OK I’m bitter. I admit it. If only I’d started at Atlassian a few months later I would have been eligible to enter the Codegeist Plugin Coding Competition. No kilobucks for me.
So when I heard about the Sydney Codegeist Meetup, I realised an opportunity to channel my bitterness into forcing unsuspecting attendees to hear my bizarre plugin ideas.
The fact that the meetup incorporated the SyXPAC meeting meant that I could get my weekly dose of agile atmosbeer at the same time.
I was pretty surprised at the turnout. There were about as many Atlassian folk as punters. Thankfully we had space for the dozen or so laptop luggers and, after a brief moment of shared option-paralysis, people seemed to pick an idea to try and got straight into some pair (triplet!) programming. A few contestants came primed with cool ideas of their own.
The Sudoku plugin felt strangely inevitable after a moments thought. Robert seized the iCal plugin for Jira as an opportunity to further sync his devices with stuff. Simon‘s image manipulation plugin for Confluence sounds pretty snazzy. Time tracking plugin work cranked up in one of the squeaky new Atlassian offices quite early in the evening. Ben eventually got over the fact that Atlassian had shipped a Charting plugin recently – somehow stealing this idea out of his head apparently (that’s how it happened isn’t it Ben?)
Unfortunately no-one wanted to take up the challenge I threw down; to write a plugin which, upon the creation of a new issue, would actually insert the bug into an otherwise pristine codebase. I guess it’s intractable – there is never an otherwise pristine codbase. What’s more, nobody saw fit to attempt Charles‘ marginally sober suggestion of embedding a servlet container inside the confluence web application. For some reason I forget the point of this but I’m certain it has a solid purpose beyond trippy self-referential bootstrapping. As Charles mentioned it the assembled bunch of pondering programmers swooned, cast their eyes skyward and then groaned in unison as they crashingly realised the classloader nightmares that could follow.
Being so new to the Atlassian team, I wasn’t sure I’d be much good as a coding partner. Thankfully a few hours on the Jira Plugin Developer Kit that afternoon was sufficient to help Robert start plugging in most customly. Of course we did have Matt helping, but he had only started at Atlassian that week!
Thankfully the beer continued to flow freely and the pizza arrived in force sufficient to have given some clever people the taste of enthusiasm they will need to ship.
Later the night tailed off into a few final conversations that finally completed (paused) on the street side outside (Hi Jed!).
If you can get to San Francisco for the SF Codegeist Meetup, I recommend it. Come, say hi to the Atlassians and share a beverage over some plugin code.
And I end this post with a warning. Please, please, for your own sake, if you fancy yourself as a reasonably smart Java programmer, get your damn entry in before you apply for a Job at Atlassian.

Codegeist Meetup #1 vs SyXPAC