We have entered the final countdown: next week, the whole world of Atlassian enthusiasts gathers again in Las Vegas for what will surely be an epic event. For over ten years, I've been lucky to attend various events and see Atlassian grow from a front seat.
Now, after a pandemic-caused hiatus, the time has come to meet all those friendly faces again, discover new things and learn a lot while having fun. To get as much as possible out of an event — and limit the amount of FOMO — it is crucial to plan ahead.
Mistakes were made
This week, Atlassian opened up the schedule on the official site so you can start planning. However, since there are over 130 sessions, various trainings and an exhibition floor filled with magnificent Marketplace partners to attend, it is very easy to start losing track. These are the mistakes I made in the past:
- Picking sessions that take place simultaneously: I still haven't found out how to be at two places at the same time, unfortunately. Therefore you'll need to be careful not to pick sessions that take place at the same time.
- Missing a keynote: back in the old days, there was one big keynote at the event's start. Since Atlassian has started to grow so massively, they have begun holding multiple shows, putting the spotlight on several solutions. It is straightforward to miss these since they are scattered across the whole schedule.
- Physically not making a session: No, I'm not talking about the effects the Bash has on your body — although that one could make it to the list one day 😅. When picking sessions, you'll have to consider that there is quite some distance between rooms in big venues. If you have to cross the whole conference centre after the end of one session, you might miss the opportunity of having a seated place in the next room.
- Having great encounters: The best you can get from a conference, candid and fun conversations that enlighten you or can totally change your life. Since I'm a big fan of the hallway, I missed more than once my original marked session, being forced to replan on the spot.
- Relying on battery-draining conference apps: If you put all the information in the Conference app, you need battery power to survive your day. Unfortunately, the same device is also the one that we use for taking pictures, capturing notes and keeping in touch with other people. The last thing we want is to run out of power! Sometimes, a printed schedule can save the day.
Team '23: A new hope
I started drafting a plan on the Atlassian event site to tackle some of my basic mistakes. I immediately felt that I was missing the overview that I needed. I couldn't see the global overview and thought I was missing pieces.
The conference app is not yet available, so there went my other possibility of taming the 130 sessions.
What does a developer do when something doesn't completely work as intended? Right, time to create a new scheduling place!
Introducing... team23.bluepencil.io 🍾
While looking at the Atlassian site, I discovered that it was not too hard to scrape all the session data and that I could generate my own schedule. Working on this, I thought other people could also use it, so I decided to put it on a lightweight site and share it with the world!
Most important items for now:
- Sessions are sorted per timeslot, so you'll know in a blink which choices you'll have to make
- Keynotes are precious pieces of gold, so they are appropriately marked
- There is no tracking or storing information whatsoever involved. Just a very lightweight site that you can easily add to your smartphone's start screen for immediate access
If you have read everything so far, thank you so much! You deserve some screenshots: