Right towards the end of May this year, Atlassian put on their 6th annual camp for Atlassian plugin developers. In the words, of Atlassian, Atlas camp 2013 is “part conference, part meetup — all fun”. After hearing what was in store for Atlas camp this year, we decided we had to send one of our expert plugin developers down to Amsterdam to be apart of the festivities. As it turned out, Atlas camp was a blast! Our developer came back to us with tons of awesome things to share about upcoming Atlassian product updates, stories of meeting incredible people, and more. That being said, although we apologize for getting this out a little late, we want to share with everyone what it was like to be at Atlas Camp from an expert plugin developer perspective. I interviewed Haarika Maddipatla, our expert plugin developer and here’s what our conversation was like.
Question: As an Atlassian expert developer what was Atlas camp 2013 like?
Response: Well, to start there were Atlassian developers there from the different product lines like Stash, JIRA, Confluence, and such. Each of the developers were very competent and knowledgeable in their given field. For the 3 days, there were conferences going on where I was able to learn a lot from them through presentations and Q&A sessions. Everyone there was very friendly as well.
Question: How was the experts workshop?
Response: The expert workshop was mainly from the administrative departments. So it was pretty much ran by “Chiefs” of the Atlassian Amsterdam branch. Many of the Atlassian developers were not present here. During the workshop they spoke to us about JIRA 6 and the new updates coming in future releases of GreenHopper and other products. The experts at this workshop were able to understand what Atlassian plans to work on as well as provide suggestions to the Atlassian team on how they can make our lives easier as plugin developers.
Question: So these changes that are coming, will they change the way you go about developing add ons at all?
Response: Well actually they plan to support us a bit by providing some libraries. So, for instance, when writing code for a feature or enhancement today, lets say it takes 5 lines of code; but with added libraries then, the number lines needed may to drop to let’s say 2. Right now, here at Addteq, we are writing lots of code for customizing JIRA, so Atlassian doing things like this really helps to lighten the workload for plugin developers like myself.
Question: Are there any interesting new add ons or updates coming soon?
Response: Well, one that stuck out to me was in regards to JIRA. Currently in JIRA if you wish to customize the ‘create issue’ screens for certain issue types with custom fields, tabs and whatever else you would have to write some code; but in the future, JIRA admins may have the ability to do this through the admin configuration settings in JIRA. Most of the focus however seemed to be on enhancing GreenHopper, making it faster and easier to use.
Question: I heard there were a few things planned like the Shipit competition and announcements regarding “Atlassian Connect”, anything you can share about these?
Response: Well unfortunately, I was actually unable to attend the shipit competition. They spoke about Atlassian Connect and On demand on day 2, however during this time they were also having 1-1 meetings; and so I chose to spend my time in a meeting in order to get some pressing questions answered.
Question: Ohh ok, questions in regards to what exactly?
Response: Well I had plenty questions regarding developing plugins for Confluence and Stash particularly. Currently we working on requirements for our clients who have requested added features to these tools. During the 1-1 meeting, I was lead to some very useful links and documentation that will allow us to satisfy these requirements. I’m really glad I got to speak with Atlassian, now we wont have the headache of having to develop a plugin from scratch to get these desired features. Rather many of the features we plan to add, I discovered, can be created by making a simple Rest API call. So that was nice to find out.
Question: Was there anything that you had hoped to see or hear about that you didin’t?
Response: Well, I thought they would have us developing plugins live, as a way to learn, but everything was mostly presentation style. I also arrived on the 22nd a little late, so I may have missed some parts as well.
Question: How was the party?
Response: The party was nice! Hahaha. It was kind of like everyone forgot who they were, and there was mingling and so forth. Very laid back atmosphere. I got to meet people from different companies and other experts. It was a very cool experience.
Question: Anything else you want to share?
Response: Well one really cool part was at the hotel where I was staying, there was a tunnel underground connected to where the conferences were held. It was really cool, you could just walk back and forth as you please. The Atlassian team was also very kind to me. For some strange reason, during registration they could not find my name, instead of making a big scene, they just wrote it down and let me in. I just really loved how friendly the Atlassian team is.