A short time ago, in a galaxy not too far away, a group of talented but brash Developers were shockingly defeated by an enemy alliance forged from planets Tech Writing and Marketing. This epic battle came to be known throughout the universe as “ShipIt IX”. Soon afterwards, in a ruthless piece of propaganda, the Development empire’s deputy overlord promised that the next ShipIt would in turn be known as “The Developers Strike Back”.
But first, the founders decided that we needed to shoot a prequel. This was to take place in a galaxy where gadgets ruled. Victory in “ShipIt X – Attack of the Gadgets” would go to the developer(s) who showed the most useful (or creative) mastery of new gadget technologies. The development team in San Francisco prepared the battle ground with their work on gadgets and dashboards, then we unleashed the developers in Sydney for 24 hours of gadget building.
After an alarming opening skirmish in which the idea of a single-themed ShipIt was likened to the constraints of haiku, and a few impromptu 17- (mostly) syllable poetic battle cries were heard, silence descended on the Corn Exchange as gadget ideas took shape. Many unflagging and courageous troops waged on through the evening, sustained only by their competitive instincts, V, and gourmet pizza. Some flanked out to protect the home front, while others remained locked in combat at the office.
At 2pm the next day a ceasefire was called, and the Atlassian squadrons gathered in the basement to report back to their rebel leaders. Tensions mounted during the presentations as we gasped and cheered at some inspiring demos, while willing on others as they fell casualty to some last-ditched iGoogle retaliatory strikes. Voting was held at 4pm (courtesy of a hastily whipped up founder-gadget) and finally the winners were announced.
In first place, with a nifty Server Resource Monitor gadget, was Erik van Zijst. Erik’s gadget presents the resources of a server neatly graphed in real time for easy human consumption. It displays the current load in a real-time chart that is updated every second:
Below the CPU chart is a table that contains the entire process list of the server. This list is also updated every second and contains information such as the CPU usage, memory size and start time of each process. The table automatically sorts the process list on CPU usage and only displays the first 10 proceses. The most expensive process is always displayed first. And some very nice colour-gradient eye candy there Erik.
Tied for 2nd place were Don Brown’s fancy plugin gadget and Jens Schumacher & Ryan Ackley’s “Tickle Tickspot” gadget for easy timesheet recording. Don was so ecstatic that he took off to Thailand for 3 weeks before sending in his screenshots, but I can assure you it was awesome. Jens & Ryan shamelessly pursued the popular vote with their Tickle gadget, which automates the process of filling in many timesheets at once in our Tickspot time-tracking system.
The user selects the first day in the past that is yet to have a Tickspot entry. Clicking the Copy button will copy the previous day’s entries to the currently selected date, and increment the date by 1 business day. It even takes weekends into account! The user can then just keep clicking Copy until all timesheets are complete. Of course, in some companies, there might be potential for abuse of this particular gadget, but that sort of thing wouldn’t happen at Atlassian… right guys?
And in 4th place, earning an honoured newbie mention with his Staff Directory gadget, was Seb Ruiz. Seb wanted a better way of searching Atlassian’s staff directory listing, and “writing a small gadget seemed like a great way to learn about the Confluence API as well as scratch an itch”. To quickly find out what that person who keeps shredding you in inter-team code reviews actually looks like, just start typing in the gadget:
To read more about these and other gadget ShipIt entries, including Geoff’s “Fisheye Smellometer”, Kate’s “Bamboo Builds O’ Shame”, Nick’s “Go Go Clover Charts!” and Brendan’s “Crucible Most Active”, check out the full writeups here.
I could also make those ShipIt X haiku entries available pending popular demand… mm… didn’t really think so.