Join us for a Developer Community AMA with Daniel Wester from August 10th to 17th!

This week, we’re excited to host @danielwester, a developer who has been heavily involved in our Atlassian Ecosystem, who will answer questions about building apps for the Marketplace and starting/growing your own business.

Daniel is the Co-Founder/Co-CEO at 55 Degrees, and has been a member of the community since its very early days. He wrote his first Jira app back when Jira 3.3 was all the rage and he was working at Turner Broadcasting Systems (TBS). Since then, he has built two Atlassian Marketplace businesses! At 55 Degrees, he leads the development effort for their industry-leading flow analytics and probabilistic forecasting tool, ActionableAgile. He also manages the development of new products and internal tooling needed to run a business.

During his time in the Atlassian Ecosystem, Daniel has built apps for Jira, Bamboo, Bitbucket and Confluence using P2, Connect, and now Forge. Recognized by Atlassian multiple times for his contribution to the developer community, Daniel is deeply engaged in the Atlassian Ecosystem and has organized Marketplace lean-coffees and other get-togethers for the community.

Daniel is a great resource for questions related to starting and growing your business, making your first hire, managing custom apps for internal companies, and building internally/building for Marketplace.

He will be available to answer your questions on August 17th. Feel free to add your questions for Daniel as replies to this topic starting today! He’ll try to answer as many as he can! If you can’t join us on August 17, you’ll be able to review this topic in the community after the AMA takes place. We’ll also be sharing a quick recap on the Atlassian Developer Blog so you can get caught up.

Without further ado, let’s chat! Share your questions for @danielwester below. :point_down:

A note: As mentioned in the blog, this is the first in a series of 3 AMA sessions. We plan to have a total of 3 sessions over the next couple of months. Next month, @tpettersen will be joining us to answer all things Developer Experience at Atlassian.


After you sold your first successful Atlassian Marketplace business, you created another one. What made you come back to this community after you had an exit?


What is most enjoyable part of writing apps?

And what is one of the most frustrating parts?


After using it for an app, what is your take on Forge?
Happy to hear both, thoughts on the current state as well as the longterm roadmap.


Daniel, do you have any experience with developing and promoting Paid via Vendor apps, for example Bitbucket Cloud apps do not integrate with Atlassian MP licensing.


:wave: On the road to building a successful‡ app in the Marketplace, where do you think most people get stuck and where do most people give up? Any advice for getting over those humps?

‡ I don’t have a good qualifier for successful. Thinking something like published and making some amount of money greater than 0.


So a couple of reasons.

So first off, at the risk of sounding cheesy - the people. There are really awesome folks, both within our development community and at Atlassian, who really want everyone to succeed. For me, that’s really awesome! I really feel appreciative that I can be a part of that.

Secondly, while we all have some level of “things can be improved” with Atlassian - it’s a good platform with huge potential and capabilities. (That’s not to say that I’m not going to continue to advocate for things to get better :wink: ).

Finally, in the business we’re running now, though we are building on the same platform, we’re solving different issues and facing new challenges. That makes it really fun.

In a nutshell, it’s the technology and the people that excite me about being in this space.


For the first part, I feel there are 2 answers:

  1. It’s the enjoyment of making other people (customers or other developers)’s work life easier. For me solving a gnarly customer support case is about as satisfying as shipping a new product/feature.
  2. It’s implementing a new solution that the host platform (Jira, Confluence, Trello, etc.) wasn’t quite built for and getting to be really awesome.

The second part? The answer is poorly written documentation spread all over the place.


Oh gosh - that’s a loaded question. I think a solution like Forge is needed both for in-house developers and for partners (both solution and marketplace partners).

In its current state, Forge has managed to restrict itself a lot and that limits what developers can do. Forge is not a parity replacement to Connect/SaaS apps and I think that has been one of my largest learning that I wish I had known/realized before designing/developing any app on Forge.

Regarding the roadmap, I think what Atlassian presented at Developer day has a lot of good stuff that will help it head to where it needs to be. I just wish it was there now. :slight_smile:


We do directly sell a SaaS version of one of our apps and we have a presence in another marketplace. It really makes you appreciate Atlassian Marketplace - especially due to VAT collections and other things.

It would be awesome if Bitbucket Cloud and other (Compass, Jira Align, Trello, etc) apps, etc were properly supported by the Atlassian Marketplace.

I think without a proper marketplace all of the customer expectation setting and marketing is more challenging as you, the app vendor, have to implement that. Multiply that with however many app vendors that are on Bitbucket, Trello, etc and they all do their own thing… :frowning:


There are a couple of things that come to mind.

First off, the biggest hurdle is the dreaded “stuck in the middle of the night with a really weird error.” This comes up a lot and, as I mentioned earlier, the documentation can have room for improvement (or not really address your use case). It’s easy to give up on the app in those cases. But, a proper contributory network really helps. For instance: answering somebody’s questions on CDAC makes folks more likely to answer yours, doing some legwork so you don’t seem like you’re assuming that others will do your work for you, etc.

Secondly, be ok with your app idea failing. I currently have about 20-30 apps that have yet to see the light of day. Some of them may at some point become internal apps for 55Degrees. Some of them may have parts that will become features in another app. But, there are some apps that are a bad idea and will remain dead. That’s ok - I learned from it!

Thirdly, think end-user-first. Just because a feature can be built - should it? Will the end user actually use it? Why would they use it? Can you easily explain it to the end user? If you can’t do a quick elevator pitch about the feature or product - then you’re probably going to have an issue writing the documentation on it. If you’re having an issue writing the documentation - then how are you going to provide support for it?

Finally, get a partner or someone that you can use to hold yourself responsible. In my case, I’m lucky - my business partner is Julia, my awesome wife. She is a huge customer advocate and I have to explain myself to her. Having that sounding board is huge. Both of us also have a couple of folks in our networks that we use as sounding boards and use as personas when we have to make various decisions.


Thanks for having me @Bentley (and all other Atlassian’s). If anyone comes along after this and have other questions - feel free to join my lean coffee series for marketplace partners at .