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Atlassian is used to playing hard and swimming upstream. We managed to reach 24,000 customers in over 138 countries without losing our rebellious and independent spirit. But our biggest challenge is yet to come: Atlassian wants to think globally whilst truly acting locally.

To achieve this, the company has decided to create a team of Ambassadors: mutants with fantastic and deadly powers, combining a deep technical background, community building skills, passion for technical excellence, initiative and enough dynamics to represent the company and its values in any situation, anywhere. If you’re wondering just what these elite workers look like, here’s a picture of this unprecedented Diplomatic Corp:

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Who are we?

My name is David Bonilla, I’m a spanish developer, well-known blogger and member of the Java and Agile Communities. I have the pleasure to announce that from today, I am taking responsibility for representing Atlassian in Spain, becoming its link with the local community whilst evangelizing Atlassian’s products and philosophy in my country.

I am not alone in this task. I have two companions, two friends, two partners in crime: the British ambassador John Stevenson and Germany’s  Sven PetersThis team of Euro Chic is lead by the unparalleled aussie brain of Ben “Kenobi” Naftzger.

What are we going to do exactly?

Contrary to what my mother thinks, being an ambassador is more than just drinking beer and giving away t-shirts. Atlassian wants to get closer to the local scene, working with the Community and for the Community. Basically, we will have fun doing what we are passionate about:

  • participating in the local technical community: organizing events, giving talks and participating in workshops, conferences and user groups throughout the national territory, and, of course, generating relevant content for the Atlassian blog or Atlassian TV;
  • localising Atlassian’s marketing strategy in Spain: building our brand presence online and offline, documenting success stories amongst our customers, collaborating with local bloggers and press, whilst finding ways to creatively sponsor local community clusters;
  • leading and monitoring product localisation. In Spain, English is still a barrier to entry. So, I will lead the translation of the corporate website and all our products.

An international company. A local effort.

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Being focused on the Spanish scene means that I will participate in technical users groups across the country. I’ll search the country for the most interesting stories with the intention to create relevant and interesting content for the Community.I will help the fledgling AUG Spain to become one of the most active user groups in the country and, above all, the most fun. Not being tied to a particular technology or language, is an opportunity for the AUG to become the most eclectic and dynamic group in the country. We intend to be the meeting point for the entire community.

An important part of my effort will be helping Atlassian’s Partner Manager, Valerie Bergkamp in supporting the local ecosystem of partners.

There are many, many opportunities around Atlassian products. And I’m not just talking about licensing and value-added services, but to win BIG money by creating their own products: plugins for third parties.

If some crazy Finns have managed to create a successful business selling commercial plugins for Atlassian products, I hope my compatriots in Spain can do the same. After all, you can take advantage of the massive customer base and marketing firepower of Atlassian!

 Being an ambassador is much more than beer and gifts

Finally, I hope to collaborate with universities and NGOs that want to benefit from our free licensing program for teaching and non-profit organizations and community orientated projects. I think it would be very interesting for our local industry to teach future professionals how to work in the real world and on tools that are widely used by industry. Do not be surprised to see Bonilla on Tour at some Spanish universities in the near future.

Spain: A lot of work to do

Atlassian is betting big on Spain. We are not, even remotely, the third largest market for the company in Europe but, we are one of only three countries with an ambassador, along with the United Kingdom and Germany. Thanks Atlassian!

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Origin of the European attendees of the Summit Can you see this huge hole at Spain?

In the last Summit, Spain was one of the few European countries without any partner or representative. I was the only Spaniard… the same feeling I had when I attended the first Summit in 2009.

We also didn’t see any Spaniards in the Codegeist, annual competition for development with $ 45,000 in prizes! Not one.

Why is this the case? Is Spain different? I don’t think so. It just takes a little more communication and belief that we can compete with anyone out there.

But this year everything will change. I will use all the time and resources that Atlassian provides me to try to make our technical community stronger and help put my country in its rightful place on the development map.

Interested in joining me? Follow Atlassian Spain, participate in the Spanish Atlassian User Group, share your technical success stories with me (so we can in turn share it with the world) or DM me to brainstorm your Codegeist ideas over coffee. You can also email me at dbonilla (at) atlassian (dot) com.

It‘s going to be hard work but also fun. From now on, Atlassian has an ambassador in Spain … and Spain has an Ambassador in Atlassian.

The Fiesta has begun..

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