When I joined Atlassian, I had heard of JIRA and Confluence, but had never used them. During my first day at the office, I was joined by other new hires and taken through our onboarding. We covered important items like which systems were tied to various passwords, the passcode for the alarm, and, most important, how to order lunch. All of these tidbits of information were helpful, but taking it all in was like drinking from a fire hydrant. That’s when they introduced us all to the “extranet,” or our internal instance of Confluence. Confluence was pitched as the central hub of all things Atlassian, including all the information we had just covered in our onboarding session.
Later in the day the new hires were told they were expected to publish an introductory blog post using Confluence. This gave me an opportunity to introduce myself to the greater company and use Confluence in a fun and easy way for the first time. And I quickly realized, whether it was party plans made by our experience team, the roadmap and release plans built by product teams, or the key messaging and go-to-market plans from product marketing—there was a page for it in Confluence! I remember my initial anxiety and thinking, A) There’s so much information here to process, where do I begin?! And B) I have to actually write a blog post and send it out to the whole Atlassian world!
How I got started…
Over the first few days and weeks, I became an explorer. I clicked and read and consumed. I observed Confluence at Atlassian as this awesome library as well as a collective work in progress—you can dive deep into team spaces, learn about projects across the organization, and see ideas that are under construction. I spent most of my time stalking the marketing department space, and my own Collaboration Product Marketing team space.
I quickly found past projects and intro blogs from members of the marketing team. After more reading, I got a feel for how pages were constructed with images, tables, videos, and other visuals.
Testing the waters
At this point, I knew I wouldn’t “break” anything by playing around in Confluence. I decided to create a blank page, but where would I put it? I decided to play it safe and create it in my personal space. I started with the title “My First Day” and instead of writing anything, I just attached a silly picture I had taken in Photo Booth. I hit “save” and breathed a sigh of relief. I did it. I created my first page.
Down to business
While I could consume information by reading and navigating pages, (and learn more about Atlassian and the Confluence business in the process), I still had to write my introduction blog. I felt I was still easing into the waters so I drafted the body of my blog in Word. It was comfortable and safe. I could edit, fix typos and it was all private. At that time, little did I know I could do all of that in Confluence! It took me a couple weeks to finally get comfortable with drafting my content in Confluence (mostly in my personal space), and publishing it there or in my team space. I can proudly say I haven’t opened Word since!
I had my content done and picked out a few choice pictures that showcased travels, hobbies, and my family. Now, I just had to organize it into a blog post. I realized that Confluence gave me a ton of flexibility in structuring my page. With a few paragraphs and pictures all in a simple two-column layout, I finally had a pretty good-looking intro blog. After a few previews and some tweaks, I clicked “publish” and introduced myself to the Atlassian world.
After I published my page, I started receiving “likes” and comments from the whole company. It was a great way to get introduced to my colleagues and the company, even if it felt like I was thrown into the fire.
So, that’s how my first experience in Confluence went. Please share your own first Confluence memories with us in the comment section. Also, don’t forget to check out the first article in our Confluence 101 series. It’s all about getting started with Confluence and how to organize your work into spaces.