Rome wasn’t built in a day. But that’s the time it takes for some of Atlassian’s greatest innovations, product features, and workplace enhancements to come to life.
Every quarter, we run a 24-hour hackathon called ShipIt where we drop everything to make something awesome. It embodies our culture of innovation and puts weight behind a sacred company value: “Be the change you seek.”
For many companies, innovation is something that is talked about, but focused on technical teams. At ShipIt, people from every department form ad-hoc teams to pitch in on the push for innovation – from Engineering and Design, to Legal and Finance. And it’s exciting! We pull long hours for the thrill of chasing an idea and collaborating with people that we don’t work with on a daily basis. ShipIt builds camaraderie across the company, and injects creativity into our products, operations, and processes.
Many employees here at Atlassian describe ShipIt as “24 hours of opportunity.” Atlassians at every level participate, from last week’s hires to senior executives and CEOs. And we’re all given the same challenge: drop our day-to-day to identify and solve problems. Projects can be technical or non-technical, of any shape and size, applicable to small teams, or to the entire company.
We purposefully have few rules, so that we have the freedom to dig in and create whatever we wish. Past initiatives include identifying ethically-sourced clothing for the Atlassian Foundation; creating expat guides for newly-transferred Atlassians; and countless enhancements to the popular services we offer our customers including Jira, Hipchat, and Confluence. Even one of the fastest growing products in Atlassian’s history, Jira Service Desk, was born out of ShipIt not too long ago.
While the principles behind ShipIt have remained the same since the beginning, the scale has changed significantly. Our first ShipIt included 14 developers in one location. ShipIt 33 will be our biggest yet, spanning eight offices with 300 teams composed of more than 1,000 Atlassians. It kicks off this Thursday in Sydney and ends Friday in San Francisco. And this time, we’re flying the finalists from each office to Sydney for the first ever in-person global finals.
We don’t know what slick new features, full-blown products, and everyday hacks will come out of ShipIt 33. But we know they’ll improve the company, the customer experience, and ultimately the world around us. The opportunity to be crowned winner amongst your peers – in a company of innovators – is not taken lightly around here.
Check out this page with highlights from a recent ShipIt, and see how to run one at your company. Let the games begin!