For my tenth year working at Atlassian, I’ve changed from doing 100% hands-on software development to focus on writing, speaking and, most recently, video production. It’s a freaky change for me – shooting and editing video is quite unlike software development but I love change. This project gives me an opportunity to showcase the knowledge and insights of the talented Atlassians I work with every day. It’s also an opportunity to bring my engineering methods and tools into the video production workflow, but that’s a topic for another time.
Atlassian Tech TV is a new project that takes you inside Atlassian where you get to hear how we make software directly from members of Atlassian’s software teams. We kick off with a series of one-on-one interviews as I chat with some of our most talented people from roles across engineering, design, QA, and product management.
To get the flavor of the content of these interviews, check out the trailer:
From each interview I take at least one five minute topical selection and cut a preview video. People are busy and can’t always commit time to watch the whole interview. But it’s impossible to actually reach any depth or subtlety on innovative topics in only five minutes, and after a shoot I end up with more than 30 minutes of great discussion, so I also make the full interviews available, broken into two digestible parts.
We aim to bring a diverse range of people from different roles and levels of experience, each with a unique perspective and valuable insights on how Atlassian makes products. I want our subscribers to get something useful out of every episode, something to take back to their teams and hopefully, every now and then, a new way of looking at things that brings a breakthrough change of thinking.
In my first interview, I sit down with Nick Pellow, development manager for Bitbucket Server (previously known as Stash), to discuss topics such as the technique of dogfooding and the importance of root cause analysis for bugs. We also learn a little about how Nick got into software. As a teenager he was earmarked by his father for solving the infamous blinking twelve problem on the family VCR years before expanding his technical passion into computer science at university. Check out what Nick Pellow has to say about eating one’s own dog food here:
Where Nick’s experience led us into topics around people leadership, my interview with software architect Robbie Gates features an interesting discussion on technical leadership. Robbie and I discuss cloud-native architectures and we also delve into some high level technical topics such as functional programming (FP), even touching lightly on its mathematical basis in category theory, a branch of algebra that is Robbie specialized in during his previous life in academia. Here’s the five minute preview episode of my interview with Robbie:
Both Nick’s and Robbie’s interviews have been very popular, sparking conversations online and generating a growing amount of positive feedback. People are hungry for the inside story of how Atlassian makes software.
What’s to come
Things are off to a great start with six videos published so far but more than anything I’m excited for what’s to come. I have about ten more interviews in my edit queue and top of that list is my interview with front-end developer Lucy Bain.
Lucy moved from the USA to a place she’d never visited and professed to know almost nothing about: Sydney, Australia. Taking a job at Atlassian, she joined the Bitbucket Server product team. In previous roles she worked as a full-stack developer with a specific interest in Ruby. Lucy shares her experience in agile methods and takes a very practical approach to the benefits of practices like pair programming. Check out Lucy’s blog on Pair Programming from earlier this year.
Other episodes coming down the pipe include my chat with principal engineer Jed Wesley-Smith, who, in addition to providing architectural guidance on back-end implementation details, is a great supporter of our developer communities as he volunteers to run many of the meetup events we host at our offices, making sure the beer is cold.
For insights from my conversations with Atlassians, subscribe to Atlassian Tech TV, and if there’s an Atlassian you’d especially like me to interview, or if you have feedback about the shows, hit me up on twitter: @chromosundrift