🚩Atlas Camp Vienna 2019 - How Atlassian raised the bar for Developer Experience (DX)
Atlas Camp is Atlassian's official developer event. This time, the event took place at the historic city of Vienna. Both the event and the place were equally stunning⚡️! Rohan (Freshworks Marketplace PM & a great companion) and I were lucky to meet some of the interesting folks at Atlassian during the pre-event huddle. We met their Head of Developer Experience (DX) - Neil, DevRel team, Atlassian Marketplace PM - Ankit and a lot of other interesting partners.
The event took place over a span of 2 days & it was packed with loads of informative sessions, cool demos, memes, and a surprise announcement!. Day 1 of the event had almost 7-8 sessions (parallel sessions across 4 tracks) and had a lot of takeaways. They were divided into the following tracks 👉1. Atlassian Platform 2. Advanced app development 3. Code and Beyond 4. Experience design. FOMO kicked-in when I came to know that all of these sessions were amazing but I cannot clone myself to watch them at once. They were kind enough to upload the sessions later
We met with Neil, Head of DX on the first day. He was an amazing person to talk to as he was a Developer Experience veteran for almost a decade. It was an insightful discussion as both Freshworks and Atlassian had many things in common (powerful marketplace, developer platform, focus on developer experience, etc). Out of those, one major thing is...👇🏼
Yes, providing great Developer Experience (DX)! It goes without saying that any platform which depends on developers has to provide a great developer experience! I've shared my learnings from the discussions which you'll find soon, at the bottom of this post.
After a great networking session and happy hour, I went back to the hotel and slept like crazy 💤 . My brain was trying to process all the good stuff that happened in the past 24 hours
Day 2 started with an amazing keynote packed with a surprise announcement.
Atlassian was announcing FORGE - a framework to drastically improve app development & also developer experience.
FORGE bundles an SDK, CLI, UI Kit and serverless features for app development. I was happy to see Atlassian taking this path. It was very much relatable to what Freshworks had been doing for the past 4 years where it made sure that the platform was sophisticated enough to handle app development of varying complexity(across Freshworks products) and offered some of the best out-of-the-box features.
FORGE announcement was also fun as they had dedicated sessions explaining what it is and set up a dedicated lab for the attendees to experiment with it. They had showcase sessions that demonstrated apps built using FORGE. They shared their learnings and took us on a journey to understand how it works. FORGE is a good investment that Atlassian is making for its developer community! It is also to enhance developer experience (DX) big time! 🎉
One other highlight, their FORGE showcase session had a pokemon game app!
What I really liked / learnings:
Investments in the developer community are undeniably worth it. Atlassian went from providing simple extensions, plugins to providing a development framework that is scalable. Developers inturn created great apps and are still continuing to do so.
Being Community-first. Apart from Atlas Camp, Atlassian organizes events and camps with partners and developers. It didn't surprise me when I saw partners presenting their content during their sessions. They blended really well with other Atlas Camp sessions from Atlassian folks. It was on the lines of "By the community, for the community" - something which I believe is a sign of a healthy community.
Happy hours is where the magic happens. Met some of the interesting developers and partners during the networking hours and got to understand their journey with Atlassian. The interesting thing is some of them were around for almost a decade making their journey and learnings valuable.
Early feedback is important. Atlassian was obtaining early-feedback and had in-depth interviews with each of the FORGE lab participants. This will ensure that they fine-tune things before rollout. I liked this proactive approach and the care they showed towards their developer community instead of just shipping things all of a sudden.
One size doesn't fit for all in the case of coming up with a DevRel strategy. It is important to understand the business goals and aspirations of the company, their current state of offerings and their developer expectations to come up with a good DevRel strategy.
[Bonus🎀] A developer event with a DJ is super cool 💯
That's my take on Atlas Camp 🕺. Overall, it was a neatly organized event with great content and I loved it! Auf wiedersehen Vienna ♥️