What a week! Javapolis was my first “real” conference and it was certainly an experience. Four days, 3300 attendees and 250 Atlassian t-shirts given away. The days were long and usually started with us setting up around 8 in the morning and on a few nights, we were still giving demos at 8 at night! We were armed with two gorgeous 30 inch Apple Cinema Displays which was coveted by all and sundry.
The week started ominously with Matt sending his bag (and laptop and presentation) for a relaxing trip to Amsterdam while he was running chasing James Gosling out of the train. Mike & Co. then decided to drive half way to Rotterdam, rather than taking the direct route to the Javapolis hall 10 minutes away.
Towards the tail end of the first day, I gave a presentation on Bamboo. I thought it was going to be in a small room with a projector (it’s only a university day right?), so was a little shocked when I rocked into a giant full size THX cinema with two massive screens, one camera on me, the other on my slides, lights blaring into my eyes. After getting over the initial rabbits in the headlights feeling, I managed to get through the talk to a hundred or so people unscathed (apart from some photos of me looking a little stunned). Matt then give a talk on Crucible directly afterwards but I missed it due to a spying mission on the competition.
The rest of the week was spent doing demos, demos and more demos. We were swamped every single break between sessions, with all laptops firing away. Even during the sessions we generally had one or two demos going.
Most people (~80%) I talked to had Jira or at least have dealt with Jira and wanted to know more about our other products. The most interest seems to be with Bamboo and Fisheye. For people doing code reviews / doing some remote development, they were dead keen on Crucible. The vast majority of people who were using Continuous Integration mainly used CruiseControl, (which is no real surprise) and were keen to check out what’s out there.
The work on Jira Studio and all the plugins for Jira was a definite hit. When people saw that you could see commits, builds and reviews for a particular issue that were pretty excited. It also gave us a pretty natural flow when demoing, I normally started with Bamboo (naturally) and clicked through to our Fisheye links, which then leads to Crucible, which then links to a Jira issue that can come back to a Bamboo build. We also had a Clover 2 report setup so you can view it through Bamboo.
Interestingly, I didn’t get a lot of people asking for a Confluence demo. Mike mentioned that it’s not really the right conference for it and that people here were more interested in development tools.
For Bamboo, people were keen to see tighter Maven 2 integration. Bootstrapping a project / plan from the pom is a big boon for people using Continuum. People were pretty impressed about what’s there but improving the Jira integration is something that we will definitely work on post 2.0.
I tried to collect business cards and write notes on them so I can follow up with them after the conference. This was pretty tricky to do during the busy times and I collected a few cards where I had NFI what I was talking to them about I ended up following up on around 30 odd people, so hopefully they found that fairly useful.
We were pretty chockers all week so I didn’t get to many sessions. We did get to the Java Posse session give out some good ol’ Atlassian beers (well it was Belgian beers with Atlassian stickers on it)! After the stalls closed on Thursday, Mike & the good folks at Google put some cash behind the bar. It was a big night after a solid week and everyone had a top time (as much as I can remember of it). Somewhat frightening photos can be found thanks to Dan Hardiker of Adaptavist.
Overall it was a great fun talking to lots of people who were really excited about Atlassian as well as getting personal feedback on our products. Thanks to all the folks who came along and said hi!