Redundant I can't wait for the next time and more games of course :)

@Jodi LeBlanc : if you liked my Hello-Trello "mic drop"... what about this literal one!? 😎🤘

Like Jodi LeBlanc likes this

OMG @Andy - PTC Redundant !!! You seriously outdid yourself, coolest thing I have seen all month - best gif of the year!!!!

Like Andy - PTC Redundant likes this

Hah hah hah ! ! That is so awesome to hear @Jodi LeBlanc ! So glad you liked it 💝😎👏

Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Jan 13, 2020

@Andy - PTC Redundant Thank you for posting!

What an exciting read!

Like Shawn Kessler likes this
Alison Atlassian Team Jan 22, 2020

Winner winner, community dinner!

Thanks for sharing this Andy! Love seeing an adventurous spirit shine through even on a work trip. Albeit, a work trip involving Atlassian is not your average trip ;) 

@Tim Keyes : you're most welcome Tim! 😍👍

Like # people like this

@Alison : anytime ! My pleasure. 
It was an intense work/atlassian trip.... and it's clearly a theme with me, plus I am just a glutten for punishment:
I am going to be a speak at Summit, plus perform my ACL role and go to San Jose for two days of work... all in the same week


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