Good News, Everyone! No, seriously, good news: we’ve opened registration for Atlassian’s third annual developer conference, AtlasCamp (Oct 11-13, in Half Moon Bay), and I for one am stoked. I’ve been working as an engineer on Atlassian’s Developer Relations team for a few months now (btw: hello, world) – so this is my first AtlasCamp – and there’s quite a bit of material in the works that I’m personally excited about.
Bear with me for a moment while I explain why…
The way that I tend to think about Atlassian’s products – in contrast with some of the other software development tools I’ve used over the years, ranging from compilers and debuggers to static analyzers and profilers – is that none of them are really “magic.” For example, I don’t think I’d ever be able to write a working Java compiler or JVM, given any amount of time, but I could probably write a half-decent JIRA-esque issue tracker… Not a particularly beautiful or flexible one, but at least it’d work! No, the thing that, in my mind, makes all of our products uniquely compelling – able to satisfy such a broad range of requirements, and support such diverse processes and workflows – is the thriving plugin development community surrounding them.
So, first off, thank you for being a part of it!
Secondly, having gotten my hands quite dirty with the Plugins 2.0 Framework and the Plugin SDK over the past few months, I’ve developed an appreciation for both edges of the double-edged sword that is our framework’s flexibility. My current “20% project” here has involved implementing a Plugin Module Type plugin module type (yes, you read that correctly), so that the new Universal Plugin Manager, which is itself a standard “Plugins 2” plugin, can be extended with custom tabs. I was able to get this working in an astonishingly small number of lines of code (about 75), but it definitely took some time, thorough reading of both the docs and the Web Panel source, and some good pointers from coworkers, before I had a good enough understanding of how to glue all my Velocity rendering, Spring DM / OSGi magic, etc. into a coherent chunk of code. I’m hoping to get my act together to give a “lightning talk” on this project at AtlasCamp… Stay tuned.
Anyway, point being: I’m stoked because AtlasCamp this year will include a number of presentations on the Plugins Framework, more “OSGi Gotchas” (following up on the Summit presentation) and several talks covering REST (including writing REST plugin modules, and using JIRA’s hotly anticipated new REST API). Other topics will include a sneak peek at the Unified Application Links framework that will be shipping in our upcoming product releases, plugin and performance tuning, writing cross-product plugins and more. If my own experience hacking on the Plugin SDK and writing plugins and gadgets is any indicator, these will be invaluable topics for any Atlassian plugin developer. There’s also room in the agenda for “face time” with other developers; don’t be surprised to see spontaneous, impromptu collaborative hackathons break out in various corners of the Oceano Hotel.
There will also, evidently, be games. The webpage mentions “Herculean tasks,” actually… I don’t know what that’s about – still a surprise, I guess – so I’m hoping for feats of strength.
Hope to see you all there!

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