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MEAT: One tribe’s quest for meeting room transparency

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Mathias Bogaert

Posts: 618
Nickname: pathos
Registered: Aug, 2003

Mathias Bogaert is a senior software architect at Intrasoft mainly doing projects for the EC.
MEAT: One tribe’s quest for meeting room transparency Posted: Dec 10, 2012 12:43 AM
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This post originated from an RSS feed registered with Java Buzz by Mathias Bogaert.
Original Post: MEAT: One tribe’s quest for meeting room transparency
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September, 2010 – The Australian spring was just beginning and a cool breeze was in the air. The cockatoos were singing their song and the wallabies bouncing playfully. Atlassians were frolicking in the grass and a group of us – Stephen Russell, Martin Jopson, Rob Smart and myself - were on the hunt for a meeting room. We had  forgotten to book a room ahead of time, and so we needed to find an empty one at the last moment. But disaster struck. The halls seemed endless as we prowled in search of an empty room. It seemed like we had been walking for ages, and Martin had nearly given up when suddenly we found an empty room in which to to have our meeting. We rejoiced and connected a laptop to the projector. But our smiles turned to frowns when our meeting was interrupted by a shout from the door. Alas! Another group had already laid claim to the room in Google Apps, and we were vanquished back to the hallway to begin our search anew. A lone tear rolled down Rob’s face as we continued our endless quest. “Curses!” we cried in angst. “The lack of transparency surrounding meeting room availability has stolen precious hours of our springtime!” We vowed we would not rest until the problem was solved. Thus, forged from that sorrow, the Fellowship of MEAT began. — …At least that’s how I remember it. Alternatively, historians will tell you that MEAT is the name of a two-year-old ShipIt project between our group of four. Allegedly the four of us formed a team that wanted to improve the quality of meetings at Atlassian. We decided that transparency of meetings was the problem we could solve best in 24 hours. And at the end of the ShipIt, we shipped a solution. Behold. MEAT. Isn’t it glorious? MEAT means Meeting Evaluation Administration Technology. Or maybe it was Meeting Expanse Availability Terminal. No it had to be MEAT Empowers Any Tablet…right? At any rate, MEAT means never having to say you’re sorry (that you stole somebody else’s meeting room accidentally). MEAT connects to your company’s calendar provider (Google Apps) and shows meeting information on your phone and on displays around your office. It easily lets you see which meeting rooms are open and which are booked. It tells you which meeting is happening inside the room, and who booked it. MEAT runs on any tablet or smartphone (ok, maybe not any device, but most will work). If you want to use MEAT with a meeting room source other than GApps, I’d love to help you – a pull request or an issue would be well received. We’ve been using MEAT at Atlassian for two years now, and it has become a major feature of our offices. You pretty much can’t walk down the hall without seeing a MEATpad.   This ubiquity is thanks to Jim Severino, the IT Operations Manager here at Atlassian, who looked at our ShipIt result and ran with it. He went out [...]

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