Atlassian welcomes a new generation of devs

Software vendor holds fourth annual Hack House

Sun, sand and software development methodologies all play an important part in how Atlassian introduces new computer science graduates to the company.

The software vendor, best known for its Jira issue-tracking application, today completed its annual on-boarding program, welcoming 18 new graduates to the company's ranks.

It's the fourth time the company has held the Hack House program in Australia.

During the week-long program, the participants stayed in two houses in the southern Sydney suburb of Bundeena, spending time with veteran Atlassian staff as well as enjoying the beach.

The culmination of Hack House is participating in a ShipIt day — an Atlassian hackathon, with grads working to improve or add new features to Atlassian's products. This year innovations ranged from a licence key dispenser for the company's Confluence collaboration software, to mobile-friendly views of issues in Jira, to usability improvements to the AUI Sandbox.

"One of the reasons we do the Hack House is to really see what we can do to play with and improve our products for our customers, and really try to tap the creativity of the really young, creative, fresh minds," Atlassian's chief people office, Jeff Diana, said.

Introducing new employees to Atlassian's culture is also "huge" part of Hack House, Diana said. "I think part of that is building community, by living together and having experiences with our designers and product folks, and just some of the fun, active stuff," he said.

It's also a case of Atlassian being true to its roots, Diana added. "When you hear [Atlassian founders] Mike [Cannon-Brookes] and Scott [Farquhar] talk a lot about them creating Jira, sitting in the house at the kitchen with a refrigerator full of food and beer," he said.

"For us it's a commitment back to grads, and fostering young talent and how important they are to driving innovation."

"We start by walking people through a quick history of the company and how we got started," he said.

"We spend quite a bit of time talking about our values as a company and what they look like in action. We have a series of folks — designers and engineers in particular — that shepherd the group through the week. So we spend a lot of time talking about our Agile methodology for creating products, and help [participants] understand the markets and the customers we serve."

"We want to on-board people with fun, unique, lasting memories so they immediately feel connected to Atlassian and our mission and our values," Diana said.

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