Travel to a couple of Atlassian Summits and you might arrive at this simplest truth: Behind-the-scenes conversations are more enlightening here than the official program. What added value do Summits bring to an “average” project manager or Jira admin? How different is Atlassian Summit Europe from the U.S. edition? What to expect in Las Vegas in 2019 and in Barcelona in 2020?
Upcoming & recent Summits
|Apr 10-12, 2019||Atlassian Summit US||Las Vegas, NV||3950 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
|2020||Atlassian Summit Europe||Barcelona ?|
|Sep 3-5, 2018||Atlassian Summit Europe||Barcelona||Hall 8, Fira Gran Via, Carrer de l’Alumini
08908 Barcelona, Spain
|Sep 12-14, 2017||Atlassian Summit USA||San Jose, CA||More|
|May 2-3, 2017||Atlassian Summit Europe||Barcelona||More|
|Oct 10-13, 2016||Atlassian Summit 2016||San Jose, CA|
|Nov 3-5, 2015||Atlassian Summit USA||San Francisco|
|Sep 9-11, 2014||Atlassian Summit U.S.||San Jose|
We’ve participated in nearly all of them, so we dare to share our views…
You might have read the official definition by Atlassian1 of what Summits are, but it’s always good to remember that it’s just business ;) So, numerous ‘lobbies’ try to kill birds with one stone:
- Project managers, Jira users, Jira administrators, Marketing managers, Quality Assurance and DevOps staff
- Consulting companies
- Independent developers/vendors
More often than not they go hand in hand – such as when Jira users get their piece of knowledge from experts, or when we, developers, get the precious feedback on how to improve our apps from Jira users. Such a gathering, however, obviously serves more general, marketing & psychological purposes. Having seen crowds during the Summit, how could one possibly question the dominance of Jira?
1 Annual user conference and biggest event of the year. Hundreds of teams of all sizes and different industries come together to be inspired and transform the way they work.
What to expect during Atlassian Summit?
- Keynotes, led by Mike Cannon-Brooks and Scott Farquhar, Atlassian co-founders/co-CEOs and other leaders/developers from Atlassian. Keynotes last ~1 hour and come in three flavours:
- Opening Keynote – ‘strategic’ and PR announcements are spoken here and don’t expect idle talk! For instance: during 2017 Summit in San Jose they revealed Stride communicator, only to announce that Stride would be discontinued in favor of strategic partnership with Slack a year later in Barcelona. They often mention ‘positive impact on the world by Atlassian’.
- Product Keynote
- “Ask Atlassian” Keynote – this is similar to a press conference with Atlassian founders
- You certainly don’t need to attend all of them, since they overlap a little
- 8-hour training courses led by certified Atlassian professionals. Examples include:
- Project Administration in Jira Server
- Getting more from Jira Workflows
- Planning with Portfolio for Jira
- You could have obtained Atlassian certification on the same day, such as ‘Agile Development with Jira Software’ or ‘Jira Administrator’. Two examination sessions were scheduled. Check who is ACP.
- Breakout sessions – these are 15 to 45-minute, more detailed presentations by Atlassian staff or partners, such as:
- Making a Sandwich: Effective feedback techniques, by Dan North
- Sizing Jira Software for Performance, by Dev Govindaswamy from Adaptavist
- Intro to planning with Portfolio for Jira, by Bree Davies, Atlassian
- Industry User Groups – Atlassian promotes AUGs, or Atlassian User Groups during the summits, too. Visit the Community Lounge during the summit to join one of the industry-related groups, such as Finance, Digital Services, Education, Government, Automotive and Life Sciences.
- TAM Day, Technical Account Management Day
- Partner Day – the day before the actual Summit. Atlassian enhanced the formula of the Partner Day in 2018, as they finally provided tables for partners in the main hall. Re-sellers and vendors simply visit each others’ tables for a conversation. We found this system productive, as the stand of BigPicture/BigGantt was busy all day. Another bait for the partners were the behind-the-scenes announcements, or Keynotes, that were to be given on that day. This way partners could concentrate on business talks, and not Keynotes, on the following days. And one more thing: the Barista made coffee was so damn good!
- Diversity in Tech – the panel discussion related to women leaders and programmers. Google the Diversity in Tech video from San Jose. Are you Head of Diversity?
- Shiplt Live, or hackathon – a few teams take part in the 24-hour race to create a tool that works with Atlassian software. Especially brilliant was the 2017 Barcelona edition, when Atlassian ‘locked’ the competing teams in a corridor, supplying them with pizza, and let others observe how they do :)
- Trello Day. Atlassian bought Trello in 2017. Did they manage to attract additional visitors to the Summit, just for the Trello Day? We think so, as many people showed up at our booth, claiming that they were at the Summit just for Trello. We also heard from them that our BigPicture for Trello is the first power-up of its kind. Oh, and the admission for Trello Day was 16 times cheaper than for the rest of the Summit. See the ‘How much’ section below.
Summit Bash, a party on the last day of a Summit. Check where Opium and Pacha clubs are on Somorrostro Beach in Barcelona entertainment district, as they hosted the Bash in 2018. Contrary to the 2017 Summit Bash, food and drinks were available in 2018 till midnight :). If you’re like “I’m 40, is the Bash right for me?”, we would say “Definitely yes”. Not only opportunity for networking extends into here, but the music they played was just perfect for wide age range. And the food… yummy. You could have only complained about the unreliable app that the guards scanned your NFC bracelet with at the entrance to each of the three clubs and that these clubs overflowed at times.
Can or should I attend all of the highlights?
There is not a chance to participate in all what’s happening. Expect to see 20 per cent of sessions. How to deal with this oversupply of highlights?
- check “Sessions by track” tab on the Summit’s website
- Atlassian Summit Android/iOS app is a must, since it lets you:
- build and save your own Summit curriculum
- browse through those who have registered and send them messages
Interesting facts about 2018 Barcelona
- you were allowed to use male/female restrooms according to your preference. Commonly seen in the U.S., it’s a new policy in Europe.
- if you accumulated too many swags, you could have disposed of them into a charity container
One of very few Cons of 2018 Barcelona
- There were few Cloud-related Atlassian engineers close at hand during the Summit. It seemed like most of them arrived as late as for the Atlas Camp that took place immediately after the Summit.
U.S. vs. European edition
Summits take place annually. It used to be the U.S. San Jose/San Francisco event, but 2017 saw a major change – Summits happened twice in that single year, both in Europe and the U.S.A. Sponsors, however, voted ‘No’, so Atlassian swung back to the ‘one summit per year’ formula; keep in mind that sponsors, like us, have tons of development work year-round.
From 2018 onwards it looks like Summits would happen annually and interchangeably – in U.S. or in Europe.
At the Summit Europe you’re likely to meet other Europeans and very few Americans. At the American edition on the other hand you’ll see both Americans and Europeans. People from Europe travel for the U.S. editions more often than Americans do for Atlassian Summit Europe, and we’d claim that the U.S. summits are slightly better set up, at least from a vendor’s point of view. With the star-like arrangement of the San Jose venue, guests are simply unable to skip vendors’ booths that are located in the very heart of the convention center. Unfortunately this is not the case in Barcelona, with the 3-hectare, or 7.5-acre, two-level convention center, which is just… overwhelming.
But we’d also say that the American audience and sponsors are slightly more demanding, so perhaps this is why. The idea of Atlassian Summit in Europe is fairly new. It grew out of Atlas Camp, an event for programmers.
On the other hand Barcelona is a must-see, with the Summit Bash taking place literally on the Mediterranean beach. That said we believe Atlassian will move the Summits one day to Frankfurt, Paris, Munich, Prague or Warsaw, as these are more centrally located than Barcelona ;)
Should I travel to the upcoming Summit?
- If you are new to Atlassian world, then yes – you mustn’t skip the Summit, to feel the vibes at the very least
- If you have experience then it depends. Since Atlassian is so perfectly open in terms of communication, their blog, Twitter profile and helpdesk collectively do the job
- For us, a development firm, the idea of participating in the Summit has evolved over the years. We now travel to the U.S. and Barcelona to collect feedback from BigPicture, BigGantt and BigTemplate users and to mark our presence on the market.
- So, if you use our apps, then yes – it’ll be a pleasure to see you face to face and to share our roadmap with you. In fact we see the very same project managers and experts every year at our stand.
How much does it cost?
How much do you need to spend to take part in Atlassian Summit? Roughly:
- €49 – Trello Day Pass for a ‘regular’ user, purchased on-site
- $1500 – this is a ‘total’ of what a ‘regular’ visitor of the summit should expect to pay: $800 for admission to the summit and $700 for flights & hotels
- $3000 – this is the minimum for a sponsor – Atlassian vendor – for the so-called ‘Innovation booth’. Google “Summit U.S. 2017 Sponsorship Prospectus” for more
- And the price list just begins with Innovator Sponsors. Higher charged are Lounge sponsors > Bronze sponsors > Silver sponsors > Gold sponsors > Platinum sponsors > Diamond sponsors ;) We paid for the Gold package in 2016, 2017 and 2018…
Do I need a sponsor package? Isn’t a regular admission enough for a reseller or vendor? Well, in fact we, a development company and Top Vendor, did that back in 2014. We just purchased two times ‘admit one’ and hopped the pond for San Jose.
How does Atlassian feed guests?
There is breakfast around 8 to 9 a.m. and lunch, and expect coffee stalls throughout the summit. Compared to the 2017 Barcelona we saw improvements in 2018 – there was enough food and time to eat.
How have the Summit evolved?
It’s more appropriate to ask: how has Atlassian changed? Beards, t-shirts and even tracksuits are part of their image, but we certainly should not judge the corporation by haute couture. Instead we’d like to point out these ‘trends’:
- We’re not sure, whether Atlassian ever said that, but there was a time when they diverted towards the non-IT part of the market. After 2018 Summit in Barcelona we wonder whether that still holds true – they just seem to focus on programmers, developers and IT companies.
- Atlassian is busy raking it in with Jira and Confluence. They seem to be focusing on integrating these big tools with other, lesser software, instead of inventing new apps. Doesn’t the fate of HipChat and Stride confirm that?
- The market for Jira Data Center, or Jira for large organizations is growing, meaning another quarter pounder for Atlassian.
- The market for Jira Cloud is growing as well.
- With each passing year we notice that fewer and fewer visitors at the Summit are unaware of our apps – BigPicture and BigGantt. This is a good thing ;) but it certainly shows how the world of Jira has matured,
- and the fact that Jira ver. 8 was expected in Barcelona, but Atlassian haven’t lived up to that expectation, further confirms this maturity.
- What’s more, Atlassian bet on Jira Performance Tools. This could mean hard times for slow apps on Atlassian Marketplace ;) and tons of work for developers.
- There has been a lot of buzz about ‘team of teams’ solutions recently on the Summit. We may confirm that BigPicture and BigGantt support this approach.
What is Atlas Camp?
There was a time when Europe had Atlas Camps and Europeans had to head for the U.S to participate in the Summits. Atlas Camps are meant for developers that later sell their apps on Atlassian Marketplace to supplement Jira and Confluence with missing functionalities. You basically learn programming at Atlas Camp. In 2018 the thing took place immediately after the Summit.
|Sep 6-7, 2018||Atlas Camp||Barcelona||Hotel Porta Fira
Plaça d’Europa, 45,
08908 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat,
Mike Cannon-Brooks and other Atlassian speakers talk about the past, present, and future for Atlassian.