"Starting our own 'ShipIt Day'" Questions

My company is looking to start our own ShipIt day. However, we have heard that some of our employees (non-engineers) feel as if their resources are already spread too thin. How does Atlassian go about fixing those types of issues? Do you only include engineers in ShipIt Day? Does morale decrease in other employees (sales, customer care, admin, etc...) if they are not included? Thank you!

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An excellent question Abby. Since we are an open company let me give you the raw details; plus, it's fun this way.

The simple fact is that, at Atlassian, even though ShipIt is supposed to be a whole company event we find that the participants are largely Engineers, Designers and Managers that were once one of the two. There are very few ShipIt projects from the other diciplines and when they do participate they are greatly cherished and lauded.

However, this is not the way that a ShipIt is supposed to work. It is supposed to be for every member of your organisation and Atlassian is currently in the middle of a large push to try and get the other departments to compete. To try and make that happen we are:

  • Creating a prize just for Non Software related teams.
  • Getting the management of those departments on board.
  • Publicising it within the company quite strongly that not only can everybody compete, but they should be. Right from the people on the front desk to the CEO's.

We are just going to continue pushing this message until everybody gets the right idea and we see full participation. I would recommend that you follow a similar approach in your company so my suggestions would be:

  1. Just get the ball rolling and get anybody that will willingly participate to join in. To help you along have a read of my comprehensive but readable guide to running ShipIt: https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DEV/Robert%27s+conversational+guide+to+running+ShipIt
  2. With each and every ShipIt try and encourage more and more people to join in. Build the tradition.
  3. It's now a tradition and you can start experimenting with it more and blogging about it while you reap the benefits.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions just ask them on this site and feel free to share them with me.

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