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Atlassian Summit: Five talks you can't afford to miss

Atlassian Summit: Five talks you can't afford to miss
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Atlassian Summit: Five talks you can't afford to miss

This year, there are a lot of talks at Atlassian Summit, and as usual, even more than there were last year! 

It is very hard to choose favourites between them all, and while it would be great to see every presentation that's on at Summit, you need to be a little bit selective with what you spend your time on. 

While I could easily follow a single track, I prefer to get a range across many different areas. With that in mind, here are the five that have made it to the top of my list, and why they appealed most to me. 

Ditch Excel and Jumpstart Your Business Processes with Jira Software

Wednesday, 10 April at 11:00am (Oceanside E)

Alexandra Schutz, Senior Project Manager, PBS Distribution.

Daniella Apfel, Senior Manager, Legal Affairs, PBS Distribution.

The title of this one jumped out at me, as Excel was the bane of my life for so long. Not because spreadsheets are bad in themselves, but because they're so easy to abuse. Early in my career with Atlassian software, a manager came to me with a spreadsheet purporting to tell us how the developers were doing, but they wanted to know "why Jira is wrong?". As is so common, the spreadsheet was telling him what he wanted to hear, but Jira was accurate. Eventually, we did an analysis of a load of spreadsheets that were being used across the department and discovered that over 90% of spreadsheets that were shared had at least one error in them.

It's been many years since I was responsible for this sort of thing, but hearing how non-development teams outside a financial trading organisation are making the same move intrigues me.

Empathising Your Way to Effective Teamwork

Wednesday, April 10 at 4:50pm (Mandalay Bay AB)

Sophie Wade, Workforce Innovation Specialist and Founder, Flexcel Network LLC.

Empathy was key to a job that I had before I got into coding, and as I moved through the roles of developer, environment manager and then Atlassian expert, I lost touch with those softer skills. The only need for empathy was imagining how users felt when systems were not working, and even then we didn't have to go into it much. As I now run a small team, I've found a real need to rebuild my "soft skills" including empathy. Understanding how team members might be feeling as they interact with others has helped me a lot, but I want to see how it applies in the rest of the role, as it's not as simple as just my team. I am also interested in seeing how it might be measured, beyond a simple instinct that it is helping in some way.

Why I Built my Career with Atlassian Tools and You Should Too! 

Wednesday, April 10 at 2:50pm (Mandalay Bay KL)

Joseph Pursel, Jira Developer, Airbnb.

I suspect many of the other people who have been in the ecosystem as long as I have have similar stories about how they ended up as the admin, that mostly can be summarised as "by accident". Someone else didn't want to do it, or was leaving, or the business discovered a load of Atlassian systems and needed an Admin or owner that wasn't a busy developer. 

I'd like to hear how other people got into it via different routes, and what they are thinking about the more recent Atlassian focus on helping administrators with courses and certification.

How Data Center Can Help You Sleep Better

Wednesday, April 10 at 4:50pm (Oceanside C)

Matt Doar, Software Engineer, Linkedin.

Scaling is becoming increasingly important as the Atlassian stacks we see everywhere grow, but it's not just about scale. Data Center can help smooth over all sorts of load problems, such as providing a level of stability in the event of a failure. This talk sounds like it is about many of the things that you can stop worrying about when you move from Server to Data Center.

Scale and resilience is something I've designed, coded and built for throughout my non-Atlassian career. I have worked with big Atlassian installations, but never been close to the details or how to approach setting them up to begin with. So, I want to see this talk to get insights that I don't get from our own systems and people (not that they won't share, just that we don't have the time!)

Enabling Business Management with Jira

Wednesday, April 10 at 4:50pm (Mandalay Bay CD)

Brian Bobryk, Product owner engineering management tools, Bloomberg LP.

As an answerer of questions and a consultant, I spend a lot of time telling people to translate their desired business process on to their systems, rather than letting the systems define them. 

I am always interested in how other people manage to do this, especially when the business has demands or constraints that take it outside the Agile practices that Jira Software is aimed at. I might well know the software, but the humans who use it are far more interesting to ask "why?" of.

Final remarks

I wanted to limit it to my top five picks, but it was hard! These are the talks that stood out most to me but that doesn't mean there aren't more talks that will be well worth your while checking out once you're there at Summit.

We would love to meet you in Vegas so be sure to drop by booth number 1131 and say hi to our team!

View the full schedule for Atlassian Summit here.

Join in the event discussion at #AtlassianSummit 

What talks are you planning to go to at this year's Summit? 

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