Here at Atlassian we’re pretty good about eating our own dog food. We’re a software company building software for other software companies, which makes us very similar to our customers. And in some ways this makes our job easier–tools we build for ourselves that make our lives better will probably make our customers’ lives better, too.

Engineers at Atlassian have always wanted to make small tweaks to our products, for example to turn an action that normally takes two clicks into a single click, or to merge two screens into one AJAX experience. Some of our engineers have experimented with Greasemonkey–a Firefox plugin that allows the browser to run some custom user-written Javascript–to try to personalize, customize, and extend our products. But Greasemonkey has its shortcomings. Namely, it’s not social in nature, making it different to share with others. And it’s not natively supported by Atlassian products and available in other browsers.

Introducing Speakeasy: Front-end Personalization in 15 Minutes

Don Brown and Mike Cannon-Brookes put their heads together and built Speakeasy, a new framework that our customers can use to personalize and extend our products. Speakeasy extensions are built entirely in front-end technologies–HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc.–and enabled on a per-user basis. They’re social because users can fork extensions to make improvements, similar to the way Bitbucket lets developers collaborate on code. Speakeasy isn’t quite at its 1.0 release yet, though.

A few weeks ago we kicked off Atlassian’s coding competition, Codegeist, and one of the prize categories is a $15k cash prize for the best Speakeasy extension. We announced Speakeasy along with Codegeist, and today Speakeasy is available in Jira, Confluence, and Bamboo. So if you’ve ever wanted to tweak our products just a little bit, we invite you to take the Speakeasy challenge.

Take the Challenge: 15 minutes of hacking, $15k in cash

Codegeist ends in a little over two weeks, leaving you plenty of time to give Speakeasy a go, personalize Jira, Confluence, or Bamboo, and win a t-shirt and your shot at a $15,000 cash prize.

Getting Started with Speakeasy

Follow these steps to get hacking on a Speakeasy extension:

  1. Install Speakeasy on an instance of Jira
  2. Start building a Speakeasy extension
  3. Submit your extension to Codegeist

Simple Implementation, Large Impact

We’ve published the binaries and source of a number of Speakeasy Extensions that have been built here at Atlassian. You’ll see that many of these extensions are fairly simple in implementation: thumbnail previews for image attachments in Confluence; improved admin panel UI in Jira; “next” button for photo galleries in Confluence; etc. Despite their simple implementation, these Speakeasy extensions make our products’ user experience much better for the authors of said extensions.

We know many of our customers are technical, and we’re excited to be providing a framework that lets people quickly and easily personalize and extend our products. So give Speakeasy a go and submit what you built for a chance to win $15,000!

Personalize Atlassian Products in 15 Minutes with ...