Atlassian Compass has been in preview since the service was announced at the Atlassian Team '22 conference in April 2022.
The purpose of a developer experience platform is to help developers better understand software complexity and collaborate more effectively across the tech stack. It provides capabilities such as a component catalog to track all software components, health modeling to monitor the health of components, templates to easily create new components, and extensibility to integrate with other tools. The overall goal is to help developers get back into a flow state of being productive and creative by reducing the toil of having to search for information and context across a distributed, decentralized system.
"Modern software development today has become increasingly decentralized and complex," Taylor Pechacek, head of product for Compass at Atlassian, told ITPro Today. "Developers are really dealing with this massive sprawl problem and the ability to find this information to get back into that flow state and be productive, happy and creative."
Improving Developer Happiness and Productivity with DevEx
As to why Atlassian is now making Compass generally available after more than a year in preview, Pechacek said the service has been tested with large users and it's now ready for broad deployments.
One thing that is new since the original Compass announcement in 2022 is the addition of templates that allow developers to create new components in an easy, consistent fashion.
Among Compass' core capabilities that are now production-ready is a core component catalog that allows every piece of software to be tracked in a single place. This gives developers a single, reliable, and standardized place to capture all the context around the code, according to Pechacek.
Another key capability is health modeling to monitor the health of components. Pechacek explained that health modeling helps teams monitor progress and ensure there are fast feedback loops, so that when something's off track, they can respond quickly. Having visibility into the health of all components also gives engineering organizations a broad, high-level overview to see where potential problems exist across the organization and the technology, as well as the individual teams that own the services.
Why Developer Experience Matters
DevEx is important because it directly impacts productivity and creativity, according to Pechacek.
"We think about this developer experience in terms of the value that we're returning back to engineering, in terms of their lived experience," he said. "How much time can we give them back, so that they can be shipping high-quality code and they can deliver that at speed?"
Pechacek also noted that improving DevEx helps engineering teams reach their full potential. Focusing only on productivity is not going to be sustainable or scalable, he said. What organizations need to do is to think about how to create a great environment for development.
"The way we think about this is that a happier engineer is going to be much more productive," he said.
About the authorSean Michael Kerner is an IT consultant, technology enthusiast and tinkerer. He consults to industry and media organizations on technology issues.