December 12, 2016 Culture

Reflections from the Land Down Under

By Shay Banon

More than three years ago in Australia, a then-employee of Campaign Monitor named Mark Walkom took a huge leap with our software and founded the Elastic Sydney Meetup Group. A year later, Mark became our very first employee and support engineer in Australia, and today he continues to be the fearless leader of that community, which now has more than a thousand Elastic users.

Needless to say, I’ve been wanting to visit Australia, see Mark, and meet his tribe of Aussie Elastic users for some time. 

After sorting through visa issues for a year, I finally secured entry into the land down under and made the 22-hour flight from Holland to New Holland. I visited users in Sydney and Canberra. We held the Elastic{ON} Tour event at the Sydney Doltone House, and more than 200 attendees came to hear talks from BankWest, Fairfax Media, and Cigna Life Insurance NZ. In addition to meeting lots of customers, partners, and users, I was also able to do a few town hall sessions and talk to the meetup group Mark started. As expected, there were lots of questions about our latest 5.0 release, but to my surprise, there was also much interest on topics such as our engineering culture, our open source business model, and how we’re building a distributed company across more than 35 countries around the world.

Visiting the birthplace of our Australian community and talking with so many users about the technical and cultural challenges that they’re solving was the highlight of my trip.

Other highlights? Summer, beaches, and the warm December weather. I highly recommend the Spit Bridge to Manly Walk, which I ran. Most surprising parts? The dialect and the deadly animals!

I’d like to thank our wonderful Elastic community for their warm welcome and continued support in Australia and New Zealand. I hope to be back as soon as the universe allows.

'Til next time.

Cheers