As a Support Engineer at ITHAKA, @Daniel Eads _unmonitored account_ spends his days administering Jira and Confluence to help his team work better together. He is also a Community Champion, an AUG leader, the list goes on! In all of his spare time, Daniel has also found time to attend Atlassian Summit in 2016 + 2017. As we look forward to Barcelona, we spent some time with Daniel to hear more about why he thinks Summit is not to be missed. Enjoy!
Describe your favorite moments from past Atlassian Summits:
How did you apply your Summit learnings to your work life?
One of the easiest value-adds for Summit is the exposure to new add-ons. You might not have a problem that needs an add-on when you’re at Summit, but being able to recall some demos of what’s possible with the help of the Marketplace can really save you time and effort later in the year. Sessions are also great to attend provided you take some notes and review them a few weeks after you get back. There’s a lot to digest!
What tools did you discover at Summit and do you use them now?
Automation for Jira and Configuration Manager are two add-ons I discovered through Summit that make my life easier as an administrator. Automation extends what you can do in Jira Service Desk and also lets you apply rules to Software or Core projects. Configuration Manager lets you build things on a staging environment and then export/import your configuration changes up to Production without having to rebuild everything. There’s a ton you can do with both tools.
Did you attend any ancillary sessions such as AUG Day, Industry User Groups, TAM Day, or Partner Day? If so, how did these sessions enhance your Summit experience?
I’m an AUG Leader so I do get to attend AUG Day. The Community team treats AUG Leaders like royalty and I’m constantly blown away by how much we are spoiled. Running an AUG can be a lot of work, but it also gives you a great place to grow professionally by learning the tools and personally by taking care of your AUG members. The Community team at Atlassian rolls out the red carpet for AUG Leaders to make their Summit experience super memorable and fun. And marketplace vendors are keen to hear from AUG Leaders too about what people ask about at AUGs.
Did you attend any training courses or take any certification exams? If so, how did they enhance your Summit experience?
No courses or exams at Summit itself, but I am certified. Meeting the University team was fun and they were super friendly! And if you are ACP certified, they’re excited to show you off.
Why did your company choose Atlassian tools?
Atlassian tools are best-in-class. There’s nothing like Jira for flexibility and nothing like Confluence for ease of use. Sometimes you don’t want flexibility and need something simple fast, and that’s where Trello can help! For the random bits you need that isn’t covered in-product, the marketplace usually has a solution. The flexibility without over-complication is something unique to Atlassian.
What are your top 3 reasons to attend Summit?
What about the Summit experience makes it so special for you?
Atlassian lives by its values, and they really show at Summit. I’ve been to other trade events that felt sterile or really sales-y. Summit lets you experience the Atlassian culture, actually connect with other people (and on a personal level!), and learn from people trying to make the world a better place. It’s not just about making a sale or eeking out that last bit of productivity from a person with Atlassian products. It’s about building better work life and better teams, and having fun while you’re at it.
For a Summit rookie, what is the one experience they can't miss out on to make the most of their first Summit?
Don’t leave before ShipIt Live! I had an overwhelming experience at my first Summit but ShipIt really cements the culture together and gives you a feel for how Atlassian works as a company.
For a Summit veteran, what brings you back to Summit year after year?
My experience has shifted from “there’s so much to learn” to “how can I help other customers?”. Now that I’m pretty familiar with most aspects of the ecosystem and certified, solving specific problems is my mission. That might be tracking down a particular vendor and showing them your screen to describe an issue, or finding an Atlassian Product Manager to ask about a specific feature. Along the way you get to help other customers learn the ropes too which is fulfilling but also helps expand the ways you think about doing things.
Who was someone you met at Summit that made an impact on the way you work?
@Jamie Echlin _Adaptavist_, @Daniel Wester, and @Peter Van de Voorde all provided valuable feedback into plugins and doing things through the ecosystem instead of just using Jira out-of-the-box. It was also amazing to hear how @Bob Swift _Bob Swift Atlassian Apps_ got started in his basement and @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ just likes answering questions! The Atlassian world is full of legends and it’s interesting to pause and think about how one of them might tackle a problem you’re facing.
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