Atlassian Summit Travel Guide

Updated for Summit 2018!

In September, Atlassian, the maker of Jira, Confluence and other development tools, hosts another European user conference!  Users in the United States will trade their usual domestic flight to California for an international flight to Barcelona, Spain.

This will be my seventh Atlassian Summit.  As a frequent attendee and a frequent traveler, here are my conference travel tips.

Planning and Itinerary

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 48th 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 Information

Date: Sept 3-5, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain
Location: Fira Barcelona Gran Via
Av. Joan Carles I, 64, 08908 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
Read more: atlassian.com/company/events/summit-europe

Closest Airport: Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN)
08820 El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
Directions to Conference (6.3 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 Expert Partners will you seek out?   I always have a list of names, contact information, and where I might find each person or company.

Travel Planning and Safety Tips

  DO

  • Familiarize yourself with information about Spain and Barcelona.  I recommend the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides.
    See: Top 10 Barcelona and Barcelona & Catalonia.
  • Read customs regulations, so you know what to expect when entering Spain and reentering your country.
  • Be aware of time zone changes.  The hours may differ depending on the time of the year.  Barcelona Time Zone:  CEST (UCT+2)
  • Check the weather.  The season may be opposite from home.
  • Leave your itinerary and emergency contact information with a team member and a friend or family member.
  • Record the location of the nearest embassy or consulate.  You may need to go there in an emergency or if you lose your passport.
  • 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.

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!

  • 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.  Post to social media after your trip.
  • Become a victim of pick pockets, “mustard” scams, and other scams typical in major cities.

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.

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 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 twice while I was stuck in South Carolina and Peru.  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.  Last year I tested out a new kind of travel “pillow” called the Trtl.  I decided it wasn’t for me.  This year, I’m testing the Nemo travel pillow which is collapsible, inflatable, and includes a layer of foam.

  • 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

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.

Money

  TIPS

  • Provide your credit and debit card companies with your travel dates so they know to expect international 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.
  • 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.
  • On each purchase receipt, record how you paid (credit card, local currency, home currency) to make filing expense reimbursement reports easier.

Technology and Gadgets

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

Luggage

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 a person with the entire set of nesting suitcases?  Don’t be that traveler!

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.

  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.

Another reason not to over pack:  you’ll acquire a few new t-shirts at Summit!

Mobile

For the previous international Summit, I brought the Skyroam Mobile Hotspot.  I’ll use it again this year.  I don’t want to rely on conference or hotel wifi and I also don’t want to purchase an international phone plan.  This device is network independent.  It connects to nearby cell towers so I can check email and communicate through services like Skype and WhatsApp.

I was delayed in Peru once.  The airport wifi was down so I had to purchase an international phone card and find a pay phone to alert my boyfriend.  The call didn’t go through however.  I landed in the US 6 hours after my scheduled arrival. It was late at night, the airline office was closed, and my boyfriend hadn’t been able to get info about where I was.  I promised him I wouldn’t travel without communication capabilities again.

United States Specific

The US Consulate closest to the conference is:
Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23 08034 Barcelona
Phone: (+34) 93 280 22 27, barcelonaacs@state.gov, Website
Directions from Conference (4-6 miles)

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!

Also see:  How to Get your Boss to Send you to the Atlassian Summit User Conference

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

“JIRA Admin Mistakes” in Palm Beach and NYC

New York City
Atlassian User Group

Did you hear about the company with 132 JIRA Administrators?  Avoid this mistake and hear others at the Palm Beach, Florida Atlassian User Group on March 28, 2017 and the New York City, New York Atlassian User Group on March 30, 2017.  Author and Certified JIRA Administrator Rachel Wright presents “Top JIRA Administration Mistakes” based on the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook. 

The goal of the “Top JIRA Administration Mistakes” presentation is to keep others out of what I call the “JIRA swamp.”  Or, if you’re already in it, help dig you out. This session is different – it’s about strategy.  It’s recommendations from years of cleaning up horrible JIRA configurations!  It’s about what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, and why.  Hear the mistakes I made as a JIRA administrator and real examples of problems to avoid.  Would you rather your application be an organized, tidy, and trimmed garden or a foggy, contaminated, overgrown swamp?

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 Palm Beach on March 28, 2017 or NYC on March 30, 2017? Join us, join the User Group in your city, or start a group!

Strategy for JIRA Tour


Rachel Wright, author of the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook is delivering her Jira, Jira Service Desk, and Confluence presentations in a town near you.  Meet the author, learn from her mistakes, and talk shop about Jira strategy!

2019 Schedule

In 2019, we’re spending most of our time touring Florida.  Did we miss your city?  View the presentations online!

Jan, Feb, Mar

  • Florida City, Florida
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Okeechobee, Florida

Apr, May, Jun

Jul, Aug, Sep

  • West Coast, Florida
  • Madrid, Spain

Oct, Nov, Dec

  • The Florida Keys

Additional locations planned!

2018 Schedule

In 2018, we’re tackling the west with planned stops in California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.   

Jan, Feb, Mar

Apr, May, Jun

  • Reno, Nevada
  • Ogden, Utah
  • Moab, Utah
  • Jackson, Wyoming
  • Durango, Colorado

Jul, Aug, Sep

  • Pagosa Springs, Colorado
  • Santa Fe, New MexicoAmarillo, Texas
  • Nashville, Tennessee

Oct, Nov, Dec

2017 Schedule

Jan, Feb, Mar

Apr, May, Jun

Jul, Aug, Sep

Oct, Nov, Dec

Contact Info & Event Booking

Rachel Wright is available for speaking engagements, interviews, podcasts, and appearances.  She is also happy to speak to groups via telephone or web conference.

Rachel Wright
info@jirastrategy.com or 443-317-3279
LinkedIn | Twitter

Download: Speaking Kit (Topics, Appearance List, Questionnaire)
See also: Speaking

Rachel Wright, author of the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook is delivering her Jira, Jira Service Desk, and Confluence presentations in a town near you.  Meet the author, learn from her mistakes, and talk shop about Jira strategy!

“JIRA Admin Mistakes” in Charlotte and Chicago

Chicago Atlassian User Group

We had so much success discussing JIRA strategy in Northern Virginia and Ann Arbor that we’re doing it again next week in Charlotte, North Carolina and Chicago, Illinois.

Rachel Wright is a featured speaker at the March meetings of the Charlotte and Chicago user groups.  On March 21, 2017 and March 23, 2017 she’ll present “Top JIRA Administration Mistakes” based on the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook. 

The goal of the “Top JIRA Administration Mistakes” presentation is to keep others out of what I call the “JIRA swamp.”  Or, if you’re already in it, help dig you out. This session is different – it’s about strategy.  It’s recommendations from years of cleaning up horrible JIRA configurations!  It’s about what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, and why.  Hear the mistakes I made as a JIRA administrator and real examples of problems to avoid.  Would you rather your application be an organized, tidy, and trimmed garden or a foggy, contaminated, overgrown swamp?

Charlotte Atlassian User Group

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 Charlotte on March 21, 2017 or Chicago on March 23, 2017? Join us, join the User Group in your city, or start a group!

“JIRA Admin Mistakes” in Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor Atlassian User Group
Ann Arbor Atlassian User Group

Rachel Wright is a featured speaker at the February meeting of the Ann Arbor Atlassian User Group.   On February 28, 2017, she’ll present “Top JIRA Administration Mistakes” based on the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook. 

The goal of the “Top JIRA Administration Mistakes” presentation is to keep others out of what I call the “JIRA swamp.”  Or, if you’re already in it, help dig you out. This session is different – it’s about strategy.  It’s recommendations from years of cleaning up horrible JIRA configurations!  It’s about what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, and why.  Hear the mistakes I made as a JIRA administrator and real examples of problems to avoid.  Would you rather your application be an organized, tidy, and trimmed garden or a foggy, contaminated, overgrown swamp?

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 Ann Arbor on Feb 28, 2017?  Join us, join the User Group in your city, or start a group!

“JIRA Admin Mistakes” in Tysons, VA

Northern Virginia Atlassian User Group
Northern Virginia Atlassian User Group

Rachel Wright is a featured speaker at the February meeting of the Northern Virginia Atlassian User Group.   On February 22, 2017, she’ll present “Top JIRA Administration Mistakes” based on the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.  This is a special event for Rachel.  She was the original founder of this user group and is extremely excited to return!

The goal of the “Top JIRA Administration Mistakes” presentation is to keep others out of what I call the “JIRA swamp.”  Or, if you’re already in it, help dig you out. This session is different – it’s about strategy.  It’s recommendations from years of cleaning up horrible JIRA configurations!  It’s about what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, and why.  Hear the mistakes I made as a JIRA administrator and real examples of problems to avoid.  Would you rather your application be an organized, tidy, and trimmed garden or a foggy, contaminated, overgrown swamp?

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 Northern Virginia on Feb 22, 2017?  Join us, join the User Group in your city, or start a group!

Speaking

Rachel Wright SpeakingRachel Wright delivers presentations and training workshops for IT conferences, professional organizations, and her alma mater, Radford University.  Rachel’s approach to speaking is different. Instead of boring slides and data points, she uses real mistakes and examples, to help the audience avoid and overcome similar issues.

Read what attendees are saying about Rachel’s presentations.  

Rachel is an entrepreneur, process engineer, and Atlassian Certified Jira Administrator.  She is available for speaking engagements, interviews, podcasts, workshops, and appearances.  She is also happy to speak to groups via telephone or web conference.

Materials

Download: Speaking Kit (Questionnaire, Appearance List)
Also see: Press Kit

Upcoming & Recent Appearances

Previous Appearances

  • Atlassian Summit User Conference
  • Atlassian Solution Partner Podcasts
  • Atlassian User Groups
  • Women Entrepreneurs’ Expo
  • International Concierge & Errand Association Conference
  • Radford University
  • Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia
  • Loudoun Small Business Development Center
  • Loudoun Chamber of Commerce
  • Blue Ridge Business Journal

Let our industry knowledge speak for itself.  Join us at our upcoming events or contact us for more information.

Online Courses

Our 30-minute, online skill or topic-based training gets application admins up to speed fast.  Our intro courses help new Jira, Jira Service Desk, and Confluence users feel comfortable with the applications.  See:  Course List

Help for JIRA Administrators

Calling all JIRA Administrators!  Now there’s help for managing your application!  The JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook is finally here!

If you’re a new Administrator, or your company is just getting started with JIRA, this book shows you what actions to take up front, so you can have a well-planned and easy to maintain tool.

If your company has used JIRA for a while, this book shows you simple ways to streamline your instance and make daily work more manageable.

Tired of dry, technical, and difficult to use software documentation?   This is not documentation, it’s strategy!

“It’s an awesome book that left me thinking about my JIRA instances and wanting to make immediate adjustments.”
   – Gregory Van Den Ham, IT Manager and Chicago Atlassian User Group Leader

The author, Rachel Wright, is an entrepreneur, process engineer, and Atlassian Certified JIRA Administrator.  She wrote this book because she knew she wasn’t the only person to inherit a messy configuration.  She says “I want to keep others out of what I call the “JIRA swamp” or, if you’re already in it, help dig you out.

“Rachel is an inspiration to all JIRA Admins in her no-nonsense, down to earth approach to JIRA.”
   – Susan Hauth, JIRA Queen and Toronto Atlassian User Group Leader

The JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook book contains:

  • 152 recommendations to help you set up, clean up, and maintain JIRA,
  • 50 worksheets, plus additional templates, code snippets, and wording samples to help you establish and streamline vital processes,
  • 33 real examples of problems to avoid,
  • best practices and dos and don’ts for each administrative area,
  • the top 10 mistakes I made as an administrator, and
  • content not available anywhere else.

Get yours now from Amazon (print version) or the JIRA Strategy Store (digital version).

JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook

Title: JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook
Sub title: Templates for the application administrator to set up, clean up, and maintain JIRA
Author: Rachel Wright
Publisher: Industry Templates, LLC
Date of Publication: November 30, 2016
Retail Price: $59.99 USD (Print Version)
ISBN-13: 978-1539090229
ISBN-10: 1539090221
Pages: 295

Meet the Author: San Jose, CA

JIRA Strategy T-Shirt
Look for the white alligator – and stay out of the JIRA swamp!

Will you be at Atlassian Summit 2016, in San Jose, California, the week of October 10, 2016?  Come by and meet Rachel Wright, author of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook!

Find Rachel in a green or brown JIRA Strategy t-shirt in the following locations:

  • Wed, Oct 12, 2:00 PM: Atlassian User Group Lounge
  • Thu, Oct 13, 9:45 AM: Atlassian User Group Lounge
  • Thu, Oct 13, 2:00 PM: Atlassian Certification Booth
  • Walking the conference floor, attending sessions, and enjoying Summit!

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.