#AtlassianSummit — CEO Fireside Chat

We are proud to say we took part in the most recent edition of #AtlassianSummit as a Partner. We were able to attend some of the keynote talks on different topics. The sessions covered 7 different topics, which they called “Tracks”: Plan & Track, Build & Deploy, Service & Ops, Improve & Innovate, Team & Culture, Extend & Scale and Platform & API’s.

We’ll now share a brief summary of what we think were the most relevant talks in upcoming Medium posts, so stay tuned.

CEO Fireside Chat

Scott Farquhar, Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Mike Cannon-Brookes, Co-Founder and Co-CEO

This was a Pre-Summit talk in an interview format. Mike & Scott, Atlassian’s co-founders & co-CEO’s, took the stage one day before officially starting the #AtlassianSummit, in a conversation where they shared a lot of the company’s history and its future. They also dedicated some time to share what they have been doing in giving back to the community. It was a good introduction for the Summit, and certainly gave us a lot to talk about.

They both shared how they started the company; how they met and decided to work together. How the name “Atlassian” was inspired by the Greek god “Atlas” (Mike took latin and greek in college). By the way, Mike was showing off some cool Superman socks!

Mike & Scott (Archive Photo)

They also talked a lot about teams & culture. A few questions from the audience were raised and they took time to answer them. This was a very interactive format; a bit time-constrained, although I’m sure they could’ve spent hours talking about their experience with Atlassian.

In this post, we share some of the most interesting questions and ideas that were brought up during this talk.

How does Atlassian envision the technologies of the future affecting teamwork?

This is a very interesting question. Atlassian platforms work a lot to promote and facilitate teamwork, specially in the case of remote teams. But what possibilities do they think the future will bring?

Atlassian, as a team, works constantly to include new technologies in their platform. This also means adding expertise (or creating it) to the team in the technologies they think will be pivotal in the future. They mentioned how video and voice, as medium, and machine learning and automation as enablers, will take a greater role in collaboration technologies

We’re excited about the possibilities. Confluence is a text based technology and does a lot to stop wasting time in long email chains and enables collaboration in a single space. A wiki with endless possibilities for your company. We can’t wait to see what these new technologies will enable teams to do.

On Being Agile.

An interesting point they talked about was the importance of being Agile. With all the changes in technologies, a year-long development could end up being obsolete by the end of it, not only because of the technologies themselves, but also because of the client’s needs. Hence the importance of frequent releases and feedback loops.

This is a well known mantra for startups, but it is also great to see a big company like Atlassian walk the walk.

Teamwork & Culture.

They make a lot of emphasis on how great teams need more than just great tools. A great recruiting effort is simply the first step of a journey; it wouldn’t be wise to recruit top talent with a very important recruiting effort, and expect things to be perfect. And they know it.

Teams need certain principles, patterns, and a culture that facilitates the right kind of collaboration. Collaboration is basically the reason they set out to build Atlassian. To facilitate work amongst different personas, in different teams, most likely at different locations, with different roles.

Retention is also a great effort, but a great culture will definitely go a long way to keep your talent happy.

They also mentioned that diversity plays a major role in a team’s success. It is a well known fact that the technololgy is largely a male-dominated industry. It is important to have diversity not only across the board. Companies that boast a 50–50 men/women ratio, half being in one area and half on the other. A good balance is also key within each team, and even within each role. This is also a topic were Atlassian sets the standard. The Summit hosted a talk called “Women in Tech”. We were glad to see a lot of involvement of women in this Summit. This was definitely a hot topic in social networks.

Giving back to the community.

Both were very proud of the work they have done in favor of the community. They talked about Pledge 1%, an NGO that Atlassian supports to take action on areas that they feel are important. This is an effort many concerned companies tackled together. They pledged a 1% of their equity, profit, product, and their employee time. This makes a lot of sense. Since you take Quantity away from the conversation, you don’t have the conflict of having to manage an arbitrary amount. This way the effort is relative to each company, which makes much more sense. And it is always going to be a manageable amount (1%). Then they shared a video of the results of their efforts with the “Room to Read” foundation. At that point the “Room to Read” director, John Wood, took the stage and Mike & Scott stepped down, giving the rest of the allocated time to the “Room to Read” foundation. He thanked Atlassian, and shared how they went from building 2 libraries the first year of operations, all the way to celebrating their 10 millionth kid helped by their program.

This was a nice talk in which the audience was able to engage with the CEO’s by sending questions. A good kickoff for the #AtlassianSummit 2016 !

If you want to know more, you can watch the talk here:

Happy Planning!

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