summit
August 29, 2018

Five talks not to be missed at Atlassian Summit 2018

NB
Nic Brough 5 minute read

There's a full line up at this year's Atlassian Summit in Barcelona, and whether it's a "lightning" talk, a full presentation, or a fielding questions from the audience, they're all going to be worth seeing.  

However, none of us are 'quantum' humans who can be in several places at once, and hence see all of them.  At Summit you need to be selective with your time, and seek out the sessions you will get the most out of. So to help you along the way, here are my top five 'not to be missed' sessions:

Obviously I work for Adaptavist, and so you all expect me to recommend talks we are doing or ones that relate to us, but I tried to look at the titles and descriptions as though I were not. 

1. "Find the root cause - Atlassian logs and Elk"

By Joachim Bollen, Atlassian Expert, Tuesday, 4 September at 11:50 a.m.

I find myself "debugging" a lot, and the logs for software are always useful, if not always the starting point of an investigation.  With complex evolved systems (and software is complex), there is still the possibility of problems, errors and unexpected behaviour which need investigation. This talk by [add title} focuses on the performance problems you can experience with complex systems.  It's great to have a log that tells you what it is doing.  But, complexity means it's likely you have a lot of logs.  A.  Lot.  Vast tracts of interminable text, written in a language you do not, and cannot speak.

If you are like me, you have not spent as much time as you would like learning more about 'debugging.'' And as I spend most of my time in the Atlassian eco-system, anything I can learn that will help me understand the information extracted from Atlassian logs is welcome, especially knowing more about the tools that can make the process faster and easier.

2. "Secret Sauce of Successful Software Teams"

By Sven Peters, VP of Marketing, K15t, Tuesday, 4 September at 14:00 p.m.

I often over-simplify development processes in front of my clients.  I am usually talking to people who have an interest in the processes because they just want their developers to do stuff, and do it well, but they're not so interested in the detail.   Software development is not simple, and it's done mainly by humans, who are complex in themselves.  To make a development process work, you need to have happy developers who want to code, but you can't do that without looking at the process, measuring things and looking at why they're not happy and why things might not be working.

This detailed talk explores how to look at all aspects of the development processes, which despite having been a developer myself, is what is I'm missing from my experiences.

3. "Atlassian Automation - a guide to being lazy"

By Raju Kadam, Head of DevOps, Tesla, Tuesday, 4 September at 14:00 p.m.

Ahh, being lazy.  That's been my mantra for work for almost all of my career.  That always sounds bad at first, especially in job interviews, but it's not.  "Lazy" is not quite the right word.  If someone else was doing the work for me, I could be accused of laziness, but really, I don't want to be doing repetitive things that bore me and chew up my time.  Instead I'd rather be looking at the more interesting stuff that's not working well, or off doing or learning something new.

Automation is the way to be lazy.  Of course, it's not all green pastures and automated everything.  I've seen systems that are over-automated and fail spectacularly because they didn't check with the humans enough, and others where people have invested months of code to automate something that is only going to save a week's worth of effort.

It's always interesting to understand what and why other people are automating, how they are doing it, and how far they go before deciding to stop, or more importantly knowing when to stop.

4. "The user's community: your hidden treasure and best ally"

By Fabian Lopez, PMO Manager, DSS, Inc., Tuesday, 4 September at 14:00 p.m.

There's no question this is a talk I don't want to miss.  I see the user community from the perspective of an active user and contributor, and only from that point.  I'm always looking to see how we could enhance and improve the community, and how other people could benefit from it.  Any form of feedback from other members is helpful, and it's even more eye-opening to see the facets you're less involved in like Company user groups handling and Atlassian user group leadership.

5. "Psychological safety in post-mortems"

By Matt Saunders, Head of DevOps, Adaptavist, Tuesday, 4 September at 17:20 p.m.

The title of this spoke to me as a former counsellor and someone who has seen up close some of the challenges mental health poses.  Although the content of this talk focuses on what happens when things go wrong in a tech environment, I want to see how others see it.  I've been in situations where there were high "blame culture" attitudes, with the person who made a mistake breaking down as a result of stress, and I know how destructive this is.

There is enormous pressure on people when things go wrong, and instead of thinking "I hope it wasn't me," or "How can I shift the blame," it would be far better to focus on solving the problem and preventing it happening again. I'm hoping this talk confirms that I'm broadly right in thinking this way, and more to the point, provides me with some practical tips on how to put it into action!

Honorable mentions

I wanted to limit it to my top five picks, but it was hard, so here are a few other talks I strongly recommend and hope to attend myself.

  • Inside Atlassian: transforming customer support with AI
  • Why you're failing your remote workers
  • Usability first - building the new Cloud user experience
  • Critical Decision making - what hospitals can teach us about teams

See you in Barcelona!

View the full schedule for Atlassian Summit here.

Join in the event discussion at #AtlassianSummit