Last week, Atlassian had a booth at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. This was our first time at the 25 year-old conference. We were a little nervous about being the new kids on the block and about not having a sweet game to show off. We decided we needed a friend with an “in.” So, we brought Steve Wiebe, Donkey Kong world Champion and star of “King of Kong,” to hang out with us at our booth. We rented an original Donkey Kong console and clipped a webcam to it for live streaming from the event. He played some wicked games of Donkey Kong and even reached the illusive kill screen twice over the three days of GDC. He also beat the all time live Donkey Kong record.
Needless to say having Steve at our booth at a game developer event was a draw, and it allowed us to chat with some awesome folks in the gaming world. Here are my five biggest takeaways from the show:

  • Vintage games are still hot! Even when Steve wasn’t there people came up to the booth just to play or take pictures of the DK machine.
  • Development of social game (online) is growing rapidly and appears to be just as competitive as the big blockbuster games developed for the major consoles and devices.
  • There are many game development teams using agile development methods. In fact, the game development survey sent to our customers indicated GreenHopper was the most used Jira plugin, and that was echoed in the many conversations at our booth with developers who were doing agile.
  • The energy around this conference was contagious. From amazing innovative booths, to killer swag, and thousands of tweets. There was no doubt, this was the place to be.
  • Small game dev teams were stoked to learn about our Starter Licenses, our $10/10-user licenses.

After a crazy week, a few barrels of liquor (pun intended) and a lot of fun, it’s back to the grind. Next up…Web 2.0 San Francisco. If you’re planning on going, be sure to stop by and say hi!
UPDATE! I’ve just added the rest of our pictures to Flickr. Check them out at

Five smashing take-aways from GDC