There are so many things I have learned since I first got involved with the Atlassian Community (formerly Atlassian Answers). For the Vulcans among you who can mind-meld, simply place your face against your screen and I'll upload them to you. For all the rest of you, here are three that stand out to me. ; )
1. Don't hesitate to ask/answer questions ... just jump in
Have you ever struggled with an issue, and after racking your brain for days you finally go to an online forum to ask a question only to be answered by some unsympathetic buffoon who tells you to RTM (Read the Manual)? If he or she is especially ornery they might even throw in the letter "F" (you can figure it out). Or maybe you have found yourself on the other side. You think to yourself, "Hey, I know the answer for that. I'll throw in my two cents." Only have the same unsympathetic buffoon imply that you are an idiot and should just keep quiet.
Well, that's not us here. We like babies and bunny rabbits and we're generally nice people here who actually like to be helpful. Sure, it's nerve racking that first time you answer a question. You re-read your answer 50,000 times before you tentatively hit the submit button and then check the question every five minutes to see if the original poster has responded. We've all been there. I can tell you as one who has asked my fair share of questions and given lots of answers that people here are generally just nice people. So don't worry about possibly asking a question that has already been asked. It's ok if you do. And don't worry about answering the question wrong. If you do it's no big deal.
2. Stand on the shoulders of giants
Unless you're the @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ you will probably only know maybe one or two Atlassian products really well, and if you are the @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ you rock! But hey, there are a lot of smart people here who know the products you don't know. I find myself occasionally reading through questions with accepted answers in the areas that I don't know just to maybe learn a bit about that product. I've only recently (like a year and a half ago) started getting into Jira administration, but even before I started working with Jira I would read questions and answers about Jira such that when we did purchase Jira and I started working with it I already had a bit of a base to work off of.
3. Feedback, feedback, feedback
If you've asked a question and someone has taken the time to respond with a thoughtful answer you have a couple of options you could do. You could read the answer and say "Eureka!!! That's it!" then close you email client and get back to work. Or, you could take a couple minutes to go to your question and reply to the answer with a "Hey, thanks for the answer. It worked awesomely!" Even just hitting the thumbs up button helps. : ) I can guarantee that that is the biggest thing that sustains me as a Champion. We don't get paid to answer questions, but if I know that the answer I gave truly helped someone out it gives me the boost to go and answer a few more questions. It's a bummer to put time into an answer and to never know one way or the other if the answer you gave actually helped or not.
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