Yes to Remote! Bixlabs at the Atlassian Remote Summit 2020
Times are undeniably hard, but thankfully some events have managed to avoid being canceled. Such is the case of this year’s Atlassian Summit, that switched to remote mode, and yes, it was great. Lu González, one of our Project Managers (and also our most passionate Jira Administrator), was there, and here’s what she had to say about it.
Atlassian Remote Summit 2020
Written by Lucrecia González.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve around the world, Atlassian took the bold decision of canceling its event in Las Vegas and having it remotely on the 1st and 2nd of April instead.
The Summit included the talks of Atlassian founders, Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, and industry referents who spoke about the new trends on remote work and how they impact teams.
The first day’s keynote was titled Unleashing the Potential of all teams, and the one on the second day was about Business Transformation. For me, the highlight of the Summit was the announcement of a one-year free Trello license for educators, who, under these circumstances, need whatever help they can get to keep teaching. It truly made me feel proud of the community.
The cutest part was seeing both founders speaking from their homes, with their kids around, dressed up as we all dress up these days of mandatory WFH. I think it made us all feel close together, and that’s what it’s needed right now.
Another notable moment in the Summit was the speech of Anu Bharadwaj, Head of Product Management at Atlassian. Her talk was simply fantastic, a solid five on the 1-5 scale we were given to rate how valuable was each speaker’s presentation.
She addressed the subject of Atlassian Enterprise Cloud: Scaling the future of cloud in a very clear, educative way. I highly recommend watching her talk if you have the chance.
As always, the Atlassian Summit included several Breakout Sessions, which are short talks you can attend at any time during the event. Being able to bookmark my favorites while going over the schedule was unexpected and super helpful given the high number of exciting topics.
Another particularly handy feature in the event was that one could send questions to the speakers and leave feedback for each session (including the keynotes).
There were many Breakout Sessions I loved. However, for the sake of keeping things neat, I’m going to pick the three that stuck with me the most:
– Elite teams run on full tanks. How full is yours? By Molly Hellerman, who took her life experience as a soccer player and coach, to understand how to keep teams motivated and achieve goals (pun intended).
– Everything you learned about CI/CD is wrong by Antonia Verdi and Ian Buchanan. An interesting approach using humor to talk about a very relevant subject while providing great tips.
– Amplifying collaboration: How ESL Gaming customized Jira to connect teams across the globe, by Thomas Brill (!) and Samsoor Hemat. Honestly, this was the surprise of the event for me, because I did not expect esports organizers to be using Jira.
I’m a huge esports fan. They are a big part of my life. Now, organizing an esports event is WAY different than organizing a software project, and even when I could be somewhat right on this, still, Jira’s the tool.
To create these magical experiences, they work in the same way we do in software development. The main difference is that their process, instead of having Eliciting Requirements and Project Planning, has Event Pre-Production and Production-Planning.
I loved listening to Thomas Brill talk about every side of things and so clearly explain why this was a success case (look at those diagrams!). This Breakout Session was, undoubtedly, my favorite; I wish all my fellow esports lover nerd friends could watch it.
Along with the many great talks, the Atlassian Summit’s website also included other places one could visit:
– Chat with Atlassians: an area with live chat discussions about different topics (including but not limited to: Agile, Collaboration, Change Management, DevOps, ITSM, Financial Services Industry, Healthcare, Biotech, and Pharma Industries).
– Virtual booths for all the main sponsors, where you could see the resources they’ve made available for the event (got a lot of documentation to read this weekend), and also chat with them!
I talked to people from LucidChart, BigPicture, Mindville, Tempo, Valiantys, and others. I got all of my questions answered, and it was great to be able to speak directly to the people who run the products I know and use. It was like talking to someone that already knew what my concerns and needs were, and that was a good feeling.
Products and Practices section: From Atlassian Access to Jira, Bitbucket, Confluence, Trello, and many more, we were able to learn a lot about each product and talk directly with experts! I must say, after over 11 years of experience working with Jira, I’ve been in touch with Atlassian more than once. However, being able to talk directly to subject matter experts was fantastic.
My favorite product demo session was Certification: You can do it. Here’s how by Joanna Thurman. She gave a fantastic explanation on how to get certified, what to do, what resources are available, and more. I felt so inspired. I’ve been looking for getting certified for a long time now (I’m getting there eventually, bear with me), and being able to chat with Atlassian University experts was great.
To make things better, the whole Summit experience was gamified with a Scavenger Hunt, where you could earn points by watching a product demo, a breakout session, visiting a virtual booth and other activities. There were three different badge levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. And yes, I got Gold with many points to spare.
Atlassian Remote Summit 2020
Not only the Summit was fantastic by itself. It also allowed me to realize the perks of remote events:
– Asking questions to people you would LOVE to talk to is easily doable REGARDLESS of how shy you are. Chat protects you.
– At regular events, you often have questions you need an answer for. And you usually don’t know how to contact the individual who can provide you with a response. In this remote Summit, those persons were right there in real-time (and you could reach out to them directly, instead of walking around trying to find “the tall guy in the black t-shirt with the cool glasses”).
– You can watch any session when you have the time to (hello 3 AM insomnia), instead of having to run from conference to conference. I did enjoy the comfort of my chair.
– You get to send questions and messages directly to the people that put together the session you just watched. So if it’s a thank you, they will get it, if it’s feedback, they will get it too (tell me you would go to the keynote speakers and talk your mind to them as you would do in a text field on a website).
– Being able to chat with fellow attendees online and share your experience with them is also a huge advantage (which is something us nerds aren’t so good at IRL).
Thirty minutes before the Summit was over, I started having issues with the chat. The system was kicking me out, and I could only log in for like two seconds. At that moment, I had an open question for the Atlassian gurus (a question they were researching on, btw, because I ask those types of questions). So, yeah, technical issues can be a thing, BUT, my inquiry was responded by email a few hours after the Summit concluded. Expectations exceeded.
I want to say thank you, Atlassian, and thank you, Bixlabs, for the great opportunity! It was very interesting, educational, and inspiring. To many more!