JiraCon ’21 Recap

So, JiraCon’s live portion has come and gone. And wow, it was a ride. This was my first time presenting at a conference like this (virtual or in-person), and let me say – the support I’ve seen over the past few days is awe-inspiring. 

This is Rivet. She likes to help Dad. Her “help” varies in helpfulness.

So I thought I would take some time and go over my thoughts on the conference, some things I learned, and some things I’d change next time I do a presentation like this.

Presenter Life

As I stated before, this was my first chance to be a speaker at any conference. I always assumed there was a fair bit of work that went on behind the scenes – but I was underestimating! No – seriously, I even had a checklist! I can only imagine what goes on with a larger event like Summit/Team. That is probably my biggest takeaway – the next time I present, I need to allocate even more time for the work involved. And if I can help it, there will be a next time.

One bonus was that I got some tips and tricks on setting up my audio and video from Headwound, a streamer friend of mine – and that knowledge was invaluable. Granted, my setup is still nowhere near his; it’s at least better than my typical setup for a Zoom call. 

New Mic!

Another thing I cannot be thankful enough for is you, the readers of this Blog. I had the chat window open while I was presenting, and while I wasn’t actively reading it while I was presenting, I did review it after I finished – and wow. I’m still not sure I deserve the honorable place you put me at. I think my favorite comment went, “The man, the myth, the Jira guy.”

You also asked some great questions. One that stuck with me was “What skill do you think is the most important for an Atlassian Admin to have, and has that changed in the past five years?” What a great way to cut right to the heart of the issue being discussed! To summarize my answer, I feel the first skill any good Atlassian Admin should have is the ability to teach yourself new skills. This answer hasn’t changed much in my career. However, the second most important skill has. Five years ago, I would have said good System Administration skills are critical to having a well-behaved system. However, since the rise of Jira Cloud, I have changed that – I feel you can get by on Cloud without being a Sysadmin. Instead, now I think being a good Business Analyst is more important – that is, looking at how a team works and spot the inefficiencies is becoming more critical. 

JiraCon still has more to offer!

One reason I love working in the Atlassian space is that we all understand how important it is for you to record what you know. This concept even extends to conferences. Yep – all of the JiraCon talks (even mine) were recorded and viewable now. This fact is important because I could only watch six sessions live. And there was plenty of times where talks I wanted to watch overlapped. I mean, there were two other sessions I was interested in while I was presenting my topic! This situation is not a failure of planning – just something arising from the fact JiraCon has so many quality speakers. So now I get to spend the next few days watching all the sessions I was either asleep for or had conflicts. So what is my hit list? Well…

Jira Dashboard & Reporting Best Practices

This talk was by our friends at Old Street Solutions, and I’ve said it before – you aren’t going to get the full benefit of Jira if you cannot put together the required Dashboards. So that is exactly what this talk is about.  

Jira Data Center High Availability

Before becoming an Atlassian Admin, I worked as a consultant installing dispatch systems for Emergency Services across the country. And do you want to talk about High Availability and Disaster Recovery? Try setting up the system everyone needs during the disaster! So I would like to think I knew a thing or two – but there is always room to improve.

Extend Jira accessibility

Last week, I did a live stream with some great people to raise money for Accessibility in games. This is a topic I care deeply about. So I absolutely would have been at this session live – if it wasn’t at the same time as my session!

Workshop: Jira Cleanup Best Practices

So – my Jira Cleanup skills aren’t as good as they could be. No shame in admitting that – we all have our strengths and weaknesses. There is shame in doing nothing about it, though! So I’m hoping I can pick up a few techniques and tricks at this workshop to help me improve my skills!

Break Out: What makes your PI Planning a Piece of Cake?

I see what you did there. And yes, I did giggle at the Pun. Still, Agile is a topic I can always learn more about, so why not?

How to Prioritize Growth Experiments in Jira using Foxly

The description for this session sounds precisely like a problem statement I would write for the Blog. So I’m interested in seeing how Jexo handles this topic. These techniques are likely going into my “Jira Tricks” goodie bag to pull out later when I need it.

And that’s just the first part of the daytime session! So, now is a great time to jump in and learn as much as you can!

Things I would change.

So – my setup is not perfect. The conference was great, and I have no complaints about anyone at Trundl or their partners. However, I always want to give the best quality I can for you. So, a part of any good retrospective needs to include areas you can improve on.

Lets start with Audio. I invested in a new Mic specifically for events – and I have no complaints about it. But my desk and area need some improvements. For one thing – my keyboard is LOUD. This is great when I’m writing for a blog, not so great when I’m presenting. I essentially had to be entirely hands-off. So one change I would make is to get a second keyboard that is quieter.  

The next change I would make is to lighting. I work in a normal room with normal lighting – overhead and to my left. I can adjust the intensity and color, but it’s kind of where it is. I’d like to have some better lighting hitting my face…so add that to the list.

And lastly – I’d like to get a bigger green screen. The one I have now was a gift, and it works great. But it attaches to the back of my chair and only covers a limited area. This arrangement means I have to set up my webcam to its narrowest angle setting and sit perfectly still lest the rest of my office shows up. I think this exchange sums it up best

But that’s it. The changes I did make for JiraCon worked out well, and I think I will keep them there for the foreseeable future. But what did you think? What were the high points and low points of the event? Are you as excited as I am for a possible future in-person event? Let me know!

As always, you can find my social media links on my Linktree. You can also sign up below to be notified as soon as I make a new post. But until next time, my name is Rodney, asking, “Have you updated your Jira issues today?”


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