I made it — I survived my first Atlassian Summit!
And what an eventful week it was.
From being denied entry to the “unofficial” Bash after party with none other than Mike Cannon-Brookes (apparently being a billionaire doesn’t excuse you from not having I.D), to meeting some fellow Australian Marketplace Vendors, and learning about Kim Scott’s ‘Radical Candor’ — it truly was an amazing week.
As a Summit first timer, and a newbie to the Atlassian ecosystem, I am left with one overwhelming impression — Wow! This eco-system is BIG!
Monday 11th September
We kicked the week off with the inaugural Add-On Discovery Day — a one-day event dedicated entirely to bringing partners and vendors together to showcase how apps bring value to Atlassian products.
The event successfully managed to bring some of the ecosystem’s biggest names together with vendors, partners and customers in small, intimate breakout sessions.
My key takeaway - how do we become a part of this next year?
Next we were onto the Partner Awards Night.
Now I had been told numerous times that Atlassian knows how to throw a party, so I approached the champagne trays with the upmost caution!
With cheese and champagne in hand, it was really exciting to see that vendors were being recognised with a set of their own awards for the first time this year — and we were happy to see some of our Aussie Vendors take out a few!
Congrats to Code Barrel, Good Software Co., GLiNTECH and Project Balm!
Tuesday 12th September - Partner Day
After we registered and picked up our swag it was time for Partner Day!
This was basically an opportunity for me to go run wild at the breakout sessions.
I ended up going to 5 of the sessions, learning everything from what makes a successful marketplace listing, to how to meet customers in their agile journey with Atlassian tools.
One thing was for sure, my to do list was growing — and I’m probably the only person who will say this, but I was genuinely excited about it.
At 5pm, we heard from Scott in the Opening Keynote and this was my first inclination into the sheer size of the eco-system and Atlassian.
Was I at a concert or a conference? The stage was the size of a small soccer field, the music was pumping, and the new Atlassian branding danced across 6 screens.
The keynote was followed by a talk from Kim Scott the author of Radical Candor. Do yourself a favour and watch her talk here — it was one of the highlights of the week for me.
Wednesday 13th September - Summit Day 1
The official first day of Summit.
It kicked it off with the Product Keynote, covering everything from the launch of Stride, to the changing Confluence UX designs to the introduction of the new teamwork platform, ‘Home’.
I spent the day walking around the Expo Hall meeting with Solution Partners and other vendors.
PSA — wear comfortable shoes and take a jacket! Even though it was a comfortable 26 degrees outside, the conference hall felt more like a chilly 16 (I’m from Australia — that’s practically winter weather!).
Having spoken to many of these vendors and Solution Partners over email, it was just really nice to have the opportunity to meet them face-to-face and start building some relationships.
After a long day in the Expo Hall it was time for the Summit Bash — and it did not disappoint.
Flashing bracelet at the ready, I again approached the champagne tray with caution.
Between DJ’s, a live rock band, dance simulators and taco stations, I spent the majority of my time chatting with friends I had made over the last few days, soaking up as much of the experience as I could.
Thursday 14th September - Summit Day 2
As you can imagine, there were a few sore heads this morning and the expo hall seemed a little quieter than the morning before.
Though it didn’t take long until the crowds began flooding in from the Closing Keynote and the last day of Summit kicked off.
We spent our day much like the day before, and took the opportunity to meet with new and existing partners and fellow marketplace vendors.
At 3:45pm we all headed in to the expo hall for the Ship It Live presentations — I had been looking forward to this all day!
I had never seen anything like it — 5 teams had 24 hours to bring their ideas from conception to product. From Confluence and Jira integrations to Stride video recordings and transcriptions — the spirit of innovation clearly at its very core.
I was blown away, left feeling excited and hopeful that some of these projects would turn into reality. It was an amazing end to what was a jam packed, eye opening week.
My Final Thoughts
As a new member to the Atlassian eco-system, Summit provided clarity.
All of the puzzle pieces came together and I saw it for what it really was — an incredibly large, open eco-system with thousands of contributors all working together with the sole purpose to help teams be more effective.
I am incredibly happy to be a part of an amazing eco-system.
Bring on Barcelona 2018!
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Maarten Cautreels is an Atlassian User Group (AUG) leader from Brussels who is a Product Owner at de Persgroep. He is also an Administrator of Atlassian Suites, a ...
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