Atlassian - A Different Kind Of Software Company

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Presentation to JAOO 2009 (Sydney & Brisbane) on some lessons from Atlassian's software engineering superheroes.

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Atlassian - A Different Kind Of Software Company

  1. 1. Atlassian A different kind of software company Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  2. 2. 1. Brief History Lesson Agenda 2. Tools & Processes 3. Innovation Ideas Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  3. 3. Brief History Lesson Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  4. 4. 2002? Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  5. 5. Big Ideas • Scott & Mike - both 21 y.o. engineers • $10k ‘startup capital’ • Tried multiple ideas • $USD 0 in sales Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  6. 6. Enterprise Software Atlassian Model Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  7. 7. Enterprise Software 1. No $ for sales team? Must sell itself 2. Sell itself? Must be low price 3. Low $? Must sell 000s of copies 4. 000s of copies? Must sell globally 5. Customer must buy, we can’t sell! Atlassian Model Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  8. 8. 50,000 customers Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  9. 9. A little history... FishEye Bamboo Crucible JIRA JIRA Confluence Crowd Clover Studio ‘02 ‘03 ‘04 ‘05 ‘06 ‘07 ‘08 ’09 Poland San Francisco Sydney Amsterdam Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  10. 10. A little history... FishEye Bamboo Crucible JIRA JIRA Confluence Crowd Clover Studio ‘02 ‘03 ‘04 ‘05 ‘06 ‘07 ‘08 ’09 Poland San Francisco Sydney Amsterdam Engineers? 90 40 70 6 2! Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  11. 11. 2009? Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  12. 12. Impact? Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  13. 13. Impact? • Over $USD 110m in lifetime sales ... $USD 45m sales in 2008/9 ... in 116 countries ... including Afghanistan, Iraq, Mongolia, Somalia Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  14. 14. Impact? • Over $USD 110m in lifetime sales ... $USD 45m sales in 2008/9 ... in 116 countries ... including Afghanistan, Iraq, Mongolia, Somalia • Around 40,000 software teams use our tools ... that’s approximately 1m developers ... or 1 in 6 engineers globally use our tools to help them build software every day. Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  15. 15. Atlassian Values '$(')&% E?+1:+-57+B56-*?/=5.:7-*+/*6+-657:-1B:+? !quot;#$%& )*+,-./0*1,23-,/-4566789:; <596=->9:8-8+1?:-1,=-4161,.+; @/,A:-B5.C-:8+-.57:/0+?; '612-17-1-:+10; <+-:8+-.81,D+-2/5-7++C; Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  16. 16. Products Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  17. 17. ng an ii sr s la ee 90 people t A in g n 12 software teams E 10 products 4 countries 2 deployment models Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  18. 18. Tools & Processes (8 + 2) lessons from our superheroes, on building the tools your superheroes use. Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  19. 19. Warning: may contain ads! Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  20. 20. 1. Agile • Each team is different in method, size and impact. • Agile principles are what’s important. • Use different tools - GreenHopper to pen & card! Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  21. 21. 2. Traceability • Fundamental to link code to relevant artifacts - issues/wiki etc • Few commits without traced issue keys • Mylyn’s task driven development is really leading the way Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  22. 22. 3. Code Review • Four eyes on every line of code • Almost every commit is reviewed by a peer • Reviews ‘traced’ to issues • Don’t put it off for ‘lack of tools’ • Soon - iterative code review! Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  23. 23. 4. Continuous Integration • Many, many, many builds • Remote agents. Moving to EC2. • IM for notifications (not email!) • Focus on trends not red/green • LabManager for platform testing • Performance builds catch regressions Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  24. 24. 5. Optimise Tests • Optimise for time to developer feedback • Re-order tests automatically • Only run affected tests • Functional test ‘split builds’ for build throughput Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  25. 25. 6. Dogfooding • Put software into ‘users’ hands as regularly as possible • Used to do with public releases, now internal dogfooding • Dogfooding != testing • Can be hard to find good candidates Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  26. 26. 7. Wiki == Life • We live in our wiki • Req’ts, docs, blogs, discussions, reports, presentations, community • Connects dev. to the business • Connects the business! Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  27. 27. 8. Dev Speed • “Dev Speed Posse” • Never done - always a focus • Measure and attack • 3 “loops” • Checkout Loop - 10 min rule • Inner Loop - code w/o reload • Build & Test Loop - commit to deployment Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  28. 28. Innovation The lifeblood of a product company Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  29. 29. “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two - and only two - basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” Peter Drucker Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  30. 30. Innovation Models 1. The lone genius 2. The boss is a genius 3. Copy competitors’ inventions 4. Cluster the geniuses in a lab 5. Make your people the geniuses Scott Cook - CHI 2006 Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  31. 31. Innovation Models Atlassian 2002 1. The lone genius 2. The boss is a genius 3. Copy competitors’ inventions 4. Cluster the geniuses in a lab 5. Make your people the geniuses Scott Cook - CHI 2006 Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  32. 32. Innovation Models Atlassian 2002 1. The lone genius 2. The boss is a genius 3. Copy competitors’ inventions 4. Cluster the geniuses in a lab 5. Make your people the geniuses Scott Cook - CHI 2006 Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  33. 33. Innovation Models Atlassian 2002 1. The lone genius 2. The boss is a genius 3. Copy competitors’ inventions Atlassian 2012 4. Cluster the geniuses in a lab 5. Make your people the geniuses Scott Cook - CHI 2006 Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  34. 34. Innovation Models Atlassian 2002 1. The lone genius 2. The boss is a genius 3. Copy competitors’ inventions Atlassian 2012 4. Cluster the geniuses in a lab 5. Make your people the geniuses Scott Cook - CHI 2006 Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  35. 35. Customers? Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  36. 36. Customers? Listen to your customers Don’t do what they tell you. Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  37. 37. Customers? Listen to your customers Don’t do what they tell you. Why did they buy? vs What do they want? Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  38. 38. Customers? Listen to your customers Don’t do what they tell you. Why did they buy? Innovation vs vs What do they want? Incremental Improvement! Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  39. 39. Innovation Killers • Company & customer growth • Date driven culture • Specifications from ‘on high’ • Not enough ‘slack time’ • Old people Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  40. 40. Innovation Killers • Company & customer growth • Date driven culture • Specifications from ‘on high’ • Not enough ‘slack time’ • Old people “You have 6 years of innovation left.” Moritz’ Law (35 minus average age of the company - Mike Moritz, Sequoia) Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  41. 41. 9. Fedex Day • Started in 2004 • 24 hour one-day coding exercise • Start early AM, demos late afternoon • One goal - “Ship & deliver in 24 hours” Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  42. 42. Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  43. 43. Mutations • Added trophy around Fedex 4 • Blue dot voting • Now quarterly for all development • Move to two days • SF and Sydney on different weeks • Tried in support & marketing - fail • Used to “spread” tech learning - ie gadgets & OpenSocial Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  44. 44. • One engineer is appointed “Fedex deputy” • Week & two weeks before - Brown Bag Brainstorm • ‘Shipment orders’ blogged internally (goal per person) A • Thursday • 2pm - kick off meeting Fedex • Code until laaaate - pizza @ 8pm for stayers • “Day” Organiser uses broadcast IM to communicate (ie “Remember to take screenshots!”) and runs a chatroom for participants (regular sharing of progress for excitement) (2009) • Friday • 3pm - demos (split in half - vote top 3) • 4pm - final 6 demos w/ beers vote for winner & present trophy • ‘Delivery dockets’ blogged internally (result per person) Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  45. 45. Learnings • One day isn’t long enough • “Winning” needs to be de-emphasised • Get the whole company to watch demos • Didn’t work outside development • Works best with smaller team • Retrospectives are important - “What do we want to try to ship, and what’s required to get there?” • Shipping code takes much longer than you think! Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  46. 46. 10. 20% Time • The Google ‘myth’ - Lawless innovation? • Aim: discover the realities Made up our own rules • The $1m gamble: http://tinyurl.com/czy9f8 Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  47. 47. Why? • Build innovative features • Engineers’ jobs get less fun w/ growth - further from product decisions • Product Managers aren’t perfect - fill holes in the roadmap • Discover those with product gene • The power of a built idea to shape thinking Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  48. 48. Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  49. 49. How did we go? Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  50. 50. http://blogs.atlassian.com/developer/ 2009/02/20_percent_year_in_review.html Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  51. 51. 20% Results • ‘Filling gaps’ as much as finding next big thing • Hardest on tech leads! • Tracking was a contentious issue • Ended with per person, not project Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  52. 52. Latest 20% “Rules” • We trust you • All projects must be tracked • No less than one day at a time • Time booked just like vacation • 5 days = 3 developers must sign off • 10 days = founder sign off • All participation is performance reviewable Wednesday, 13 May 2009
  53. 53. Q&A www.atlassian.com mike@atlassian.com PS. We’re hiring! Wednesday, 13 May 2009

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