Every year more developers are coming to get involved into the Atlassian Plugin Developer community. They come to get information about the newest API changes, have the possibility to promote their plugins or ask about difficulties they have had and of course meet with other developers and Atlassians to exchange experiences. In the 8th year of AtlasCamp the community has grown from a small family of around 50 developers to 340+ developers from all over the world, Atlassians not included (also almost 50, so a total number of around 400 participants have been present). Some people are coming every year, but more than half of the participants were joining for there first ever AtlasCamp. And some have become almost more famous than Atlassians themselves. As Co-Founder Mike Cannon-Brookes put it in his welcome speech, there are more people who want a picture with Bob Swift than with himself by now.
Over the last years Europe has been settled as the place to be for the conference, because still most of the developers are coming from Europe. Prague was a great location to choose, but sadly the hotel was 7 kilometers out of town, so there was not much time to walk around the beautiful old city center of prague. But the AtlasParty on wednesday night was still a highlight, taking place directly at the waterfront of the Moldova with a great view over the beautiful charles bridge. A great atmosphere with funny talks.. and a magician or magical plugin dev from sweden doing fascinating performances, which were not including a lot of drinking but the good old string tricks 🙂
A new arrangement were the two tracks of talks this year. One track was the more technical part with insights into plugin development strategies and APIs, the other track was more general about best practices in coding. This was somehow nice, because you could choose between 2 topics in every slot, but also you were missing of course half of them and sometimes it was a hard decision. Also new were the developer breakout sessions after the main talks, in which plugin developers were intruducing into topics of their choice and from their work. These offered great insights and also a good opportunity to get into conversation with each other in small groups. The camp has become more structured and professional, for example there were almost no problems with the Wifi-connection this year and live demos were not live anymore, but all from screencasts.. which was a shame somehow, because most of the time live demos really live from the live kind of thing and the errors that can be made 🙂
Just came back from Amsterdam and as the whole event was in english and my notes too, this blogpost will be an english one as well.
AtlasCamp is a yearly event which is organized since 2009 from Atlassian for Plugin Developers to give them insights in the product APIs, inform about new features and of course get to know each other. After 3 years of coding in California, last year was the first event in Europe (Wiesbaden/Germany) and this year in Amsterdam.
For the first time there was a ShipIt-Hackathon on the first day of the AtlasCamp at the Atlassian Amsterdam Office. Around 20 Plugin Developers were participating and competing for the best plugin shipped during one day. Most of them were fulltime plugin developers, who came with 2-4 people from the same company and had specific ideas for a plugin, for example a new feature for their already existing plugins, as the gliffy-team did, who also won the contest with a great performance at the end. It was quite difficult as a beginner to get involved, because teams were already formed by the people who came together and no introduction talks or tutorials were given. Thats why there was not much to do for me as a newbee who coded her first HelloWorld-Plugin a couple of days ago. But still i got some insider hints about where the flaws of the API can be found 🙂
The next two days were full of interesting talks about new features at atlassian and also very interesting live demonstrations in plugin coding, so on the third day I would have been ready to really try out what I´ve learned. I guess I will do so soon.
There were around 150 Plugin Developers from all over the world participating at AtlasCamp. They were showing a map at the beginning of the conference, which showed that Germany was with 37 participants by far the biggest group. Only 8 came from the netherlands as the guest country, and next were 6 from sweden, italy and another country which i just forgot. I met people from Belgium, 1 guy from Malaysia, some from Russia and many from the westcoast of the US (mainly San Francisco Atlassian Office). But also the polish community was represented by 6 people, which my polish collegue found out the next day. Atlassian itself came with around 30 people to the event.
For those who didn´t make it to the camp but are still interested in what its all about, I made a lot of notes and will present it to you in the following. Its a lot to read, but you can also pick the talks that you are interested in. Maybe Atlassian will also publish some of the slides later on. If so, I will collect the links in the link section below.
It has been an awesome location in the koepelkerk at the Renaissance hotel in Amsterdam. An old church with a huge organ, a big dome and a lot of atmosphere. And of course Amsterdam is beautiful too.
In Vorbereitung auf das große Atlassian-Entwickler-Event „AtlasCamp“ in Amsterdam Ende Mai habe ich mir endlich mal angeschaut wie man denn ein eigenes Plugin für die Atlassian-Produkte schreibt. Die riesige Anzahl von Plugins im Atlassian-Marketplace läßt vermuten, daß die Pluginentwicklung von Atlassian gut unterstützt und gefördert wird und auch auf dem AtlasCamp ist sie das zentrale Thema.
Nachdem ich das nun ausprobiert habe kann ich nur sagen: Toll gemacht Atlassian! Ein erstes Plugin kann wirklich jeder ohne jegliche Hindernisse erstellen! Die Anleitung ist detailliert und gut verständlich, selbst für Nicht-Programmierer durchführbar und die Erfolgserlebnisse treten schon nach kurzer Zeit ein. Ein erstes HelloWorld-Plugin läßt sich in weniger als einer Stunde schreiben und in einer eigenen JIRA-Instanz, die gleich mitgeliefert wird, aufrufen und ausprobieren. Als einzige Systemvorraussetzung muss ein Java SDK 1.6.* installiert und der Port 2990 offen und zugänglich sein, aber auch hierfür gibt es eine detaillierte Anleitung. Alles andere wird von dem Atlas-SDK mitgebracht, neben einer Jira-Standalone-Version auch Maven 2.1.0 und ein Tomcat 6-Server.
Die genaue Anleitung auf englisch von Atlassian findet ihr hier. Ich werde nur eine kurze Zusammenfassung geben, um euch auf den Geschmack zu bringen 🙂
Mit dem Universal Plugin Manager 2.0 hat Atlassian dieses Jahres neben einer überarbeiteten Oberfläche und vielen anderen neuen Features den Atlassian-Marketplace in seine Produkte integriert. Plugins lassen sich seitdem sehr angenehm durchstöbern und bei Interesse sofort installieren. Jeder Nutzer eines Atlassian-Produkts kann den Marketplace durchsuchen und dem Administrator Plugins zur Installation vorschlagen.
Die Installation der Plugins ist mit einem Klick des Administrators direkt aus der Anwendung heraus möglich. Dadurch wird unnötiges Context-Switching verhindert und alle Produktdaten (Licencekey, Konfigurationen) stehen automatisch zur Verfügung. Alle Plugins bieten eine 30-Tage-Probeversion an, womit man die Möglichkeit hat, alles erst einmal auszuprobieren und sich dann dafür oder dagegen zu entscheiden.
Seitdem spriessen die Plugins für Atlassian-Produkte nur so aus dem Boden. Jeder kann ein Plugin schreiben und es auf dem Marketplace anbieten.