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Transcript: The Atlassian Ecosystem Podcast Ep. 119 - Cyber Taylorists of the World, Unite!

Ryan Spilken
Ryan Spilken
11 June 2021 Podcast
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Transcript

Ryan Spilken:

Hello, and welcome to Adaptavist Live, the Atlassian Ecosystem podcast. This is episode 119, Cyber Taylorists of the World Unite! I'm one of those cyber taylorists. I'm your host Ryan Spilken, and joining me today are my fellow cyber Taylorists, Matthew Stublefield and Brenda Burrell. Hi, Matthew. Hi, Brenda. Welcome to the cyber Taylor community.

Brenda Burrell:

It has long been my dream to be introduced as such.

Matthew Stublefield:

Whereas, I had never read that phrase before today and not a huge fan. But we'll get to that at the end of the episode. Let's maybe start a bit lighter, in the clouds.

Ryan Spilken:

Absolutely. Well, it's nice and fluffy in the clouds with a relatively slow series of updates for the past two weeks. But as usual, we should take a look. And we'll start with the broadest, we'll start at the big picture with the cloud platform, where Atlassian is advising everyone: follow their best practices for security guidelines. So, if you go to admin.atlassian.com, you will have a checklist that you can go through to ensure that you are following Atlassian's recommended best security practices. If you don't see that from the dashboard, you can go into security and best practices. It's a checklist for you to walk through and make sure that you are keeping your Atlassian cloud space nice and secure. Also for the overall cloud platform... Do you guys know that the cloud platform includes sandboxes? We used to call them-

Brenda Burrell:

Yes.

Ryan Spilken:

... development instances. Okay. Well, if you're out there using Atlassian cloud, and you didn't know this, maybe it was just me. However, that being said, Atlassian has changed the wait time for production data to make it over to a sandbox. You're actually able to trigger a data move yourself. You can just go into your sandbox instance, click select copy production data, and it will start immediately. I can't possibly see that ever going wrong for anyone.

Matthew Stublefield:

Well, it is nice because it used to be you had to submit a support ticket to Atlassian to work with these things, which introduced delays. A lot of people were just weren't aware of it, so making this more self service, I think, is really nice.

Ryan Spilken:

Well, yeah, absolutely. Moving on to the Jira platform, we've got some news for the roadmap, now with current and future sprints. Instead of having to context switch and do some extra clicks, you're going to see the current and future sprints in your roadmap, introducing an extra layer of context that allows you to manage and understand the connection between your epics and sprints. They also say that it looks good, so I will let you be the judge of that, dear listeners. Also for the roadmap, there is a new version and data filter. This allows you to refine what you're seeing in the roadmap to only see issues assigned to a specific version and track your team's releases at scale.

Ryan Spilken:

For company managed Jira software projects, the features page has been demystified, so project administrators, when you go into the features page under project settings, you'll get a seamless experience with your project planning, development, and operations functions by turning on or turning off what features you want from a single page. You know who can't do that? Anyone on Jira Work Management. So, if you're using Jira Work Management, which I've just started exploring and I love, you've got a company managed project, and customizing it beyond a certain extent, it just ain't happening.

Matthew Stublefield:

Ryan, what kind of customizations are you wanting to make? What is Team Management preventing you from doing?

Ryan Spilken:

Changing how the project works. I mean, I'm not looking to like make Jira do things it's not supposed to do. I want to configure my issue types. I want to configure my fields and screens. I want to configure my workflow. I want a team managed project with Jira Work Management features. Yeah. I'm not getting it. So, Atlassian, if you think that the business teams that are using the Jira Work Management project are not total idiots and can use Jira themselves, give them the option to tailor their projects. It would make my life so much easier. End rant.

Matthew Stublefield:

I mean, counterpoint.

Brenda Burrell:

It's all about you, Ryan.

Matthew Stublefield:

Counterpoint. It's like we're getting vast assumption territory here, but if I put my project management high level hat on, Jira software targeted at agile teams, by definition self-organizing teams, it's all about that five or seven people, plus or minus two, you can't compare one team to another team. Their philosophy's different, everything's separate, fine. Work Management, though, that core thing, that business thing not necessarily targeted at self-organizing teams, and we have talked extensively about one of the challenges in Jira with everybody being able to create their own statuses and workflows with custom fields and everything like that, is it makes roll up reporting kind of impossible. So, I wonder if this lack of configuration available in a team managed project in Jira Work Management is to help address that. It's to recognize if you're a software team, Atlassian assumes that you are self-organizing, and if you're not a software team, Atlassian assumes you are not self-organizing, that it's a more of a top-down, hierarchical, traditional structured project.

Ryan Spilken:

You are right. Everything you said there seems that it rings true. That being said, agile's everywhere, baby. We're agile marketers these days, we're agile HR specialists, we're agile, baby. We're changing with the flow.

Matthew Stublefield:

Have you considered making a software project, then?

Ryan Spilken:

I have, but this is the whole thing, I have. However, for my team's use case, the elements that Jira Work Management brings in from both Jira software and Jira Work Management are absolutely essential to how my team operates. And then you add in the-

Matthew Stublefield:

Like the Gantt chart, the calendar.

Ryan Spilken:

... the spreadsheet-like editing capabilities and you start to really... I've shown this to some people on my marketing team... And we're getting way off topic, so I'm going to wrap it up quick. But I've shown this to people on the marketing team, and they're all slack-jawed, agape at how impressive it is. Just let me change it. Just let me make it work. I understand that this is not going to be the case everywhere and you're not always going to have a Jira nerd on your business team. Right? But at least give us the option. You're going to uncover more Jira nerds than you know. They exist. There are project managers out there who go in and code their spreadsheets to death. They would love the front end of Jira. So, if anyone is listening, let the teams have their projects. Give me that sweet, sweet control. Thank you very much.

Ryan Spilken:

And now back to your regularly scheduled updates where, still on the Jira platform 17 years later, Control F will take you directly to search. All right. When you are in a team managed project, which is not my project, you can hit Control F when you're viewing the board or backlog, and that'll take you directly to the optimized search field. You're also now going to be able to update issues without opening them in search results, and" this is one that I looked at and saw, Oh, this is a Matthew trick. This is something Matthew is going to like." You can select issues in your project sidebar, you run a search, switch to list view, boom, you can edit them all from the dropdowns, including the statuses. So, if you go and you hover over an issue row, it'll pop up a little ellipse menu, get in and get going. I'm here for it. So, that's bringing a Jira Work Management function out to Jira software. Now, give me that team managed project.

Ryan Spilken:

And then for the "new issue view," you'll be able to view an epic's detail without leaving the issue view, so you don't need to open another tab or anything to find out more about an epic that an issue is related to. Just hover your mouse over it and you'll see all that information. Love that connecting context. And finally, in the cloud, Confluence. I think we've talked about this before, but Atlassian has put a new this week icon on the advanced roadmaps for Jira plan macro. So, it looks like that macro keeps getting updated. You're able to now post advanced roadmaps into Confluence pages directly through this macro. I'm fairly certain we've covered it, but it looks like they've updated it to select what variables you want to show and how they want to be shown.

Ryan Spilken:

And finally, in Confluence for your mobile devices, last episode we covered the new version of Confluence cloud, and now in that new version of Confluence cloud on your mobile device, you'll have a convenient undo and redo button in the editor. You could just shake your device to undo, but now you've got a button for it. So, however you want to undo or redo, this is how you can do what you want to do.

Matthew Stublefield:

For those of you like Ryan who are using Etch-a-Sketch thinking it's Confluence, a shake tip. It's important.

Brenda Burrell:

Matthew's work here is done. He doesn't have to record anymore.

Ryan Spilken:

Just going to go get some aloe and I'll see you guys in two weeks.

Brenda Burrell:

Oh, burn. Wow.

Matthew Stublefield:

Some news from the platforms and powers that power the cloud, Atlassian has announced through their blog general availability of their cloud app development platform. This comes from Mike Tria, the head of platform, titled Forge Powers Next-generation App Development for Atlassian Cloud. And we've been talking about Forge for a couple of years now. As a reminder for those of you who are not developers or unfamiliar with it, cloud apps, to date, have largely been developed using a platform called Connect. These apps built by solution developers and third-party vendors and whatnot, everybody who wants to launch a cloud app has to spin up a bunch of cloud architecture, so often, a lot of people do this on Amazon web services or somewhere else. And very quickly, this raised a challenge from a number of businesses where they said, "Okay, Atlassian, it's great that you're trying to improve security, but the way that you've architected your apps for cloud means that my data is being accessed and potentially shipped to third-party servers for doing calculations or returning reports or whatever."

Matthew Stublefield:

So, there's a big security issue with Connect. Like potential security issue. By and large, the app vendors all go through a vetting and onboarding process. Your data, it's not that it's insecure. Those servers that things are being run on have their own security reviews. But for a lot of enterprises, they want to know that I'm paying Atlassian and I want my data to sit on Atlassian servers, and I want to know that the app is doing everything in a secure manner as possible. And that's hard for Atlassian to certify in the Connect world. Thus, forge.

Matthew Stublefield:

So, Forge has been under development for a couple of years. It has now reached general availability. App developers can start building with it. This blog post, I think, is mostly targeted at non-developers. There's a lot about development here, but it's goal, I think, is to communicate to cloud admins what Forge is and the value that you get out of it. So, even though it's got titles like more app-supporting enterprise-grade security for customers and going through the control and showing screenshots and videos of some code or whatnot. It does highlight a few apps that are already using Forge, even though it talks about starting building with it, it's really targeted in making, I think, customers more comfortable with the idea of apps being built on Forge, and therefore, it's safer to migrate to cloud.

Matthew Stublefield:

That said, the article's very, very positive, very glowing. The number of hours apps currently built with Forge, relatively small, especially compared to the entire marketplace. And there's still a lot of limitations for Forge. So, even though it has reached general availability, there's a lot of apps, particularly the largest, most installed, most used apps in the marketplace that cannot currently migrate to Forge. It doesn't have the support for it through the API and through the architecture and whatnot. A lot of vendors are working with Atlassian to extend what Forge can do, and the end result is going to be that developers don't have to run that cloud architecture anymore. Atlassian will be running it for them.

Matthew Stublefield:

So, this decreases cost for the developers, or at least should do, certainly decreases the effort needed because building and maintaining a cloud infrastructure is hard and time consuming, particularly with the data residency requirements that have been coming in over the last few years and with GDPR, all of that is super hard to manage so it should make it a lot easier for startups to get into the app development space. And it makes it easier for Atlassian and to get like SOC 2 or ISO, security compliance and certification for the full stack, including apps.

Matthew Stublefield:

So, good news for the admins out there, if you're already on cloud, hopefully this will result in more speed, more stability, more security, potentially, in the long run. If you are an enterprise has been thinking about cloud, this is probably very relevant to you because we are going to see more Forge adoption in the future, which improves security and reliability. But we don't know how quickly. My guess is it's going to be a few years before Forge can support some of these larger apps that are out there.

Brenda Burrell:

A smallish updates. Confluence 7.12.2, releasing two issues that really, I think, are mostly aimed at system admins. One is the log JMX metrics job. Cannot find the JMX-log.config.JSON file, and so no JMX metrics are being logged into the log files. If any of those words made sense to you, this update is of interest to you.

Matthew Stublefield:

I was going to say, to be fair to that thing that couldn't find those files, I couldn't find them either.

Brenda Burrell:

Yes. Could not find them. So, that has been resolved in 7.12.2. And also an issue where handy macro, if included in the page property macro header, would not render properly, and it would throw a massive Java exception. So, that is also resolved in 7.12.2. Atlassian had pushed a fix in 7.12.1, had to make some additional updates. So, if either of those things are afflicting your instances, go ahead and take a look at the release notes for 7.12.2. Those are fixed for you. Other than that, it's a fairly late news day in the Confluence on-prem world.

Ryan Spilken:

I think a lot of us who've gone through 2020 the multiple times that we've gone through 2020 have turned to retail therapy at one point or another. We've done some shopping, right?

Brenda Burrell:

One point or another. Daily thing.

Ryan Spilken:

Well, if you are one of those people who go shopping on the Atlassian marketplace, and let's be honest you're not, but if you do go to the Atlassian marketplace, there will be significant updates coming. And they have given everyone who follows the developer community a sneak peek into the new app listing page. So, if you go to the link which we'll, of course, include in the show notes, you can see a sick gif, a hot gif alert, for the new marketplace listing page. Now, as Matthew pointed out before we started recording today's episode, really what this all comes down to is making sure that the marketplace is strong and secure for the future. So, yes, the new look nice, it puts information in front of you, but what's it really all about? Stability.

Matthew Stublefield:

The new look is kind of nice. So, this is a community post, so you'll be able to read all the comments on it. There are a lot of people who are dissatisfied with it because it results in a lot of scrolling. And on our Slack, several people have complained that the type of information they look for in a marketplace post is now really far down the page. So, some vendors are not happy with it, some probably don't care. I definitely see some benefits, but I'm of a mixed mind until I can see more than a gif. There's not really a full preview available yet. One of the links that we can also share goes down to an FAQ that was just posted yesterday. So, it is currently Tuesday June 8th when we're recording this. Atlassian finally responded with an extensive...

Matthew Stublefield:

Oh, now I'm going to it. It's five days ago. Sorry, y'all. But it's the last week they posted this FAQ. Answering why they're doing this. And as Ryan said, one of the reasons they point to was that for those of you who do have to deal with the marketplace somewhat regularly, there were some significant outages last year. We had at least a couple of incidents where nobody could buy apps for like a week at a time. There was another one later in the year where vendors couldn't get to it, but users still could, or customers still could. So, part of why they're making the changes is to address this, to make sure that users don't have this type of downtime. And they highlight that during a major incident, in August 2020, users were still able to get to the marketplace listings. They don't mention all the impacts on the vendors, and they were extensive in August, but at least users were able to get to it.

Matthew Stublefield:

So, the FAQ, I think, is really good. It does have some very long screenshots. You can see how much scrolling is going to be here, but also the images are larger, which I do like. For marketplace vendors, if that's you, no changes needed to your listing. And as everything with Atlassian goes, this will be rolling out slowly starting the 14th of June, 2021. It's got a percent rollout through the 13th of July, so we'll start with 5%, eventually get to 100%. That's percent of users who are viewing it. So, at any given time, 5% of users will see it on the 14th of June and just through an automated process as we get close to the 13th of July, eventually 100% of users will see the new view. This is not AB testing, they point out. This isn't about rolling back because it's a major infrastructure change. It's just to make sure there aren't negative impacts because they could always pause the rollout, fix those things, then continue it.

Ryan Spilken:

If you go to this page, you'll notice that Team Titans guest, Nick Muldoon, is a frequent commenter, and Nick has to say is just brilliant. Yeah. Get ready to shop at the new marketplace, everybody.

Brenda Burrell:

Woo-hoo!

Matthew Stublefield:

Another massive new thing coming from Atlassian. Atlassian University is getting a total overhaul this summer. This has already been underway for a few weeks. There was a really good webinar a couple of weeks ago for Atlassian training partners where they talked at length about it. And we're going to link to a couple of posts in the community. The first one, Building a Better Atlassian University For You talks about this new learning experience. The long and short of it is that the learning management system that Atlassian uses, they're replacing. So, they've been using one for a few years. They were really struggling with the reporting out of it, for one thing. The way it did reporting wasn't very good. For the customer experience, it was kind of mixed. It was limited at some of the utilities that it offered.

Matthew Stublefield:

So, starting on June 17th, the new look and experience will be unveiled, and then it'll run through July 15th when the old site will be retired and everybody will be on the new site. If you're familiar with this, you're probably used to going to atlassian.com/training. That will be going away. If I recall correctly, it's going to be atlassian.com/university, though it may be going to a sub-domain of university.atlassian.com. I don't recall. But keep an eye on these pages. You can follow them since they're also community posts.

Matthew Stublefield:

And at the exact same time as this, Atlassian has had a Jira app for a few years now called Training for Jira. This has had to... Ups and downs over the last couple of years regarding a few things, but Atlassian decided to pull it from the marketplace a month or two ago. I think it was just about a month ago. All of the content that was in Training for Jira they made free on their website. And then July one, they've just announced on the marketplace last week...

Matthew Stublefield:

Actually, so I'm looking at this, they've updated it, so there's a community post dated March 31, but they just made changes to say the new app will come out July one. And I think that was just really announced this week. Because we didn't really have a date for it, it was just later this summer there will be a new version of the app. It will be called Training for Jira, and if I recall correctly... Let's see, you can get a 30 day trial for it starting July one. They don't have a marketplace listing for it yet, so we don't know official pricing, we don't know content. The content that Atlassian made free, we know some of that is actually going to be going away. It's being deprecated and will go away. We all also-

Ryan Spilken:

Why is that?

Matthew Stublefield:

Let's not get into it. But we know that this has no impact on the paid content, so all of the traditional Atlassian University, the longer courses, that's a totally separate thing from Training for Jira. There will be some new content in the Training for Jira app. We have not seen it yet. It's like beginner level Jira and Confluence training. So, I can tell you with my team making a, full disclosure, competing app called Learn for Jira, we're very anxious to see what this new thing looks like. We've asked Atlassian a number of questions and got very few responses, but we'll find out in less than a month what it is. Yeah. July 2021, all new Training for Jira app. Very few details, but again, you can watch the community post to get notified as we get closer to July, if you like.

Ryan Spilken:

Now, this might be a little bit too much inside baseball, but all three of us have been involved in the Atlassian training program in one degree or another for years. And so, this is really interesting to see. I mean, we're not going to go full in, but I am interested to see how the team responds to market challenges, including Learn, because Learn showed that content could be made in a totally different way. So, what are they going to do? Where are they going to take it?

Matthew Stublefield:

There's a lot about Atlassian training that I'm really keen to see what happens over the next year because this is... And it's sort of an additional thing, but in years past, training was a really big part of Atlassian Summit, the conference. And then, we had some of it transition to online. This most recent one, Team 21, didn't really have a training component at all. I'm curious how much of training will happen in the future. Behind the scenes, we've talked about a little bit on the podcast, but the Atlassian University team is almost entirely different from when Ryan, Brenda, and I used to have more interactions. I in particular, I was pretty close with the AU team. Was out in San Francisco pretty regularly, had lunch with them on multiple occasions, was in the office frequently. And almost everybody I knew on the Atlassian University team has gone now, and because of the pandemic, it means I haven't had an opportunity to meet any of the new people.

Matthew Stublefield:

So, if you are on the AU team or you're in the San Francisco office and know some of them, feel free to poke them to reach out to me. I have tried to connect with a few on LinkedIn, haven't always gotten a response. You don't necessarily have a corporate directory. But would love to just start talking to them because there's a lot of change going on in the AU space, and really keen to see where Atlassian heads with that. Because their portfolio keeps growing, the types of users using Atlassian keeps growing. There's some big training challenges there, and I'm keen to see how they respond to it and where they're going to go next.

Brenda Burrell:

And in the world of Trello, so those of you that may have been using Trello for awhile or familiar with Teams, what is a team you may be asking? A team is simply a container for multiple boards that fit within a similar theme. They provide a way to give them multiple people access to multiple boards without having to invite them to each board individually. But that has generated an expectation that a group of boards must be used by a group of people. Not really necessary. Trello teams could be a single person and have boards that are private. So, Trello has decided to address that expectation by changing the terminology of team to workspace. With this change, Trello's going to require that all boards must exist within a workspace. So, it's possible right now that you have boards that don't. They will be prompting users to migrate any boards not currently in a workspace with a provided migration [inaudible 00:27:54] which will guide users to move personal boards into existing or new workspaces.

Brenda Burrell:

All users can choose to move personal boards into workspaces manually or let Trello migrate them automatically. And if you've been using Trello, you've probably seen in the last month or so a banner across the top of the screen that says, "Hey, this is going to be migrated to a workspace on such and such date." Being the lazy human that I am, I just allowed that to happen. Yeah. Yeah. So, just be aware if you're not already, that that is in progress. So, the team terminology for Trello is changing to workspace. And you can continue to have boards that are not shared with anyone, groups of people, et cetera. We're just changing the terminology and requiring that all boards be within a workspace. Ryan, you have thoughts?

Ryan Spilken:

I do. I got into Trello way early, way early. Like I've been using Trello for ages, and I love it. I was so excited when Atlassian bought it. I am frustrated by the way they handled user management and all those changes and all those, but I still love Trello. That's all. That's my thought. I don't like this, but it's fine.

Matthew Stublefield:

I mean, similar to Brenda, I was lazy and just let it migrate my boards. I had assumed it would... I don't know what I assumed. I guess I assumed it would work. And then as-

Ryan Spilken:

I mean, your boards were in workspaces at the end of it.

Matthew Stublefield:

... it isn't a workspace. As we started this podcast, I decided to take a look and went, "Oh, it's migrated a combination of personal and work and hobby boards all into a workspace for a nonprofit that I work with. That's unexpected. I don't know where it got the idea that one of my work boards, an Adaptavist board, should be in that nonprofit, as opposed to a workspace that has the exact same name as that board, Adaptavist. So, yeah, I mean, I guess it's on me that I've been ignoring it. I'll definitely go make some changes now.

Matthew Stublefield:

Here's what I want to know, and they don't really address this. If you are the Trello PM, one, thanks for listening. Nice to have you here. I'm pleasantly surprised or horrified. It's one of the other. I really want to know what the problem to be solved is. What problem is workspaces solving? What was the impetus? Why was this needed? I'm not opposed to it necessarily. And I could probably think of a few potential problems to be solved, but I really wonder from the Trello PM, or the program managers there, what led to this change?

Ryan Spilken:

Well, one of the big things in this article that Brenda was talking about, the first thing that they say is that, "Well, the word team doesn't really apply to how people use Trello for some reason." So, everywhere you would use the word team, replace it with workspace and there you go. But that doesn't do it for me.

Matthew Stublefield:

You could have boards that weren't part of teams before. What's the necessity for making every board part of a workspace? Why does there have to be at least one to one-

Ryan Spilken:

Because then it's in a workspace.

Matthew Stublefield:

That's what I wonder what problem is being solved there. My guess is that we're going to continue to see more emphasis and development of Trello as an enterprise tool as opposed to a personal tool. That's my guess, and that they're introducing standardization for that reason. Because this way, when somebody creates a board, it's immediately in a workspace, and that's going to make permissions management easier. It means you don't have to take the step of creating a workspace first.

Brenda Burrell:

And licensing for it. To speak to that a little bit, there is an FAQ at the bottom of the article, which we'll link to in the show notes, and the question is, "Free workspaces have a 10 board limit. Does this mean I no longer have unlimited boards for free?" The answer is no, you can create unlimited number of boards, but for every 10 boards, you have to create an additional free workspace. So, my guess is that it has to do with intended licensing models for Trello moving down the road. Ryan's face-

Matthew Stublefield:

Good observation.

Brenda Burrell:

... is pure torture.

Ryan Spilken:

Again, it's just the wrong... Just let me have Trello and build a better Jira. Stop, stop. Stop trying to make fetch happen. Stop trying to make Trello into Jira. It's not Jira. Come on, guys. Come on. I have two strong words-

Matthew Stublefield:

I mean-

Ryan Spilken:

... come on.

Matthew Stublefield:

... and not to continue to play devil's advocate, but I suspect, Ryan, we aren't the target audience. I suspect the target audience are people who will give Atlassian money.

Ryan Spilken:

I know.

Matthew Stublefield:

Honestly.

Ryan Spilken:

I'm not the target audience for anything, man. Nobody sells to me anymore. Where's my advertising?

Brenda Burrell:

On that note, some possibly not great advertising for Atlassian.

Ryan Spilken:

This is not advertising at all.

Brenda Burrell:

Or it is, but some PR for sure. No? No.

Ryan Spilken:

I mean-

Brenda Burrell:

We promised you a discussion of why we needed the episode Cyber Taylorists of the World Unite, and I think we're there.

Matthew Stublefield:

I feel like we should also be up front about it and say we are not actually cyber taylorists. This comes from an article in the Jacobin Magazine. Mag, it's a website. By Ben Conway. Atlassian's Vision for the Future of Work is a Cyber Taylorist's Nightmare. And if you're not immediately familiar with that term, it's referring to taylorism, scientific management. So, this was a management style... Brenda, I don't know if you remember the year. I want to say it was late 1800s. This guy, Taylor, he was-

Brenda Burrell:

Yeah. 1880s, I think.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah.

Matthew Stublefield:

He was managing people who were moving bar stock, moving metal, and he had the brilliant idea that, "Hey, if I offer to pay them more money, will they work faster?" and the answer was yes. And that sounds very benign, but it led to this idea of rewards and punishments to manipulate worker behavior and productivity. So, manipulating productivity, that's what Ben Conway is on about with this article.

Ryan Spilken:

And he's wrong. He's wrong.

Matthew Stublefield:

End of the episode.

Ryan Spilken:

If he would've actually researched it that's all we got. He says that using Jira is going to give companies tools to whip their employees, basically, by looking at productivity, and he just doesn't take any agile principles into account. He doesn't take any of Atlassian's actual advice on how to use their own tools into account. He just says, "With measurement tools like Atlassian's Jira, companies are going to put the hammer down on their employee." But will they? And to that I say, have you ever tried to do top-down reporting in Jira alone? Good luck with that, buddy.

Brenda Burrell:

There's a reason that we offer consultancy services for this kind of thing.

Matthew Stublefield:

It's hard.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah.

Brenda Burrell:

That's why I have my job.

Matthew Stublefield:

He makes a lot of weird accusations. So, he writes about the founders of Atlassian and their political involvement and things that they speak at, or conferences they attend, or things they've written. And he writes, "There is a connection between Atlassian;s forays into the world of politics and its technocratic vision of the world. When you sell billions of dollars worth of management software, it is easy to think that tech innovation can solve all of the world's problems." So, effectively saying when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Except Atlassian, I think very explicitly, doesn't do that. We had the distinguished product manager [inaudible 00:36:14] on just a few weeks ago. See, we have to put on our monocle and twirl our mustaches every time we talk about the distinguished product manager. Even Brenda asked to.

Brenda Burrell:

Yep.

Matthew Stublefield:

It's in the contract.

Brenda Burrell:

I grew a mustache for exactly that purpose.

Matthew Stublefield:

And we talked with him about differences between Trello and Jira and Align and all these tools. I had been thinking like it does seem like there's a lack of alignment. There's not a unified philosophy. And he effectively said, "Yeah, by design, because different teams, different people need different tools, and that's okay." It's not a hammer for every situation. And then, particularly with point A, and Team Central and the things he's working on, and when you start reading the stuff about the loop and what their focus is, it's all about communication. It's not about solving it with software. Software helps you with the communication, but it's actually about connecting people together and helping them to share ideas. It's about the talking with one another.

Ryan Spilken:

And in all fairness, and I will not get into politics on this podcast, but the work that Scott and Mike do seems fairly benign.

Matthew Stublefield:

Or like constructive, I would say. Yeah.

Ryan Spilken:

Constructive, constructive. It doesn't hurt anybody that I know of, and we're not going to get far into that. But wow, to associate building tools that help people communicate, collaborate, and make work a little better if they're used well and people are talking about the work with the stuff that this author goes in... Sorry, buddy. I mean, look, I get it, man. Late stage capitalism is rough on us all, but come on, man. Wrong company.

Matthew Stublefield:

I was just reading through, there's a section... Of course we'll link to this, but down in the section called Hollow Visions, he quotes Gavin Mueller, who I tried to look up before this podcast. There's a bunch of different Gavin Muellers who are also writers, so I couldn't figure out which Gavin Mueller he's talking about and he doesn't cite any particular paper or book. Maybe because he doesn't know how to do references. I don't know. But he writes "Technology developed by capitalism furthers it's goals... compels us to work more, limits our autonomy, and outmaneuvers and divides us when we organize to fight back." And I'm familiar with a lot of different management software, and I started trying to think through software, and specifically technology, that compels us to work more and limits our autonomy and outmaneuvers us and divides us when we organize to fight back. I can't think of any technology that outmaneuvers us and does that. It's the people behind this.

Brenda Burrell:

That's a series of movies, though, isn't it? That's like a plot of Terminator, right?

Matthew Stublefield:

It could be. Yeah, yeah.

Ryan Spilken:

I really thought that the only software that tries to outmaneuver us is video games.

Matthew Stublefield:

Yeah. Fair. Yeah. I think-

Ryan Spilken:

But those don't compel us to work.

Matthew Stublefield:

Yeah. It's sort of the opposite.

Ryan Spilken:

They compel us to play.

Matthew Stublefield:

I'm giving this a legit hard think here and I'm trying to think of... But it's all in how you use it. And we've read tons of articles about how Slack inhibits productivity and it causes interruptions and whatnot, but again, that's down to how to use it. There's no reason you can't just close Slack and put on your calendar, "I'm working for four hours," and you adjust work. You have to establish boundaries, you have to be clear about what you want out of life, you have to have healthy practices with your team, you have to communicate. And it seems like Atlassian, the things they say and the things they write are about that communication side and about taking care of each other.

Ryan Spilken:

Matthew, how do I do all of that good stuff without something telling me to do it? I need management software to tell me to do those things. Right?

Matthew Stublefield:

And I need extra money when I do it because that's what cyber Taylorism is all about.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah.

Matthew Stublefield:

So, yeah.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah.

Matthew Stublefield:

We picked up on this partly because we look at all Atlassian's stuff, right? That's our job here on this podcast. This is a thing about the Atlassian... I don't know how many readers the Jacobin has, but-

Ryan Spilken:

It's not small.

Matthew Stublefield:

... it's not small. I know this is like a key thing. This article just feels you're looking for something to lash out at and you probably just picked the wrong target here.

Ryan Spilken:

I think what it was, was that he was listening to National Public Radio and just got annoyed with all of Atlassian's sponsors. Yeah. He kept hearing about unleashing the power of teams. He got annoyed. Because that's what this article reads like.

Matthew Stublefield:

If this had been about Microsoft and SharePoint and Project, I probably would have been like, "Okay. You can make that case." But Atlassian, not so much.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah. I don't see it. I don't see it.

Brenda Burrell:

So, that wraps up episode 119, Cyber Taylorists of the World Unite. We will not be joining you. Thank you, dear listeners, for spending the time with us today. As always, we will link to everything we've referenced in the show notes. Find us wherever you obtain your fine podcast supply. Be sure to follow us on social @Adaptavist, or whichever social you choose to use, or maybe all of them. We like follows on all platforms. Thank you again for listening. On behalf of Ryan Spilken and Matthew Stublefield, I'm Brenda Burrell, thank you so much.


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