Atlassian Summit 2019 in Pictures

Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Mandalay Bay Convention Center

The 2019 Atlassian Summit user conference took place in the Mandalay Bay Conference Center. On April 9-11, over 5,000 customers, Solution Partners, and Atlassians descended on the city of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Continue reading “Atlassian Summit 2019 in Pictures”

Photo Challenge at Atlassian Summit in Las Vegas, NV

Will you be at Atlassian Summit, in Las Vegas, from April 9-11, 2019?  Meet Rachel Wright and win her Jira Strategy Admin Workbook or one of her 30 minute, role or skill based, online training courses!

Summit Photo Challenge

Atlassian Summit Mobile App
I share the same first AND last name with the Director of Marketing at Appfire

Rachel is hosting a photo challenge in the Summit mobile app. Post a photo of the completed challenge and tag @Rachel Wright for a chance to win! The more challenges you complete the better your chances. Creative posts receive bonus points! Download the Summit mobile app from the Google Play or iOS Store.

Additionally, find Rachel and win in the following locations:

  • Tue, Apr 9 at 3:00 PM PST: First-Timer Welcome Reception (Mandalay Bay Shoreline Expo Hall)
  • Wed, Apr 10 at 3:30 PM PST: ThinkTilt (Booth 620)
  • Thu, Apr 11 at 10:00 AM PST: ServiceRocket (Booth 308)

Also spot Rachel and Chris Lutz walking the conference floor, in the Atlassian Community Lounge, attending sessions, and enjoying Summit!

First-Timer Welcome Reception

Is this your first Summit? This is my eighth! Attend the First-Timer Welcome Reception to hear survival tips from Summit alumni and Atlassian Community Champions Rachel Wright and Fabian Lopez. The reception is on Tue, Apr 9 at 3:00 PM in the Mandalay Bay Shoreline Expo Hall. First time in Las Vegas? See my Summit Travel Guide.

Not at Summit?  Use coupon code SUMMIT for 15% off your order in the Strategy for Jira store!

The Jira Strategy Admin Workbook is different – it’s not documentation. It’s over 150 recommendations that stem from years of cleaning up horrible Jira configurations.  This book includes 32 real life examples of what NOT to do, over 50 worksheets to get you organized, and templates, code snippets, and wording samples to help you establish and streamline processes.

Summit is the grand Atlassian event of the year.  With the palpable enthusiasm of the employees, the knowledge of the presenters, and the immense networking opportunities, this is the place to experience all that is Atlassian.  Add the next annual event to your calendar now.  Visit summit.atlassian.com for details.

Atlassian Summit Travel Guide – Vegas Edition

My two favorite things in life are Atlassian Summit and travel! Atlassian’s flagship event, the annual user conference, is in Las Vegas Nevada this April. This will be my eighth Summit and my fourth trip to Vegas! I took the Mandalay Bay photo above in 2006. By now I know a lot about both and am excited to share my conference travel tips.

Contents

  • Summit Information
  • Vegas Travel Tips
    • The Strip vs Downtown
    • Transportation
    • Walking
    • Casinos
    • Entertainment
    • Food
    • Money and Budget
    • Legal vs Illegal
    • Side Trips
  • Planning and Itinerary
    • Summit Mobile App
    • Safety
    • For US Citizens
    • For International Travelers
    • Flight and Airport
    • Luggage
  • Atlassian Summit Survival Guide

Summit Information

Date: April 9-11 in Las Vegas, NV
Location: Mandalay Bay South Convention Center
3950 South Las Vegas Boulevard Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
Read more: atlassian.com/company/events/summit

Closest Airport: McCarran International (LAS)
5757 Wayne Newton Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Directions to Conference (2.3 miles)

TIP
Make a checklist list of what you plan to accomplish and who you’re hoping to meet at Summit.  What do you want to learn from Atlassian?  Which Solution Partners will you seek out?   I always have a list of names, contact information, and where I might find each person or company.

Vegas Travel Tips

Las Vegas is a 24 hour city in the middle of the desert. It’s hot, dusty, expensive, exciting, thrilling, and like no other place I’ve been. Here are some tips to help you get around while you’re in town for the Atlassian conference.

The Strip vs Downtown

Downtown Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas

The conference is located in an area of Vegas known as “the Strip.” Most of the iconic pictures you’ve seen are probably of this area. The Strip is 4 miles (6.4 k) long and stretches from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere Tower. There’s also an area 10 miles (16 k) north known as “downtown”, “old Vegas”, or “Fremont Street”. I’ve stayed in both areas and love them for different reasons. Both have an abundance of casinos, glitz, food, and entertainment opportunities. When you’ve done everything you wanted to do on the Strip, head downtown for a different vibe.

Read: Faceoff: Downtown Vegas vs the Strip
Read: Head to Old Downtown Vegas for Fremont Street and Great Food

Transportation

If you’re staying on or near the Strip, there’s no need to rent a car. Parking is difficult and traffic is plentiful. Most casinos charge for parking and its never cheap. Instead, use a taxi or a ride-share service, like Uber or Lyft. Download and create an account in one of these mobile apps before you arrive. Taxis don’t stop on the Strip; catch one from a casino or hotel instead.

Walking

Bring good walking shoes and expect to walk a lot. Casino properties are huge and are further apart then they look. Your steps add up while you’re weaving between them and traversing pedestrian foot bridges. There’s a great map of all the major casinos here (.pdf format).

I know some of you have planned a pilgrimage to In-N-Out Burger (fast food hamburgers) on Dean Martin Dr. Please don’t attempt to walk there; it’s not as close as it appears. Also, there are plenty of other (cheap and expensive) hamburger options.

There’s an elevated, electric tram between the Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and the Excalibur casinos. Get on the free Mandalay Bay Tram from the north east corner of the conference casino, past Starlight Tattoo and the House of Blues Restaurant & Bar. Information on other casino trams is available here.

Whether you’re walking or driving, always be aware of your surroundings. There’s a lot of activity and a lot of distractions. The traffic lights operate differently here than in other states. If I remember correctly, the green left turn light fires after the straight light turns red. Always cross the street in marked locations or use pedestrian bridges. Be especially careful if you stop at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign. It is literally in the middle of a busy road. In 2008 they finally added 12 parking spaces which are accessible when heading away from the Strip.

Casinos

Mandalay Bay, our conference hotel, has table games and slots, 30 restaurants, a Starbucks, and loads of entertainment and nightlife options. It also features the Shark Reef Aquarium ($25 USD), a 1.6 million gallon wave pool with a quarter-mile-long lazy river (free for hotel guests, $20 for non-hotel guests Mon-Thurs), and shopping at Mandalay Place. If you’re in Vegas for additional non-conference days, I encourage you to venture out and explore the other casinos as well. Each one has a unique flavor and interesting things to see. I love the steam rising from manhole covers at New York New York, the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas, and the canals of Venice at the Venetian. It’s not as amazing the real thing, but it’s still fun to see.

Entertainment

Many casinos and hotels have both free and paid attractions and shows. The most popular free attraction is the water, music, and light show called “Fountains of Bellagio” at the Bellagio. See other free attractions here.

Paid shows are numerous. My favorite is Le Rêve, a water, fire, swimming, and acrobatics show. I saw it on my very first Vegas trip and have tickets to go again this year. You can’t go wrong with a production show like Le
Rêve or a Cirque de Soleil show like “O“. They are also variety shows, magic shows, adult entertainment, comedy shows, concerts, and special interest performances like Zombie Burlesque!

When researching entertainment, the first place I look is the “Things to do” area of TripAdvisor. Also get ideas on sites like: lasvegasnevada.gov, vegas.com, and visitlasvegas.com.

Food

Atlassian feeds you well on conference days, so you won’t have to worry about food. But on other days, there’s no shortage of options or cuisines for every budget.

For an “all you can eat” or variety experience, the legendary Vegas buffets are the place to be. My top three favorites are: Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan, The Buffet at Wynn (especially their Friday and Saturday “seafood spectacular”), and Le Village Buffet at Paris. For similar food at a cheaper price, eat at lunch time instead.

This year, I’m excited to visit the Eataly Italian marketplace at MGM. Eataly is in 12 countries but the Vegas location just opened in Dec 2018.
If there’s time, I hope to check try dining in the dark at Blackout. I also promised Chris Lutz he could get his uni (sea urchin) fix at Nobu at the Hard Rock.

The air is very dry in this part of the United States. Avoid dehydration by drinking more water than normal.

Money and Budget

It’s easy to exceed your budget if you don’t limit your expenses. The sales tax in Las Vegas is 8.25%, so don’t forget to factor that in. Also, don’t forget about the daily resort fee that’s added to your hotel cost. At Mandalay Bay, the daily fee is $37 plus tax. Gratituties add up too. Here’s a guide to tipping in Vegas.

TIPS

  • If you need a common health or travel item, there’s a Walgreens (drugstore & household products) and a CVS Pharmacy 1.4 miles (2k) from the conference hotel.
  • Convention center rooms are often cold. If you forget your jacket, buy an Atlassian hoodie at the Summit swag store, or head to Marshalls (clothes, accessories, and shoe store), 1.3 miles (2k) away. Marshalls and the drugstores are near MGM and prices will be lower than casino shops.
  • Keep track of receipts so it’s easy to enter your expenses when you return home.
    • On each purchase receipt, record how you paid (credit card, local currency, home currency) to make filing expense reimbursement reports easier.
  • Provide your credit and debit card companies with your travel dates so they know to expect away from home charges.  Avoid a fraud alert or hold on your accounts.  

I once had a debit card and a credit card, from two different banks, declined at the same shop.  This was very inconvenient. Prevent it by taking action before your trip.

Legal vs Illegal

Las Vegas has a free-for-all reputation. But many things you may have heard are legal simply aren’t. I encourage you to do you own research and check out the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s website for official information.

Also, cameras are everywhere (even outside.) Don’t recreate the movie The Hangover!

Side Trips

Do you have extra time in Vegas? A few days under glittering casino lights may have you craving time outdoors. There are many neat places nearby to visit. You’ll need a rental car or to join one of the many tours that leave from Vegas. I recommend arranging tours online before you arrive.

I recommend:

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
A 13 mile scenic drive with stunning canyon views
Cost: $15 per vehicle
Distance from convention center: 21.5 miles
Notes: The route has tolls

Valley of Fire State Park
Bright red Aztec sandstone nestled in gray and tan limestone mountains
Cost: $10 per vehicle
Distance from convention center: 55.2 miles
Notes: Your last chance to stock up on fuel and water is at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza at the corner of I-15 N and Valley of Fire Highway.

Hoover Dam
A concrete arch-gravity dam in the on the border between NV and AZ
Cost: $15 per person (tour)
Distance from convention center: 37 miles

This year I’m taking a side trip to Death Valley National Park. I love the national parks and this is one I’ve always wanted to visit.
Cost: $30 per vehicle
Distance from convention center: Over 100 miles

Planning and Itinerary

Truck and travel trailer
Long Term RV Trip

I’ve been on an RV road trip since May 2015.  I work from home, and “home” is wherever I park for the week, month, or quarter!  By the time Summit begins, I’ll be in my 54th city.  I track all my RV trip planning details in Confluence, but when there are flights involved, I track those trips in Tripit Pro.  I like this service because it monitors flights, alerts me when gates change, turns confirmation emails into travel entries, has both a web and mobile version, and keeps me organized.  There’s no wrong way to craft an itinerary, just make sure you have one, it works for you, and it’s easy to access when you need it.

TIP
I store my trip packing list in Confluence.  I print it out or check off items on my phone as they go into my travel bag.

Summit Mobile App

"Atlassian Events" Mobile App
“Atlassian Events” Mobile App

I also plan conference specific activities with the Summit mobile app. Look for it listed as “Atlassian Events” in the Google Play or iOS store. Use the agenda feature to plan sessions and activities, the map to help you find your way to a Solution Partner’s booth, and the messaging feature to connect with fellow attendees.

Many of us are still tagging each other and chatting away in the app long after the event has ended.

Safety

My “do’s and don’ts” to increase safety while traveling are:

DO

Top 10 Las Vegas
  • Familiarize yourself with information about Las Vegas and the United States.  I recommend the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. See: Top 10 Las Vegas or Las Vegas (older but more in-depth)
  • Be aware of time zone changes.  Las Vegas Time Zone:  PDT (UTC/GMT -7)
  • Check the weather.  The season may be opposite from home. The historical average temperature in April is a high of 76°F (24.4 C) high and a low of 53°F (11.6 C).
  • Leave your itinerary and emergency contact information with a team member and a friend or family member.
  • Purchase travel insurance to get reimbursed for charges related to missed or delayed flights, lost luggage, medical and emergency issues, etc.  I buy insurance for all international trips and selected domestic trips.

In 2016, the date of Summit changed to the same week I was scheduled to be on vacation in Iceland.  I canceled my vacation, got reimbursed for my expenses, and attended the conference.  I’ve only had to use insurance once and I was sure glad to have it! Your credit card might include travel insurance.  Mine once allowed me to cancel a flight at the last minute with no penalty.

  • Take all the same safety precautions you’d take in any large city environment.
  • Always walk with a friend or fellow conference attendee.

  DON’T

  • Look like a tourist.  Walking around with your head buried in a map (or a phone) advertises don’t know where you are.
  • Join large crowds, gatherings or demonstrations.  Your presence can escalate into an international incident.

I once witnessed a demonstration in Buenos Aires.  My travel companions wanted to move closer and see what it was about!  Not smart.  I talked them out of it.

  • Count money in public, wear valuables, or be an easy target.
  • Advertise your travel plans.  It’s safer to post to social media after your trip.
  • Become a victim of theft, “mustard” scams, and other scams typical in major cities.

Scammers are everywhere tourists are. Beware of pick pockets, especially in busy areas where people are easily distracted. (Example: Fremont Street) Store your money in separate locations so if you lose some you don’t lose it all. Keep your passport locked in the the hotel safe. Finally, beware of people asking for financial help.

Last time I was in Vegas, a man followed me into the elevator and told me he just lost his wallet and needed my help. It was most certainly a scam.

Finally, don’t walk around town wearing your conference badge!
It shows you’re a tourist and probably don’t know your surroundings. But remember to bring your badge to get into conference events, like Summit Bash.

For US Citizens

  • If you’re a frequent traveler, become a member of the TSA Pre Check  program.  If you’re a frequent international traveler, join the US Customs Global Entry program (which includes TSA Pre Check.)  The convenience far outweighs the application process and cost. I’ve also heard you can shorten your wait in the Customs line using their (free) mobile app.
    • NOTE: Not every US airport has Pre Check.  Further, the Pre Check line may be closed during non-peak hours.  I learned both the hard way.
  • Have you filed your taxes yet? The deadline for submitting your 2018 income tax return is Monday, April 15, 2019. April 15 is also the last day to submit 2018 retirement contributions (IRA, Roth IRA, SEP, etc.) and the due date for paying Q1 2019 estimated taxes. I’m getting all this stuff out of the way before Summit!

For International Travelers

  • Read customs regulations, so you know what to expect when entering the United States and reentering your country. Read the US Customs and Border Protection’s “For International Visitors” pages.
  • Record the location of your nearest embassy or consulate.  You may need to go there in an emergency or if you lose your passport.
  • Research credit and debit card international transaction fees.  List any fees on your company expense report.  They may be reimbursable.
  • Download and print OANDA’s “Traveler’s Cheatsheet”, a wallet-sized currency converter.
  • Exchange a small amount of cash at home before you leave and then at a local bank once you arrive.  The worst exchange rate is at the airport.
  • Bring additional local and foreign cash for emergencies.  Keep it in a separate location.
  • Bring original purchase receipts for expensive technology items. One country attempted to tax one of my team members for his (not new) laptop on his return trip home.
  • Bring a power adapter.  The US uses “type A” (two flat parallel pins) and “type B” (two flat parallel pins and a round grounding pin) power plugs. The voltage is 120V and 60Hz.  Read more

Passport

Thankfully I only have recommendations and no passport-specific horror stories to share.

  TIPS

  • Research passport and visa requirements.
  • Make a color copy of your passport’s photo ID page.  Store a digital copy in your email and on your phone or laptop.  Bring a printed copy with you and store it in a different location than your physical passport.  If your passport is lost or stolen, alternate copies are vital.
  • Leave your physical passport locked in a hotel safe.  Don’t bring it sightseeing or to conference sessions.
  • If you lose your passport, report it to the nearest embassy or consulate.

Flight and Airport

Have you:  Been stuck on a plane?  Made an emergency landing in an unexpected city?  Been trapped in an airport for an extended time?  All have happened to me.  Always plan for the worst and hope for the best.

  TIPS

  • Never board a plane without water and a snack.

These came in handy while stuck on the tarmac in Costa Rica.  Supplies on my grounded plane dwindled quickly.

  • Always bring a blanket.  For long flights I bring a small pillow.

These provided welcome comfort on many cold flights and while I was stuck in South Carolina and Peru airports.  I use a sleeping bag liner from ALPS Mountaineering.  It’s warm, soft, and rolls up to fit in my backpack’s water bottle holder.  I’ve used it as a blanket, sleeping bag, pillow, towel, and a makeshift changing room. 

I’ve yet to discover the perfect travel pillow. This year I’m testing out the ComfoArray. The Nemo pillow I tried last trip is great for camping, but not for airplanes.

  • Always know what kind of airport you’re passing through.

I once took a flight from Brownsville International Airport in Texas. I thought “international” meant “large airport with lots of services”. I planned to check in early, get lunch, and maybe get a massage. Instead, I arrived at a one-gate airport where the security line didn’t open until just before the flight. There were no services or stores. There was a vending machine but I had no cash. I was 3 hours early for no reason. #fail

Luggage

I travel very light, bringing only the things I absolutely can’t live without. Consider what you packed on your last trip but didn’t use.  Leave those items at home.  Most things can be obtained or borrowed from a fellow conference attendee.

I truly believe there are only two types of luggage:  carry on and lost!

My bag was lost after an 18 hour flight.  When the airline finally found and delivered the bag, it was someone else’s!  After that experience, I always carry my own luggage.

Have you ever seen a family lugging a cart of bags around the airport?   How about someone with the entire set of nesting suitcases?  Don’t be that traveler!

High Sierra Access Backpack

I used to bring a backpack and a small roller bag until I noticed my boyfriend only carried a backpack.  Now I only bring one backpack and I make sure I can comfortably carry its weight. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars testing out suitcases and travel bags.  The very best is my $60 USD High Sierra Access Backpack.  I take it to every Summit and I’ll take it on a 200 mile walk I’m planning, on the Camino de Santiago, in Spain.

TIP
Make a game of packing.  Each trip, see how few items you can bring and how much weight you can reduce.  I try for a total weight of ~20 pounds (9 kg), regardless of trip duration. On long hikes, I try to stay under 10% of my body weight.

Other reasons not to over pack:  airlines charge for carry on luggage or heavy luggage, and you’ll want to be able to fit the new t-shirts you acquire at Summit!

Atlassian Summit Survival Guide

A small amount of planning and organization will help you get the most out of this super event.  Read my survival tips for things to do before, during, and after Summit to make this your best conference experience ever!

Have a great flight and I’ll see you at Summit!

Can’t attend this year? Start your campaign for next year with:  How to Get your Boss to Send you to the Atlassian Summit User Conference

Welcome Chris Lutz

Hi, I’m Chris Lutz, the newest addition to Rachel Wright’s team of experts.  I’m a business development consultant who previously helped Rachel publish her first book, the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook.   The positive feedback on the book has been overwhelming and Rachel’s business is growing and expanding!

Rachel & Chris Working Together in 2009

My background in business development and sales, coupled with the fact that we travel in an RV together, made it a good time to officially join the business.  Additionally, we already know we work well together.  That’s us in the picture, circa 2009, hashing out design details for a business web project.

I’m a passionate entrepreneur and outdoorsman.  I take as much interest in new technology as I do in the oldest and most primitive outdoor skills.  I have a hardcore fishing addiction that I’ve fed while traveling throughout the United States.

Chris & Rachel at Atlassian Summit 2019

I’ve worked with Rachel to produce exciting new offerings to help Atlassian Admins and Users.  New products include online course training packages, company-wide training, and consulting.  I have exclusive access to great information to help you with your Jira, Jira Service Desk, and Confluence applications.  Need to clean them up, get organized, or build smart workflow and custom field strategies?  We’re here to help you develop your administration strategy and follow best practices.  Email  me at clutz@jirastrategy.com or connect via LinkedIn for discounts only I have.

I’m looking forward to connecting and making more new friends in the Atlassian and Jira community!

Jira Scary Stories Poll Results

Poll results, from the opinion questions, for the “Jira Scary Stories” presentation.
View polls

Jump to Results:

  1. Security Horror
  2. Next-gen Project Poltergeist
  3. Password Fright
  4. Add-on Upgrade Scare
  5. Reporting Nightmare
  6. Backlog Burial

1. Security Horror

How would you solve the problem?
27%
(3 votes)
Reset passwords as needed
64%
(7 votes)
Connect Crowd to network credentials (Example: Active Directory, G Suite, etc.)
45%
(5 votes)
Train users to reset their password in Crowd
64%
(7 votes)
Ask users to contact the Help Desk instead of the CEO
45%
(5 votes)
Recommend a secure password management tool
0%
(0 votes)
Record passwords so you can remind users when they forget
73%
(8 votes)
Put the applications behind a firewall
82%
(9 votes)
Add SSL (Secure site certificate)
0%
(0 votes)
Other
Total Votes: 11

2. Next-gen Project Poltergeist

How would you handle independent projects?
0%
(0 votes)
Let all users create independent projects
50%
(7 votes)
Let a subset of users create independent projects
57%
(8 votes)
Turn off independent projects
0%
(0 votes)
Other
Total Votes: 14

3. Password Fright

How would you solve the problem?
83%
(10 votes)
Reset exposed passwords
75%
(9 votes)
Remind users not to share passwords
17%
(2 votes)
Remove passwords from Jira issues
0%
(0 votes)
Remove passwords from the Jira database
0%
(0 votes)
Other
Total Votes: 12

4. Add-on Upgrade Scare

What would you do?
46%
(6 votes)
Request funding for the plugin
38%
(5 votes)
Rollback the plugin version
23%
(3 votes)
Research alternative plugins
23%
(3 votes)
Would not have clicked "Buy Now"
8%
(1 vote)
Other
Total Votes: 13

5. Reporting Nightmare

What would you do?
75%
(9 votes)
Add the missing selections to the Components list
75%
(9 votes)
Explain the pros and cons of Components and Labels
0%
(0 votes)
Use Components and Labels together
0%
(0 votes)
Post label strategy to Confluence
0%
(0 votes)
Other
Total Votes: 12

6. Backlog Burial

How would you improve this situation?
45%
(5 votes)
Create a separate "ideas" Jira project
36%
(4 votes)
Store ideas in a separate Atlassian application (Ex: Confluence, Trello)
0%
(0 votes)
Store ideas in a separate non-Atlassian application
0%
(0 votes)
Install an add-on like Portfolio for Jira
91%
(10 votes)
Create a backlog grooming process
64%
(7 votes)
Create a prioritization and scheduling process
0%
(0 votes)
Other
Total Votes: 11

Jira Scary Stories

These are opinion questions for the “Jira Scary Stories” presentation.  There’s no one correct answer.  View results

1. Security Horror

2. Next-gen Project Poltergeist

3. Password Fright

4. Add-on Upgrade Scare

5. Reporting Nightmare

6. Backlog Burial

“Jira Admin Scary Stories” in Columbus and Palm Beach

Zombie Rachel Wright

In honor of Halloween, Rachel Wright will present scary Jira admin stories at the Columbus, Ohio Atlassian User Group on October 9, 2018 and the Palm Beach County, Florida Atlassian User Group on October 23,2018.  Hear stories of spooky security, freakish custom fields, and the potential horrors of user-created projects and issue types.  These stories are based on the gruesome mistakes in the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook.

Atlassian Users Groups are where users meet, learn, network, and share best practices. The groups meet locally, all over the world, on a quarterly or more frequent basis.  User Group members are newbies and veterans who like to “talk shop” about Atlassian software, about Agile development, and about related business topics.  At these events, you can network with your peers, share solutions, meet Expert Partners, get special content from Atlassian, and enjoy a beer.

Will you be in Columbus on October 9 or Palm Beach on Oct 23?  Join us, join the User Group in your city, or start a group!

Atlassian Summit Survival Guide

The grand Atlassian event of the year is approaching!  Use this guide to navigate Atlassian Summit and make the most of your time at this year’s user conference.

Not at Summit?  Use coupon code SUMMIT for 15% off your order in the Strategy for Jira store!

Before Summit

  • Use the “Atlassian Events” Android or iOS mobile app to pre-plan which sessions you want to attend, but be flexible.  Continuing your conversation with that Expert partner or Atlassian employee may be more valuable than attending the next session.
  • Don’t be a slave to power!  Bring an extra battery or portable power source. Consider taking notes on paper.  You won’t want to fight for an outlet to recharge devices.  If you find yourself needing power, swing by the Atlassian Community or Certification lounges.
  • Be prepared to network!  Pack your business cards.  Don’t have work business cards?  See if your company has any “generic” ones you can write your info on.
  • Check the weather and the time zone in the conference city.  Bring a light jacket in case it’s chilly in the conference center.
  • Arrive the day before conference activities start.  Check in at the registration booth as soon as you arrive.  Avoid the long registration line on the first morning.
  • Walk the conference center, before it gets busy, to get a feel for where activities will take place.  If there’s a map, take a phone picture.  Check the Summit mobile app for useful “point A to point B” directions feature.

During Summit

  • Don’t try to work AND attend Summit at the same time. It is too hard to do both well.  Instead, turn on your “out of office” email autoresponder, set the expectation that you’ll be unavailable, and delegate your tasks to coworkers while you’re away.
  • Find the Atlassian User Group and Community lounge.  The user group leader from your city might be at Summit.  No user group in your area?  Find out how to start one!
  • Sessions fill up quick;  get there early.
  • At the event, login to a chat program so you can communicate in real time with your colleagues also at Summit.  Ex: “I’m going to the X session next.” or “Meet you at noon in the lobby!”
  • Write a quick note on the back of any business card you receive so you’ll remember how/if/why to follow-up later.
  • Pace yourself on day one and during Summit Bash!  It’s a long conference and you want to make it through the party.
  • Atlassian feeds you a lot on conference days.  You won’t need to spend much money on food.

After Summit

  • Try to leave the day after Summit activities conclude.  It’s no fun leaving early to catch a flight.
  • After Summit, the keynotes and selected session recordings are available online.  Don’t worry if two sessions you want to attend happen at the same time.
  • Leave room in your luggage for the return trip.  You will acquire new goodies!  (At least a few new t-shirts.)  Some die hard collectors even bring an extra bag or plan to mail items home.
  • Share your notes and the most important information with team members who could not attend.
  • Record your expenses for reimbursement or deduction.

Will you be at Atlassian Summit, in Las Vegas, from April 9-11, 2019?  Attend the First-Timer Welcome Reception to hear survival tips from Summit alumni and Atlassian Community Champions Rachel Wright and Fabian Lopez.

Also see: How to Get your Boss to Send you to Atlassian Summit User ConferenceAtlassian Summit Travel Guide, and Summit Through the Years.

Rachel Wright is an consultant and an Atlassian Certified Jira Administrator.  Rachel also uses Atlassian tools in her personal life for accomplishing goals and tracking tasks.  Her first book, the “Jira Strategy Admin Workbook“, was written in Confluence and progress was tracked in Jira!  Follow her on Twitter at @rlw_www.

Meet the Author: Atlassian Summit in Barcelona, Spain

Find Rachel with her Summit suspenders

Will you be at Atlassian Summit, in Barcelona, the week of September 3, 2018?  Meet Rachel Wright and win her Jira Strategy Admin Workbook or one of 5 new training courses!

Rachel will be hard to miss with her custom-made Summit suspenders.

Find her and win in the following locations:

Also spot Rachel walking the conference floor, attending sessions, and enjoying Summit!

Find Rachel Wright at Summit

Not at Summit?  Use coupon code SUMMIT for 15% off your order in the Strategy for Jira store!

The Jira Strategy Admin Workbook is different – it’s not documentation. It’s over 150 recommendations that stem from years of cleaning up horrible Jira configurations.  This book includes 32 real life examples of what NOT to do, over 50 worksheets to get you organized, and templates, code snippets, and wording samples to help you establish and streamline processes.

Summit is the grand Atlassian event of the year.  With the palpable enthusiasm of the employees, the knowledge of the presenters, and the immense networking opportunities, this is the place to experience all that is Atlassian.  Add the next annual event to your calendar now.  Visit summit.atlassian.com for details.

Boondocking with Jira and Confluence

Menu:  Intro | Day 1-2 | Day 3-4 | Day 5-7 | Retrospective

We’re “Boondocking with Jira and Confluence“!
Enjoy $10 off your order at the Strategy for Jira Store

Code: BOONDOCKING Shop Now
Valid: July 8-15, 2018

Truck and Travel Trailer

Did you know I’ve worked from the road for over 3 years?  It’s a lot like working from home except when I look out the window of my home on wheels, the scenery is always different!  In May 2015, we got rid of most of our stuff, sold our cars, and hit the road in a travel trailer.

Strategy for Jira Tour

Our trip started in Virginia.  From there we traveled South through the Eastern states, explored the entire Florida coast, visited 8 Texas cities, stayed a while in Arizona and California, and then went North through Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.  This entire time I’ve worked as a Jira administrator, consultant, and speaker on the Strategy for Jira Tour.  The tour highlight was speaking at the Atlassian office in Austin, TX and at Summit!

Boondocking

After three years, we’ve decided to add a new element to our mobile lifestyle:  boondocking.  Boondocking is camping without hookups to city power, water, and sewer systems.  We’re used to bringing our own internet connection but until now, we’ve paid a campground to supply the other utilities.  It’s a bit limiting though;  it means we can only go where others have resources available for us.  I’d prefer the ability to go anywhere (anywhere with a usable cell signal, that is.)

So what does all this have to do with Jira and Confluence?  Plenty!  Throughout my trip, I’ve had to guarantee my access to power and wifi in order to work, support the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook, and participate in the Atlassian Community.  I need reliable access to Jira and Confluence for my consulting practice, for my volunteer work, and for my personal life.  Without Jira, I can’t access my “to do” list, help Jira administrators clean up too many custom fields, or prepare to merge multiple applications.  I track where we go in Jira and record the specific details of each location in Confluence.  Now, I’ll need to do all that without the convenience of “full hookups.”  We’ll need to bring our own water and store it – before and after we use it.  Most importantly, we’ll need to find a way to generate our own power.

Power Options

There are a few power generation options so I used Confluence to research and make the decision.  The travel trailer has its own 12 volt battery that’s responsible for the lights, water pump, fire and carbon monoxide detection systems.  It also generates the spark for propane appliances, like the fridge, stove, and oven.  The battery is constantly recharged when connected to city power but without it, it doesn’t last very long.  We need a way to recharge it and heavily researched all the methods including:  solar or wind power, gas or propane generator power,  disconnecting the battery altogether (not sustainable), and even sacrificing one or a series of $80 batteries (not smart).

We really love the idea of solar, and want to have it one day, but it’s not simple (or cheap) to set it up correctly.  And, it’s not fool-proof.  For example, what if it’s a cloudy day?  “Sorry, Jira, there’s no power to launch your URL today!”  🙁

For our first foray into boondocking, we purchased a small gas inverter generator.  Our $500 unit won’t provide luxury.  We won’t be able to use the microwave, air conditioning, or coffee maker.  But doesn’t a coffee press make better coffee better anyway?  It’s enough to periodically charge the 12 volt battery however so we can run a minimum amount of electronics.  We’ll limit ourselves to the really important things:  2 cell phones, 2 laptops, and one wireless internet router for WiFi.  We’ll open the windows if it’s hot, light a lantern if it’s dark, and generally try to live even more simply than before.  It will be less “glamping” and more “camping.”  I do hope we’ll have enough battery power to run a small fan though.  We’ll see.

We’ve been researching and learning about volts, amps and watts.  I estimate it takes 65 watts to access a local Jira instance and 71 watts (computer + router) for a Cloud instance.  I’m new to these calculations though and my estimates could be way off.  Time will tell!

Official Test

Starting July 8, we’re “cutting the RV cord”.  We’re going to the middle of a field in Pagosa Springs, CO to test our setup and spend a whole week “off the grid.”  If all goes as planned, I’ll be doing all my favorite Jira and Confluence activities like always.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have you boondocked, dry camped, or gone “off grid”?  Share your stories and tips in the Comments section below.