Blog from October, 2010

So Oct 11-13, we had the privilege of attending the annual AtlasCamp, Atlassian's Annual Dev Conference in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Well, it'd be easy to really get off track on all that - much to say, but you can read about it here and lots more places on the net. Here's some cool picts! In short - KICKED ASS!

Before Camp...

BEFORE CAMP they had a great little "Herculean tasks" Camper team building Contest and our team came in 3rd place! Yay Bamboo Team!!

We won PRIZES:

  • a cool Atlassian beer coolie
  • bottle opener and a swift pat on the back

The last item - SW value $60.. real value, priceless!!

How about a set of Atlassian licenses for 50% off?

AppFusions already has lotsa systems - so we want someone else to use these, get engaged and stoked up about Atlassian SW, make some neat plugins, or track your life in your own Wiki and JIRA at least!

So if you are a Java developer, or Atlassian developer, technical writer or PM, or serious dabbler - or just keen to learn alot and get into it, then STOP WISHING now and GET INTO IT!)

And plan to attend NEXT YEARS AtlasCamp. But before...

  • Here's the SDK. Download it.
  • Here's the instructions. Read them, do them, and then install your new plugin of whatever flavor.
  • A good kickstart is to do the Atlassian dragons.
  • Get your 50% off licenses by paying $30 here for a great cause.
  • Send email to me saying you paid the $30 bucks.
  • I send you email with your 6-pack of licenses.
    • Confluence - Enterprise wiki
    • JIRA - issue tracker
    • FishEye - integrated code browser, etc.
    • GreenHopper- code review
    • Crowd - centralized user management and SSO
    • Bamboo - continuous intergation server

ONLY $30 for complete set of Atlassian SW (10 user licenses)
.. And the money goes to a great cause. H20. CLEAN H20.

EVERYONE should have clean water!

It's a basic. It's only right. What if you didn't have clean water? THINK ABOUT THAT!!

Please help out - its not a lot o money, and you'll feel better afterwards for it! Help out, share some water, and kick off your new Atlassian moonlighting dev practice.

When you have something to show, SHOW IT! (smile)

When you feel like you have something good to show - contact us, and maybe we'll hire you!

ALWAYS looking for killer developers of all stripes. The more stripes the better - since we're dealing in the big world. And trust me - customers also come in ALL stripes.

Exhilarating - get into it!


p.s. If ANYONE ELSE that went to AtlasCamp and won a STARTER LICENSE pack that will not be used? Please let me know! Let's get MORE water donations, and get some new devs into the swing of it!

OR... You can always donate to the water campaign anyways. Love to see that barometer go up some in the next 60 days! (smile)

Yesterday was a great day at AtlasCamp, as over 100 Atlassian ecosystem developers and 20+ Atlassian-ites from all over the world descended on the beautiful town of Half Moon Bay in Northern California... some by car, many by Atlassian-hosted buses from San Francisco or SFO, and I think maybe a couple by bike (though that is just a rumor).

Whatever way, it's an awesome scene - with Mother Nature providing some incredible weather to bless the kickoff of 2 1/2 days of dedicated Atlassian-geek-time.

Monday sessions started PROMPTLY at 1:30 with Jonathan Nolan, Director of Developer Relations kicking things off as "MC" with a warm welcome to the packed room of attendees.

Directly following an excellent talk was shared by Ben Speakmon appropriately diving hard into the Atlassian Plugin SDK - the cornerstone of Atlassian development - both internally and external. Atlassian's strong functionality and growth in the market is largely due to their strong support, focus, and dedication of consistently improving their SDK plugin development environment.

If interested in getting involved in Atlassian plugin development, the best place to start is HERE! Pure and simple.

While Ben's talk was a great start, it got deep from that point forward (never to stop.. (smile) ) providing plugin developers with a vision of true product development and how easily possible, starting with an excellent example by Andreas Knecht.

Andreas is an Atlassian employee who has created this "side project" plugin: JIRA iPhone Web Interface. Check it out.

John Kodumal, also an Atlassian developer, then gave a talk on modularizing large plugins - and then, the Lightning talks!

Lightning talks at Atlassian conferences are short and sweet demos, tips and tricks sessions, or whatever else deemed relevant by the volunteer contributors from "the attendees".

While the organized Atlassian Sr. Developer talks are excellent nuts and bolts talks - not to be diminished AT ALL - the Lightning talks engage the audience and allow folks in the ecosystem to share real work experiences. It brings it home.

What the exact schedule of Lightning Talks will be in never known in advance - since by sign up on a white board a couple hours before, making them even more exciting for anticipation of whats to come.

While not a competition per se, of course each speaker presenting is trying to pack their best shot, fast - and share out to the audience. Collectively, the group of Lightning Talks is an exciting display of Atlassian-plugin-development-and-experiences at work - in the real world, and an even more excellent example of an ecosystem that is growing and juicing at an endlessly collaborative way. It's very cool.

Monday's lightning talks were:

  • Ajay Goel of AppFire - Embracing Reusability - a talk about creating reusable plugin code for efficient plugin development.
  • Chris Kohlhardt of Gliffy - Stuff Gliffy did to try and sell more software in 2010 - a great talk on marketing tips for commercial plugin developers. The presentation is located here.
  • Darryl Duke of Stepstone Technologies - Building A Custom Confluence Brand With Zen - demo of an excellent customizable Confluence look and feel frame work. Check it out - I was impressed with this!
  • Igor Sereda of AlmWorks - Structured JIRA Plugin - an introduction of AlmWorks's Structured JIRA plugin allowing JIRA users to hierarchically control JIRAs, and many other features. Also cool - see it here.
  • Janusz Gorycki of Spartez - inviting you to MeetingRoom group chat integrated with Confluence (and more)
  • Jonathan Doklovic of SysBliss - Auto-loading test data with AMPS
  • Roberto Dominguez of ComalaTech- Selenium Testing Tricks in plugin development

It was a great kickoff of talks and more today (Tuesday) and also Wednesday.

Dinner last night was awesome! Thanks @jessiec of Atlassian for being Event Coordinator extraordinare.


K - back to AtlasCamp. Don Brown just jumped up to the front of the room (Functional and Integration Testing for the Lazy...). Gotta listen. (wink)

AtlasCamp or bust

Well AtlasCamp 2010 is finally upon us - Atlassian's notorious best event of the year (in my opinion) for Atlassian developers, partners, and/or consultants.

AtlasCamp, simply, is where it's at!

This year has already kicked off in a special way with Atlassian Camp Counselors kicking off this years event with their offbeat online team-building exercise ...

Yah yah yah... team building "exercises"...gag! But hey - sometimes it's actually cool! This was! and WE HAVEN't EVEN ARRIVED YET! Sheesh - what will they think of next!!

The Great AtlasCamp Game 2010! Not sure whose brainchild this was, but gotta hand it to them - beauty.

I bet most probably started the game with a little optimistic skepticism, but the novelty was enough to invoke curiosity to see how it played out.

I think most would agree that it was ONE HELLUVA way to kick off what is likely to be topped by 2.5 awe-inspiring days.


For me, this is my third AtlasCamp, and each one has a different flare - so I am pretty charged up for this upcoming one!

Each is different because Atlassian is also so significantly different each year - growing like a wild child it seems, but boy - the ride is very interesting! NO ONE could deny that!

And LOTS indeed has changed in the last 3 years!

For me also, each AtlasCamp has also marked a unique twist in my Atlassian career, sorta speak.

The first one, I was a single consultant as a new Atlassian partner (Clifftop). I was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, too-excitable, likely talking schmack for lack of knowing otherwise yet, but also overwhelmingly in awe of the incredible people I met that weekend in Santa Rosa - relations that to this day have a great familiarity because of that first camp!

I came out of that weekend flying - I knew right then that Atlassian was one special corp. THIS CORP WAS GOING PLACES, and I wanted to get on that ecosystem bus.. NOW and to stay!

A couple months after that first AtlasCamp, I joined CustomWare in 2009, dedicated to growing their US business. It was a ride like no other, and grow we did do.

I learned a ton in my solo US "office" with an extended engineering team in Australia. When I started, less than 20% of the Atlassian business was US-based. When I left, 80%+. We worked our asses off! And when you do that, you bond hard in relations - even when 8500 miles away. The bonds I made with the different folks on the CW team in 2009 will forever be in my head and heart. The memories are entrenched in my soul.

Bonds. Good segueway... In Spring 2010 - it was time for a new adventure!

On April 6, 2010 AppFusions, Inc. was born! I collab'd with a few senior development buddies of mine from my past, and Patrick Li - an expert in Atlassian development with many years of experience.

I then recruited, and recruited, and then recruited some more - selling, telling, pleading, and sharing my vision, passion, and beliefs to many, trying to get developers to "take the risk and ride" with me as we grew a new and very great Atlassian solutions partner group! The goals were explicit:

  • experts-only technical services,
  • excellent customer service,
  • endless challenge, exciting and cutting edge projects - guaranteed through the technology biz dev efforts I would forge, and
  • trusting open relations with all team, clients, and partners.

I posted these too-heavy perhaps objectives on the website - realizing it might be too intense - but also realizing that we needed to set a very strong and solid stage/objective, or maybe we wouldn't get half that far.

The basis of these goals are pretty simple - and personal. I simply defined the type of business that I would want to do business with, and figured, well that's likely to be a good formula for success... OR bust.

But either way, I'd know before 6 months!


In late May, Andy Brook - another Atlassian Forums "Genius" finally drank the AppFusions "kool-aid". Shortly thereafter was Atlassian Summit, and fed more "drink" to Colin Goudie (an independent Atlassian partner since 2007). I ended the 2-month stand-off with Mr. Google Analytics' (and more) David Simpson in early July. October brought another all-star: Laura Kolker, who already has been a huge impact of greatness on the team.

We've had a few other folks help us along the way that have been nothing less than critical in their helps - and I can only be extremely thankful, honestly!

Andy, Colin, David, Laura and myself will all make AtlasCamp this year - and I couldn't be more pleased! (Patrick - next one!)

As extra bonus: We will have delivered on a huge new Intranet rollout for one of our clients the day before AtlasCamp ... so we ARE ready to celebrate - the end and start of a good long road... !

See you there... let the fun begin.. !

p.s. (Can we call it Luxury camp already? This is hardly roughing it camping stuff .. (wink) Not complaining though. (smile) )