AMA recap: Building and growing in the Atlassian Marketplace with Daniel Wester

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Our Developer AMA Series is off to a great start! On August 17, we were honored to have longtime community member Daniel Wester join us to answer a few questions about his career as an app developer and how to be successful as a Marketplace Partner.

Daniel is the Co-Founder/Co-CEO at 55 Degrees, and has been a member of the community since its very early days. His perspective on app building is based on creating 2 Atlassian businesses and developing countless apps, including products we know and love such as ActionableAgile and Klar.

We appreciate the time he takes to engage with our community and share his expertise. Here are a few key takeaways from his AMA.

The highs of being an app developer

[The best part of being an app developer is] the enjoyment of making other people's work lives easier. I also enjoy implementing a new solution that the host platform (Jira, Confluence, Trello, etc.) wasn't quite built for and getting it to be really awesome.

Daniel pointed out one of the most amazing parts of being a Marketplace Partner – how you can see a need in the community and create something from scratch to fill it. This spirit of creation is likely something many of our community members can relate to!

Turning failures into growth

Be ok with your app idea failing. I currently have about 20-30 apps that have yet to see the light of day. […] That's ok – I learned from it!

When you've poured so much of your heart, soul and time into a project, it can be difficult to come to terms with the possibility that it may not succeed. Daniel pointed out that even if an app never reaches your audience, you still learned something in the process of making it.

Finding fit with Forge

I think a solution like Forge is needed both for in-house developers and for partners (both solution and marketplace partners). In its current state, Forge has managed to restrict itself a lot and that limits what developers can do […] Regarding the roadmap, I think what Atlassian presented at Developer day has a lot of good stuff that will help it head to where it needs to be. I just wish it was there now.

As a Forge early adopter, Daniel had some advice to offer the community about Forge – both the current state and looking ahead to the long term roadmap. In short, Forge can be a fit for some projects, for both partners and in-house developers, but developers should keep an eye on future plans.

Thinking about your end user first

Just because a feature can be built — should it? Will the end user actually use it? Why would they use it?

Keeping the end user and their needs in mind is paramount for achieving success as a Marketplace Partner. As Daniel goes on to say, if you can't think of an elevator pitch for your product, it might not be an idea that has legs.

What keeps him coming back to the Atlassian community

So first off, at the risk of sounding cheesy – the people. There are really awesome folks, both within our development community and at Atlassian, who really want everyone to succeed.

We might be biased, but we couldn't agree more. The Atlassian developer community is made up of thousands of individuals who build and succeed together. People make the Atlassian community what it is – and we're grateful for Daniel and all of the other folks who dedicate their time. 

We learned a lot from Daniel – we're so glad he could join us, and thankful to the community for asking such great questions! We hope you can join us for our next AMA coming soon on the developer community.