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April 20, 2009 / jnolen

Atlassian Stimulus Package

One of Atlassian’s most dearly held values is that every software team deserves to use the best tools. We have tried to honor that by pricing our software very aggressively — you can get started with any of our installed products for $1200, or with all of them in JIRA Studio for $50 per user.

However, even prices that low are sometimes outside the range of a small startup, a new team, or a hobby project. That’s one reason that Atlassian is introducing the Atlassian Stimulus Package, where you can get a five-user, startup-sized license of JIRA or Confluence for only five dollars.

These are legit copies — fully-featured, supported and licensed for commercial or non-commercial use. Anything you want to do with it. In order to make sure we can handle the volume of new customers, there are a few limitations on Support. Read the whole FAQ here.

All proceeds from the license sales are going to one of our Founders’ favourite charities: Room to Read.

I’m tremendously excited about this program; we’ve been working hard on it for the last few months, and I want to offer kudos to all the different people across Atlassian who came together to make it happen. It feels great to get back to our roots helping small starter teams. And I’m excited to see what the injection of these innovative, entrepreneurial teams is going to do to our customer ecosystem.

So if you think JIRA and Confluence could help you launch the next great startup, go get yours today!

February 2, 2009 / jnolen

Great quote

I know, this blog is as good as dead, given how infrequently I update this. But I read a great quote from one of our customers today, and just had to share. After reviewing 12 wikis, narrowing to 2 and finally choosing Confluence, he said:

I was also swayed by your open approach to doing business with your customers. You provided me with plenty of purchase options clearly defined with a clear upgrade path. Atlassian offers a business culture that I find very comfortable. In a way, each of us votes with our money. I am voting for your way of doing business.

I'm convinced that a lot of people buy from Atlassian because of our transparent business model, but I would bet that it is often more of a subconscious influencer. It's great when someone so totally gets what we're about.

April 10, 2008 / jnolen

How do you manage to blog so much?

I realize the irony of posting that title here, on my personal blog that has barely seen one entry per month lately. However, the subject at hand is actually Atlassian's company blogs, which you can find here and here. And we do manage to post up a good stream of interesting material there. We're tracking about six to eight posts posts a week, if you include both blogs. And we've seen our readership increase steadily since we started keeping track. I mean, we're not 37 Signals or anything, but we're getting there.

And it's obviously because of this, and not my depressingly-silent personal blog, that Steve Lane of Soliant wrote me this morning and asked:

We'd love to have a blog stream half as rich as Atlassian's. I want to find out how blogging is motivated at Atlassian? Are there specific incentives for blogging? Are people paid for it? Is it a prize to even be asked to blog, so people vie for the privilege? Do people expect their work targets to be reduced to make time to blog?

It seemed a good question, and one that would be generally interesting. So in keeping with the theme, here is my answer, in blog form:

Click through for more….

Read more…

March 21, 2008 / jnolen

Thought for the day

Someone said in a meeting I just finished, "URLs are the deep magic of the web." I thought it was a quote that I had read before, but Google says no. But a good thing for web developers to remember.

January 19, 2008 / jnolen

Bonus Resume Tips

While I'm at it, a few bonus resume tips that may be of service to you, no matter the job you're applying for.

  1. Don't waste space on an objective. The interviewer doesn't really care what you want, and everyone writes the same thing anyway. Instead, give me a one- or two-sentence description about why I want you.
  2. Pre-seed Google. Your potential employer is going to Google you. Make sure there is something there that you want him to find. Being a non-entity on the net is not a good sign.
  3. Do not tell me that you're a team player, a fast learner, have great attention to detail or have excellent written and oral communication skills. It may be true, but everyone says that and, consequently, no one believes it.
  4. One page.
  5. No, seriously, one page. It's fine if you can't fit your entire work history on there. Especially in technology, I only care about the last five years anyway. I will greatly appreciate the brevity.*

* I once read the resume of a gentleman applying for a developer position that went on for more than twelve pages. His work history went back to 1973. When he was a shoe salesman.

January 14, 2008 / jnolen

Agile QA?

Sherali from Atlassian posts about our search for QA developers:

Atlassian QA

This whole concept is not without controvsery inside Atlassian, and I'd love some input from anyone interested. Has anyone seen a QA team and a agile development team work well together? How was it set up? How did it play out? What do you think of Sherali's plan?

January 10, 2008 / jnolen

Tables turned – hiring a UI developer

I find myself in an odd position. Back when I was first starting my career in technology, I was a web designer. This was circa 1995 and there weren't a whole lot of people who knew what the web was, much less why you'd need to design it. Jobs in the field were not abundant, and interesting, state-of-the-art, forward-thinking web-development jobs were as rare as unicorns. I wanted desperately to build the web, to put into practice all that I was learning, but I wasn't really ready to land one of those gigs, even had I known where to find one.

Obviously, the industry has changed a lot since then. And I now find myself in charge of hiring someone for a job that I would have traded my left arm for in 1995. Atlassian is hiring a UI designer/developer for the San Francisco office. I've been reading résumés for about two months, and much like last time, we've been coming up short.

Since this résumé meme had been going around Atlassian recently (Jeffrey, Mike, Charles, Mike again), I wanted to talk a little about the applications I've been reading and what I'd love to see instead. Think of it as me giving my unemployed, 1995-self a little advice. If I were on the outside today, trying to score this kick-ass gig at Atlassian, what would I want to do?

Read more…

December 28, 2007 / jnolen

Atlassian was nominated for a Crunchie

Consider this a shameless bleg, but go vote for Atlassian at the TechCrunch Crunchie awards. (You can vote once a day.) Thanks!

November 27, 2007 / jnolen

Favourite new iTunes feature!

I discovered today, by way of a completely inadvertent click, that you can now sort iTunes albums within artist, by year. How cool! That is exactly how I organize my physical CDs. (Yes, I still have those — and lots of them.)

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November 17, 2007 / jnolen

The nostalgia machine, or kids today!

This Slate article about the "Death of Email" has been approvingly linked from a few different places — Fred Wilson being one, Thomas Hawk being another.

A few unrelated thoughts:

1. If you substituted "email" every time the author references IM and Facebook, and "letters" for email, you might have read this exact same article in 1997.

[Email is] best-suited for longer musings. As opposed to instant messaging, e-mail provides the breathing room to contemplate what we're writing and express nuanced thoughts. A well-tended e-mail inbox and outbox can serve as a sort of diary, an evolving record of your curiosities, obsessions, introspections, apologies, and heart-to-hearts….. While IMs and text messages have a throwaway quality, e-mail is for the sentimental. I still have some of the first flirtatious e-mails I exchanged with my wife in college. I have thoughtful monologues from friends in the midst of crises. I have e-mails from my parents that I envision showing to my children someday.

Haven't we been treated to a raft of articles over the last ten years complaining that email will be the death of thought, spelling, grammar and all civilized communication between adults? (Yes, we have — I'm just too lazy to Google for them right now.) And suddenly, thanks to the emergence of Facebook, Twitter and SMS, email has become the last vestige against the barbarian hordes who can only grunt into an 140-character SMS box? A veritable golden age of elegant correspondence? I think we in the tech industry forget our history too easily.

2. Why does no one seem to understand that these media (email, IM, twitter, Facebook) are good for totally different things? Email is good for one-to-one, private, asynchronous communication. IM and SMS are good for one-to-one, private synchronous communication. Facebook is best for many-to-many, public, asynchronous communication. And Twitter excels as many-to-many. public synchronous communication. See, I made a little table:

.datatable td { padding:5px 15px; text-align:left; }
.datatable th { padding:5px 15px; background-color:#efefef; text-align:left; }

Audience Time
Email one-to-one asynchronous
IM and SMS one-to-one synchronous
Facebook, et al. many-to-many asynchronous
Twitter, et al. many-to-many* synchronous

* As far as I'm concerned, direct messaging on Twitter is functionally the same as SMS or IM.

So why all the hand-wringing about one channel replacing another? Just use the right tool for the occasion.

3. This is not a new complaint, I hate applications that send email to let me know that "Bob has sent you a message", forcing me to visit the website to see the message. It's inelegant, annoying and wasteful. It's a feature that has been deliberately broken in order to support the needs to an insufficiently evolved business model.

If you're building an app that uses email, then do it right. Don't trick me into coming back to your site. Don't piss me off just to get one more worthless page view. Give me information I need in the email, and then give me a good reason to come back to your site.

And if you're a Facebook user, for example, don't use Facebook to send me a private message. My real email is right there. Use the right tool for the job.

P.S. Two blog posts in one day? I know! What's up with that?