by Lorenzo Piccoli

Atlassian is an Australian software company that does something incredibly smart. A few times a year they tell their engineers, “Go for the next 24 hours and work on anything you want, as long as it’s not part of your regular job. Work on anything you want.” Autonomously.

So that engineers use this time to come up with something different. A cool patch for code, an elegant hack, and so on. Then they present all of the stuff that they’ve developed to their teammates. And then, being Australians, everybody has a beer.

They call them FedEx Days. Why? Because you have to deliver something overnight. It’s pretty. It’s not bad. It’s a huge trademark violation, but it’s pretty clever. That one day of intense, radical autonomy over their time, their task, their team, their technique has produced a whole array of software fixes that might never have existed.