(as of today no apologies from the company, managers are still there, the culture is still the same) (see also - links to other ex-Atlassian stories below)
^ reference to Pinocchio, who is characterized for his frequent tendency to lie, which causes his nose to grow.
This is a real story about how Atlassian turned the life of Software Engineer into a nightmare, and how they terminated me while I was taking care of my wife who is fighting cancer. This story is about lies, violations of the law, about how desperate and disposable people are in this neo-feudalist organization - Atlassian, and about WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER JOIN ATLASSIAN, AVOID AT ALL COSTS, NEVER USE THEIR SOFTWARE AND RECONSIDER THEM IF YOU'RE ALREADY USING THEIR SOFTWARE.
Interesting fact 1: Atlassian is the only company that has words "shit" and "fuck" in their core values.
Interesting fact 2: While everyday work in Atlassian might look normal, the reality is that when you're in times of struggle, you'll get screwed by their toxic managers, HRs, PeopleOps, and founders. In Atlassian you're disposable. Even if you feel fine in the company you should seriously consider other opportunities. Read my story to learn more
"Atlassian owes you nothing" - Bittersean M. (Atlassian shit manager and a best friend of Mike and Scott)
New here? Skip this section to "Before the storm" below.
10/4 - Atlassian applied retaliatory zero-bonus multiplier for me (the end of financial year in Australia is in August), so even though I did really well in the first part of the year, they decided to fuck me this way as well.
9/30 - Meanwhile, one of Atlassian scams where they advertise non-existent unlimited sick days still there. They don't even bother to fix it.
9/30 - Surgery went well, thanks to our surgeons in MILLS peninsula and everyone who prayed for us. Interestingly enough, this medical center also covers Hillsborough, CA area where Scott (and Mike?) own their houses in SF Bay.
9/29 - My spouse is going to have her second surgery today, pray for her health if you can.
9/29 - Purchased COBRA coverage today. If you're wondering how much rupee is it, it's $1857.37 USD per month, and you won't be able to pay with your favorite credit card (American Express). Only Visa or Mastercard. I hope if you work in Atlassian you have this amount of money in your emergency fund, or at least you're looking for a better place to work:
9/29 Lesson learned: working in Atlassian you need to save for COBRA, not for your new laptop, car, vacation, or gifts for your kid's birthday. You will need the money when they terminate you so you can afford health insurance.
Before the storm
I joined Atlassian in the beginning 2019 as a Senior Software Engineer (P5) in United States, San Francisco location. Life and work were normal. I did a lot for the company, received recognition from managers, HR, and my peers. My manager and team mates were happy with the work I do. I even found my performance was somewhat above average: I remember days when I was delivering ~10 points of work (1 points represents 1/2 day).
The first 🚩 red flag was when my manager said multiple times that my salary was high. I did really well in interviews, and already had RSUs from the previous, very well known and much older company, so they agreed to pay me what I want.
Long-term it turned out to be NOT a good move, since I received no promotion or salary increase in 2.5 years. See below "Have children? No promotion"
Have children? No promotion.
The next 🚩 red flag. After being in the company for more than a year I had found that folks with children are less likely to get a promotion. I had no evidence, it was a feeling. Since I had a 6 year old child, I approached my manager with this question, and asked him:
- Is it true that engineers with children are less likely to get a promotion?
It was a silly question, I sure that this behavior exists in Atlassian, but nobody likes to talk about that. In Atlassian it's no surprise and my manager said "yes, it's true". Just like that, exposing the company to liability.
At the time I didn't take it seriously. I later raised this question to my next manager, he didn't even bother to escalate this up, it was so obvious. I raised this question with HR and the head of people ops. No response.
At later point of time I discovered that other folks also experienced that in Atlassian. Below is screenshots from Blind where somebody failed getting promotion from P4 to P5 because of parental leave:
It all looks like action class lawsuit, officials should seriously look into Atlassian and investigate what's going on there. The evidence is screaming, and the company is not playing a fair game. I'm ready to give my testimony.
Lesson learned: never join Atlassian or expect promotion when you have children. They don't like it.
At the beginning of this year my wife got the bad news:
You are a 43-year-old woman who was recently diagnosed with rectal cancer. After presenting with several months of progressive constipation, you had a colonoscopy performed which revealed a cancerous mass in your rectum. A biopsy of this mass confirmed that it was a form of rectal cancer known as colon adenocarcinoma
From the doctor's opinion:
I would note that there is a rising rate of new colorectal cancer diagnoses in patients younger than 50-years-old in the United States. The reasons for this rise are not clear.
Cancer is the new reality. While everyone was enjoying their Christmas and the New Year, we were crying. The stress was so high, I was waking up in the morning with pain in all of my teeth.
My wife was devastated, but we quickly get on our feet and started thinking about what to do. I remember the good vibe Atlassian promoted everywhere, in their world-wide all hands, on social networks like LinkedIn. They promised unlimited sick days (spoiler: lie), I had some unused vacation (spoiler: never able to get what they even promised), I felt that the company is so strong, and my contribution definitely has been great, so I had no doubts they gonna help me. As my previous company would.
Unlimited sick days scam in Atlassian
Here is an example of how Atlassian promoting its unlimited sick days. The post from LinkedIn leads to a link where you can find more info:
Here is how "best 2021 company" profile looks like:
I started working in 2019, at the time they were advertising unlimited sick days in their job postings (at least on Stackoverflow where I found them), and actually during the interview, my future manager confirmed that.
However, it turned out that they lied. They tricked me into joining the organization by their false promises and I changed my employment from a well-established company to Atlassian, where lies powers everything.
Lesson learned: Atlassian doesn't hesitate to lie. They promise perks that do not even exist. They lie at all levels: managers, HRs, founders.
Unlimited PTO scam in Atlassian
Atlassian is really into "unlimited PTO" scam (along with "unlimited sick days" scam). While "unlimited PTO" is scam by itself, in Atlassian they're taking it to the whole new level. Here is how it works:
- They advertise "unlimited PTO" in their job postings, LinkedIn, etc, pretty much everywhere. Their recruiters sell it, but they never mention it's up to their managers to decide whether or not they allow you to take your PTO.
- When I joined, my manager told me exactly how many days I have: "federal holidays + 20 days", which is considered "quite generous for the US" (exact quotes), but don't get tricked, because...
- It's only when and if your manager approves that. My experience shows that they do not approve PTOs, and it's only a lure they use to attract workforce.
When I requested my PTO, the manager just said "no". Not because I took too much PTO in the past - I haven't taken any for quite some time. It's just "no" because they can. He didn't explain too much, just sent me a link to their policy, where they say how exactly it is "unlimited" - it's quite limited.
The first time I asked my manager about using my PTO to take care of my spouse:
- Can I take some of my PTO, I should have plenty, to take care of my wife? - I said.
- No, it's not even a question, because you won't be using it as a vacation, right? Technically you won't be on PTO, so take a medical leave.
It sounds very touching, but I didn't recognize the trick here. They wanted me to use my medical leave, because they didn't want to pay for the PTO I earned.
I was able to get only 10 days of PTO in 1.5 years. I was requesting it for 2 months. Clarification as of 9/17 - I was not requesting 2 months of PTO, I wanted to take at least something, and it took me 2 months to get 10 days approved. I was asking for this PTO for more than 2 months, sending emails back and forth, filing tickets, and attending meetings with people ops, managers, manager of my manager. They denied anything beyond 10 days (which was super hard to get). Imagine like hitting the wall every time you ask for it. And you're getting a link "here is our policy", instead of PTO:
There is a lot you can say from this email:
- they say "is more generous". It's so generous, you can only request 10 days in 1.5 years
- "however you manager may need to deny your request" - this is how it's gonna work for you in Atlassian, for "business reasons", which are (of course) more important that a human life
- "team short on resources, including R." - that guy was a manager, who didn't let me use my hard-earned vacation, took himself 1 month of PTO, came back and gave his notice. He left the company, and S., who is the manager of my manager R., approved that. But didn't approve vacation I earned.
- "being out of the office" - polite way to say "your manager is on PTO, he took one month with no problem to enjoy time with the family, while you try to do harder to get 10 days approved out of one year and a half, oh and good luck fighting cancer".
Lesson learned: there is a lot of favoritism in the company. If you make good jokes with your manager, you'll get your vacation approved. If you're taking care of your loved one, you're fucked.
Covid and cultivating a caring company culture scam in Atlassian
Mike Cannon-Brookes lying to Atlassian employees in a Zoom meeting:
Let's be honest, Covid has been a challenging time for all of us with no exception. It's no surprise engineers from tech companies try to find ways to overcome depression and burnout. Below is the only one example of outcry among multitude others you can find on Blind:
Founders cultivate fake caring company culture. You see these lies everywhere. Mike (one of the founders) says "No Atlassian [employee] should hesitate to put their well-being on us". Covid itself was a struggle for lots of people. For me circumstances were much more challenging:
- Covid times
- Child attending school from home
- Spouse diagnosed with cancer
- Atlassian forced me to move to a new team, with new language and technology I had no experience with, blocked the ways for me going back (I tried and was said "nobody likes those who jump the ship")
- No vacation was provided
- All of the above happened at the same time
And the "caring company culture" for me turned out in employment termination because I didn't deliver enough points while I was taking care of my spouse who was barely moving and recovering at home after the surgery
Lesson learned: lies are massive. Founders do not hesitate to lie. How they can promise (exact quote) "No Atlassian [employee] should hesitate their well-being on us", while they terminate employees who struggle with deadly disease?
Employment law violations in Atlassian
I performed over 100 technical interviews in Atlassian, was recognized by HR team as one of the best interviewers, got their kudos, including monetary recognition at the time my manager already said that he's not happy with my performance at work. Personally, I like doing interviews and always cared about the candidate experience. At least I tried to make people enjoy the process.
However, I stopped doing any interviews, and one of the reasons is hiring law violations in Atlassian. For example, we were hiring one lady for a P4 role. Everyone in interview debrief provided positive technical feedback.
However, at the end of the interview manager said: "We have just started hiring, and this is one of the first candidates we're interviewing. I don't want to hire the first person out there, just kinda want to compare". She passed all the technical rounds, everyone said she is strong enough to be a P4 engineer, but they said she's not a good fit! The coordinator quickly jumped in and saying that the lady "is probably not a good fit", "not the right time", and "we will encourage her to apply the next time".
Lesson learned: Atlassian managers and HR don't hesitate to violate the law, they don't care about employees and candidates. Managers and HRs are covering each other. They're the kings and queens in this org. ICs and small little people are disposable.
Gaslighting in Atlassian
They will gaslight you all the way. One of the examples of what my manager said:
- What is your plan to be back senior engineer on the team again?
They didn't demote me, and I was still employed as Senior Software Engineer. Actually, it even was in the middle of our treatment, between chemo and radiation, which made things more cruel. They asked this question multiple times.
At the same time my manager said about the PTO I earned and cannot use:
- I can't give you PTO, it needs to be approved, we just lost one senior engineer, we can't afford to lose another one, we have deadlines.
Note that he doesn't challenge the fact that I have PTO, which kinda confirms my point that I had those PTOs earned. He says that they've lost senior engineer, and they want me to work without PTO, and pretty much emphasized that their deadlines are more important that deadly disease we were dealing with.
"Deadlines" point is bullshit by itself, because the same manager who didn't approve the use of vacation I earned got himself one month of PTO and left the organization right after that.
Lesson learned: yes, they know you earned your vacation. They are well-aware of their 20 days per-year policy they promised. They just don't let you use it. They gaslight you like you do not belong to the place you call work anymore, regardless of your achievements in the past.
Termination in Atlassian
When they terminate you, they locked you out everywhere right away. They put me in awkward position, and my coworkers think that I've been slacking off for quite some time for no reason. I had no chance to say bye and explain what was going on.
The reason for locking out my account is to prevent this information to be spread across the organization. They don't want you to see the truth. Also, remember what our doctor said:
I would note that there is a rising rate of new colorectal cancer diagnoses in patients younger than 50-years-old in the United States. The reasons for this rise are not clear.
If you're employed in Atlassian now, you're vulnerable.
Employment termination can happen to anyone, your friend, your loved ones, even child. And it will happen at the time you're the most vulnerable. "No Atlassian should hesitate to put their well-being on us" is only one of their lies. They cultivate fake caring company culture.
You should consider looking for other companies who are very known for taking care of employees during their hard times. Atlassian is simply not the right place for a career. One of my managers (who is/was probably one of your managers) said that "you're right, in Atlassian they talk the talk, but don't walk the walk".
For everyone out there - I had no chance to say goodbye, so if you're okay to burn some bridges with this toxic organization, do not hesitate to share the link to this website on your last day. And whoever is leaving last, please shut off the lights.
Here is what Atlassian employees think about the company:
Lesson learned: your employment termination will happen at the time you're the most vulnerable, when you or your loved one is between surgeries, fighting cancer, you ran out of money, and have nobody to ask for help.
Atlassian won't hesitate to screw you over
Don't think that Atlassian is a great place to work. It absolutely isn't. Not because I'm obviously angry with them, but because of the simple objective facts.
The first that went through my mind when we got bad news from the doctor was "Oh gosh, at least I am employed, and this company is going to support us". This is how they brainwash you. This is how they create an image of the family, team. "Welcome to the team" is the first thing you gonna hear when you join.
However, the first thing that's gonna go through your mind before you die gonna be their size-13 boot! They have an army of lawyers and soldiers who are willing to screw you over, managers who are eager to "make you accountable" for your words. I even got threats from anonymous users, they registered throw-away accounts and published our real names the first day this website went online!
One of the examples they screw you over is that they don't pay things that should be paid right away after the termination. I invited one of my best friends into the organization. My friend confirms that I referred him into the org. However, Atlassian refuses to pay the bonus. They say "We don't have a record of you making the referral" (exact quote from emails).
Well, folks, you gave me the notice and banned me out of everywhere in a matter of minutes. I had no chance to say "goodbye", you put me in awkward position and my co-workers think that I was slacking off for quite some time, while in reality I was taking care about my spouse after chemo, radiation, surgery (and I am still doing that).
Then you request "proof". You look for yourself and for some reason you don't have any records. While you have employee. And this is me who referred the employee, and that person confirms that. And now you refuse to pay? Ask your HRs: "Where did you find X.Y.?".
It was me who referred the friend to the organization, and you have to pay because you promised the bonus. I know you don't follow your promises, I know you brainwash through the roof, but this is an obvious one, c'mon. You simply can't hold it. And you have to pay ASAP.
This is a kind of shit you deal with in Atlassian. They will screw you over. Why? Because they can.
Pay fucking $5000, I'll buy 2 months of COBRA for that money! It's ridiculous you're refusing to pay to an ex-employee who is at the brink, with serious, serious health conditions to deal with. Why do you screw people that far, Mike? Why do you screw people that far, Scott? I don't have an answer.
Why do I have to go to the court and spend my time and money just getting this tiny little payment from you? If you need more info, don't ban me 10 minutes after the notice, so I can give you a proof.
Remember this: Atlassian is the worst company ever! You should avoid it at all costs. If you're still employed, run! Otherwise they will screw you over.
Atlassian still owes me:
- Bonus payment for referencing my friend in the organization - bonus not paid. Atlassian said "We don't have a record of you making the referral" and refused to pay. Very interesting position when you referred a friend to Atlassian, and s/he can confirm that, but no - there is no record in Atlassian. We can confirm employment, but don't know how we found this individual. This is just insane!
- Bonus payment for the previous financial year. Everyone who made it to the end of August if eligible.
- Payment for unused vacation. I'm going to fight them in the court. They said I have 20 days, they said it to everyone on our team. We gonna invite you folks, especially those of you who were in Statuspage team to the court, you will testify and confirm that. We'll notify you on class action lawsuit. For know, while (and if) you are employed, collect the evidence. More is better. See contact information below.
- My employment - they terminated me at the time when I could use the vacation I earned, at the time when I could use "30 days no questions asked" leave they say employees have, unlimited sick days they advertise employees have. They forced me into "working" while not approving vacation and other leaves.
How the real help looks like when you're dealing with cancer in Atlassian
I took FMLA, which is paid from my taxes. Atlassian can't prevent you from taking FMLA, it's illegal in United States.
Atlassian put me on 6-week Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) right after I got back from FMLA. They fired me being two weeks into PIP.
The only help I received from Atlassian is 10 days of PTO approval in one and a half years.
Lesson learned: no, they don't help at all. Nothing. Like literally N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Only partial PTO approval of 10 days was their "help". Am I supposed to be grateful for the 10 days of PTO approval while in reality I had earned 20+ days?
Severance package in Atlassian
Atlassian offered me 6 weeks of severance with conditions that 1) I don't sue them and 2) I will not share the truth about what had happened. You can imagine how families are desperate in Atlassian, and can take that money, while neo-feudals like Mike and Scott take advantage of their circumstances and silence them.
Lesson learned: Atlassian founders Mike and Scott build fake caring company culture while in reality they fail, try to hide it, and offer severance packages to silence people.
Issues I'm dealing with because of Atlassian
If I only knew I don't have benefits of PTO and Unlimited Sick Days as they advertised pretty much everywhere, I would have taken unpaid leave, or left the company, or most probably would have left the company well in advance before it all even started. The issue with them is that they lie so much, you never know where is the truth.
So now we have to deal with the second surgery at the end of the month. Probably something else is going to come up, short hospital stay, or nurse visiting us at home like it was before, and I will definitely need to buy COBRA. In case of a new employment and insurance I'll have to pay the second family max out of pocket in a year.
It's about money, maybe not too much for Mike and Scott, but when you're dealing with cancer you pay well above your insurance pays. Food supplies, for example, aren't covered. Uber for 30 days to the hospital while you're on radiation and back because you cannot drive. Extra colostomy bags so you can change them more frequently.
Atlassian introduced lots of levels of uncertainty and complications to our treatment, Atlassian the worst employer ever, because they're unpredictable. You never know what to expect.
Good news is that the prognosis is optimistic and we're recovering. I'm just blaming myself for being dumb enough to listen to what Mike says "No Atlassian should hesitate to put their well-being on us", dumb enough to trust their fake caring culture. Don't trust them.
Communication in Atlassian and about the only company value
They are aggressive while talking to you. Literally, they raise their voice, and use every chance to push you to the brink. For example, their manager S., said "Atlassian owes you nothing" - exact quote, when I was asking for PTO for multiple months, the PTO I earned. I think this is the real company value - "Atlassian owes you nothing".
When I tried to explain him what's going on, he said "this is not the answer, say yes or no, will you be able to be at work at all times?". I don't know where they found these interrogative techniques, they're definitely not educated and there is ZERO respect to employees, they do what they want and feel above the law.
Be sure that Atlassian top management is well aware of everything mentioned here. They people ops, top management knew all of that well in advance. They had opportunity to establish a healthy dialog. I put a lot of effort into explaining what's going on. I asked for their understanding, empathy, and compassion multiple times, in multiple meetings.
They just prefer the other way - intimidate, silence, raise their voice, disrespect, lie, and dispose you.
What other people think
Addressing these issues internally
If you ask Atlassian executives and raise the question about non-existing benefits, they might want to play this off and claim something like "this employee didn't want to take advantage of options provided to him", or "refused to take the leave we have", or "has long history of under-delivering". This is not true, don't trust them. If you're willing to hear the second side of the story, you can always reach out to me by email specified in the "Contact" section below.
You are encouraged to contact with what they say, and will honestly explain if it's true or false.
Class action lawsuit against Atlassian
Evidence shows that there is plenty of law violations in all countries. While you're in, collect the information that can be used in class action lawsuit. You need screenshots, notes after meetings with your managers, recordings (consult your lawyer first, recordings might be illegal, like in California, for example), emails. I'm happy to share the information I have with your lawyer and ready to cooperate. See contact information below.
Atlassian thinks they're above the law. However, evidence is creaming, and they will pay a big price for their consecutive and deliberate law violations.
Speak up and contribute!
Atlassian will never change unless we take action. As of today there is no apology, managers are still employed in the org, practices are all the same, nothing changed. Have your story? Don't hide it. It can be published right here, on this website. See contact information below. Please use throw-away email account if you want to remain anonymous.
Contributing has never been easier. Use your Notion client and keep your pages under your own control.
Links to other ex-Atlassian stories
You are not alone, share your story and we'll make them accountable for their actions, law violations, and irreversible damage they made to us and to our families.
- Quite interesting read, ex-Atlassian was a manager with a child, employment was terminated with the positive feedback received, confirming it is systemic issue. The document also reveals Atlassian management practices, like pushing people into Off Year so they can't leave a team - see here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lNfzJ9h2xAZW49Cd_anwm47sx9mEcG9ZV0aiG-cxmuQ/edit?usp=sharing
- 💥 Another ex-Atlassian says: I had also received an off year unfairly in 2017 from a manager named [name removed]. He called me "dishonest" for taking a sick day the day after I attended my old friend's funeral. I engaged HR red flagging this sociopathic behavior and all that occurred was a mediation meeting where [name removed] (forcefully) admitted his error and lack of empathy. The fact that a manager can make such a disgusting error in human relations and keep their job (and probably get a good performance review), yet an engineer can receive an off year at the drop of a hat from the same kind of manager speaks volumes about how Atlassian has become yet another victim to cold large company corporate culture. Miles away from its exciting startup roots, talking a charitable talk yet turning a blind eye to toxic behavior within... ...There seemed to be a correlation between the lack of presence in the company and the douche bag corporate management style that came when the line management layers increased. Each manager node allows the next to run their silo as they please under the radar, without decent quality assurance or peer review. In stark contrast to the scrutiny that engineers subject each other to via pull requests and pairing. People skills and ethics don't matter, it becomes a simple line management game of OKRs, metrics, and box ticking. More details about this one are coming soon...
Information for shareholders
Shareholders should take this seriously and should question if founders are capable leading the company of that size. Impact made by this single story is comparable to the most popular news about Atlassian in recent years, for example:
The second link is this story you're reading now. Soon it's going to be the number one story about Atlassian at all times, and the way how engineers and other people see the company.
What happened is not new nor sporadic. There are other employees who are willing to contribute.
The question should be raised immediately, and it should be addressed ASAP. The company is currently ignoring this information, toxic managers and practices are still in place.
Q & A
Some folks say the article should be read with grain of salt. It shouldn't. So I decided to put Q&As to clarify some points. Atlassian fella says:
They [meaning me - author of this story] forget to mention the 30 odd days of “no questions asked” special leave we got over the past 2 years.
^ This leave is a lie, I was never given an option of taking these 30 days of "no questions asked" special leave. It's a lie lie lie. I can't emphasize it more, it simply doesn't exist. Maybe it's somewhere in Confluence or Mike says that (c). There is just no such leave, I checked it for you, and now I'm out. I had wouldn't get terminated if Atlassian has such a leave. Some details from my setup are:
- End of FMLA - right before the first surgery (used my last days of FMLA)
- First surgery date - 8/30
- Job termination date - 9/15
If I only could have this 30 days of "no questions asked" leave approved, I wouldn't have got terminated at all. I'm adding this comment on 9/17, as you can see it's much less than 30 days.
This is a kind of lie you deal with in Atlassian. They say they have PTOs, Unlimited Sick Days, some kind of 30 days "no questions asked" leave. But in reality it's up to their approval. If they say it's there, you should know it for sure - probably it just doesn't exist. It's a lie.
The question you should ask yourself - if they advertise "unlimited sick days" and "unlimited PTO", why do they have "30 days of no questions leave" at all? They introduce these absurd perks to show fake love and trick folks into switching jobs and work for Atlassian.
If this leave exists, resume my employment right now, because my termination was wrongful. And if you're reading this text, my dear friend, my employment hasn't been resumed, and nobody even apologized.
Why didn't you simply quit when you found Atlassian doesn't treat you right?
You never know what to expect - they promised Unlimited sick days, they promised Unlimited PTO, they promised "30 days no questions asked" leave, but when you request a leave, your manager says "I will check with HR what we can do", and it turns out that we don't have it. This exact manager says that "Atlassian talk the talk, but don't walk the walk". I have confidence the manager will have no problem confirming that in a court, since lying in a court is a criminal offense. And not lying is just testifying against the company with no consequences.
Also, you hear how Atlassian advertise their coolness everywhere, internally and externally. See LinkedIn screenshots above, links are still active - you can check it yourself. Employees are sure the company will support them, but they're wrong about the company.
There are companies who support their employees, but Atlassian is not that company. I checked that for you. You can imagine how I regret joining Atlassian, and regret I was lured into the job by their false promises. My previous company is one of the companies who actually support people, and by sharing the story I hope the next person out there will make a right choice and will not join.
This dude didn't tell the other side of the story, the entire thing looks confusing
How am I supposed to tell the other side? They tried to silence me for a reason with a severance package knowing that in my critical circumstances I'd accept that. As for other side, we can hear it only from the other side. Also, I'm working on details of the story, so you have timeline and other info that will make things a little bit more clear. I had to put this website real quick to fight back. It's going to be better over the time, we'll hopefully hear the other side, and I will have a chance to comment.
I know all the people involved in this story and can tell you this is not a very fair account of what happened... the story as told is far from complete
I understand that the story which is presented here is incomplete to some degree. I highlighted critical points that are most important for folks who are in Atlassian and still believe their b/s, and who are outside of Atlassian and considering to join.
In 3 days (the domain registered 3 days ago) it's almost impossible for a single person to organize nine months of battling cancer, working and dealing with toxic managers, peopleops, HRs in the company. If you're willing more completeness, I will tell you what you feel when you deal with cancer.
One day, because of aggressive medication, half of the face of my beloved wife got paralyzed. You can imagine what feelings a woman can experience looking at the mirror.
The other day my wife said "It's so nice when you don't have nausea. So nice to have appetite again. It's like coming back to life again. I just love these days". She said that on Saturday, because she doesn't take any medication on weekends.
Another day one of the managers was saying how I am probably "taking advantage of the company". That night my spouse was vomiting all night, and I had no sleep, and had to work and fight again and again to get my PTOs approved.
Did you know that we were struggling with a weight loss, and couldn't afford to lose more than 5 pounds, because for us it would mean the end of the battle? At the time my manager said I can't get PTOs because we have deadlines.
Have you ever felt helpless, like you can't do anything, do you know how it feels? Will you ever be able to handle a fraction of that stress? How about adding another layer of Atlassian sauce to make this whole experience even worse.
Have you ever thought what happens when your loved one comes back home after chemo, and you have no right to get sick, but somehow you managed to get sick with high temperature and the only person who is not sick is your 7 year old child? You have no relatives in this country, and you don't have any support from the company you've worked for. Moreover, they're trying to terminate you.
Have you ever signed End-of-Life paperwork with a person you love? What if somebody at work at the same time says "what's your plan to be back senior engineer on the team?".
Have you ever dreamed of the end of a chemo treatment? Have you ever fucking celebrated that?
However, I encourage you, my friend to reach out from an anonymous email and let me know what is the next important thing I have to "accurate portray". I will do it for you, and if you know me personally, I will prioritize that. As of today nobody reached out to show where exactly this story is incomplete and what important details I am missing.
I think the gist is 1) wife got cancer 2) he took leave to help 3) he wanted to keep supporting / get more time off 4) company didn’t accept that, and moved to terminate. Seems pretty... normal? Not really sure what Atlassian is doing wrong here
Atlassian is lying. That's why you see Pinocchio theme with big noses here. "They talk the talk, but don't walk the walk" ← this is what one of my managers said, and he's on Atlassian side. I blame them for their lies. They tricked me into joining the organization with benefits that don't even exist. They promote benefits that do not exist. They pretty much made my shitty times of caregiving even more worse, terrible. They did damage to my mental health because of the lies. I will have to deal with that for years to come only because they lied.
It wouldn't be a problem if it's a fair game. Like, you got cancer - fuck you, goodbye. I would accept that. But saying that "take it easy bro, we'll take care of you" and terminating you when you're the most vulnerable... is beyond inhumane.
They have money and will sue you
I'm at the point when I'm selling my assets to support us, second car, taking money out of my 401k, and other accounts. At the moment my bank account is almost empty, much less than what I had when I relocated to United States, and I had only $9k back then. My pants is what they can possibly get. You're pretty much broke when you have serious medical issues in the US. You're in debt and highly likely will go bankrupt.
How's you wife doing?
Thanks for asking. With this kind of disease you can't really tell long-term. However, the prognosis is optimistic for a stage 3 cancer. There is (hopefully) one surgery left at the end of the month, which (I don't want to downplay the surgery, but) shouldn't be hard - this is what doctors say. And hopefully, it's going to be it, the end of the treatment (and start of maintenance mode).
Atlassian fired me right before the end of my setup of failure. The next month or so we plan and hope to start living our normal lives.
I’m a current P5 SWE at Atlassian... They forget to mention (or I missed) the 30 odd days of “no questions asked” special leave we got
You are brainwashed by Atlassian. All leaves are up to their policies that exist as editable pages in Confluence, they add whatever they want and will not notify you about that. So I really hope you're subscribed to these pages and always have the latest information.
"No questions asked" is another lie, and here is why. Once you have FMLA (it's a leave that is paid by your taxes, and Atlassian can't deny this leave because it's the law in United States), they start calling all other leaves as "Vacay Your Way" (see email screenshot above). And this definition is quite vague, they are free to interpret it as they want.
For example, you just had your PTO, and you're coming back and saying I want this leave. They say - "oh, this is Vacay Your Way, fuck you". It happened to me with FMLA, which is not vacation. And this "no questions asked" leave is not vacation as well. I don't know how they call it "Vacay Your Way", but they actually do.
So it's you who thinks that there are some leaves in the company. They feed you with the b/s brainwashing "no questions asked" label. In reality it means that they will do what they want and they will screw you over. Because they have policies, and they invent these policies, and they interpret these policies as they want, and they're free to edit these policies as they want without letting you know.
Maybe these leaves are for managers, or their friends. Remember, my manager took 30 days of PTO when (right at the same time) I was told that we have deadlines and we can't approve you any PTO despite the fact you haven't been taken any for more than a year.
This employee has a long history of under-delivering
Big lies. I imagine they can say it to justify termination, so I decided to clarify this point in advance in case they pull out this card. Ask yourself, how you can keep an employee who has a "long" history of underdelivering for a few years and terminate his/her employment right at the moment between surgeries? It's not only cruel, but nonsense.
I remember somewhere right before "bad news" I asked my manager about the impact I made. I've been working on architecture of their Slack bot for managing incidents. I did four iterations and rolled out architecture in my free time, doing this work on weekends. Repositories are still there in Atlassian BitBucket (you can check yourself if you have access). Each repo is the architecture work and design about how things should work. You will see I was working on those on weekends.
My manager said "To be honest I don't remember anyone ever did this before". I was determined to make the impact, because I loved my work so much. I could have never imagined they are such a jerks.
Here is another example of "under-delivery". I asked my manager, Jasper (name changed):
- How would you estimate the work of other engineers you know on the scale from 1 to 10? - 7 he said - How would you estimate my work from 1 to 10? - 7 - What about yourself? - 8
At least, I've been working like everyone else, probably like yourself. Individuals tend to overestimate the work they do, so when my manager said 7 for every other person, it was probably at least somewhere between 8-9.
There was no under delivery, everything I said can be proved by questioning people, source code repositories are still there. Probably were never taken into account while reporting my "performance", because in Atlassian the more points of work you deliver is better. They track you everyone, and I will tell you a story about that.
This employee multiple times confirmed and even requested job termination
I imagine how managers can cover up each other lies, so this is another point they will probably make. Let me act first.
I did not request job termination, and didn't put my notice or resignation letter. I had a feeling that Atlassian is going to terminate my employment. And my manager said that he spoke to HR about the termination of my employment. I heard that few weeks before the actual termination date. But I never requested my termination.
Atlassian management was well aware of my circumstances, upcoming surgeries, latest updates about the health of my spouse. Pretty much every 1-1 meeting they asked "How's your wife doing?". Thanks for asking and using this information to terminate my employment at the moment when I was the most vulnerable, taking care of my spouse when she wasn't even able to stand by her own.
The reason they offered "severance package" I rejected is another confirmation for folks who are in doubt.
We offered severance package the employee rejected
I had 20 days of unused PTO, so why should I accept the solution that was initially humiliating? Why founders said we have Unlimited PTO, Unlimited Sick Days, 30 days "no question leave" and you never ever approved anything of that? INSTEAD YOU WANTED TO SILENCE ME WITH 6 WEEKS SEVERANCE PACKAGE, WHILE I HAD ENOUGH PTO TO COVER THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER, THE MOST DIFFICULT MONTH OF THE TREATMENT WHEN MY SPOUSE WAS NOT ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF HERSELF BY HER OWN.
The next thing is that Atlassian put me on some kind of 6-week improvement plan, and terminated me 2 weeks into that. Why would you ever do that to a person, except for humiliating her/him? Everyone involved will burn in hell, I have no words to explain how cruel and bizarre it is.
It seems like the person has experience with a toxic manager, my manager is cool
Not true at all. My manager, Ricardo (name changed) was a pretty chill person. He tried his best to help (well, to some degree), but he wasn't able to. He spoke to top Atlassian's executives, including PeopleOps, and his own manager. And it's scary, because no matter how cool your manager is, practices are all the same across the organization. It's him who said about Atlassian "They talk the talk, but don't walk the walk". Read it again: managers see Atlassian this way, not only me.
Btw, I had had 4 managers in Atlassian. Some of them were cool, and some of them were nightmare. All the cool managers I knew don't work in the organization anymore. While toxic managers (for example, Bittersean M. - name changed) are still there and (as my intelligence reported) want to make me "accountable" for my words. Well, you can't make anyone accountable for the truth.
Worst Company Ever vs Atlassian
Let's compare imaginary Worst Company Ever and Atlassian. What would Worst Company Ever do?
For example, Worst Company Ever: terminates you while you're taking care of your loved one(s) fighting deadly decease.
What Atlassian does? The same, but they ask you "How's your wife doing?", and they terminate you when you're the most vulnerable - at the time between the two most important surgeries.
Worst Company Ever: puts you on PIP (performance improvement plan) while you're fighting with cancer.
Atlassian: puts you on 6-week PIP while you're fighting with cancer and terminates you two weeks into the performance improvement plan with words "we don't think anything is gonna change".
Worst Company Ever: terminates you.
Atlassian: terminates you and uses your PTO money for a severance package to silence you.
Worst Company Ever: hates you.
Atlassian: pretends they're your friend until you face life issues, disposes you when you struggle.
Worst Company Ever: creates toxic work environment.
Atlassian: creates fake caring company culture while not fulfilling any of their "caring" promises (talk the talk, but don't walk the walk).
Don't stop here
Spread the word, spread the information online, use #shitlassian along with #atlassian hash tags. When you ever see the pictures of founders, don't hesitate do fix the images with drawing them all big noses for their lies, lack of empathy and compassion.
Links online, upvote if you can:
https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/prc3gy/shitlassian_how_atlassian_fired_me_because_my/ - /r/progamming subreddit (thanks for submitting to /r/programming despite the moderator ban in ~5 hours!)
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28555480 - (thanks for submitting to HN)
https://www.teamblind.com/post/QtG3QPBT - original post
Downvote if you can:
https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Atlassian-Reviews-E115699.htm - Atlassian Glassdoor rating is 4.6, and it shouldn't be above 2
https://jacobinmag.com/2021/06/atlassian-big-tech-software-cyber-taylorism-future-of-work - "Atlassian’s Vision for the Future of Work Is a Cyber-Taylorist Nightmare"
Contact information for class action lawsuit and media requests
Contact us at shitlassian at protonmail.com
9/15 - initial version
9/16 - added chapter about employment law violations in Atlassian
9/16 - added gaslighting chapter
9/16 - added chapter about severance package in Atlassian
9/16 - added few comments about what other people think (usernames masked)
9/17 - added class action lawsuit chapter
9/17 - added termination in Atlassian chapter
9/17 - added issues I'm dealing with because of Atlassian
9/17 - added some external links
9/17 - added Q&As
9/18 - added contact details
9/18 - added fuck you people of color in Atlassian
9/19 - added links to other ex-Atlassian stories
9/20 - updated links to other ex-Atlassian stories
9/20 - make contributing so much easier, add instructions on how to contribute
9/22 - Atlassian refused to pay engineer signup bonus, so I referred them my best friend for free. Added "Atlassian won't hesitate to screw you over" chapter.
9/23 - Clarified Atlassian's "no questions asked" leave in Q&A (spoiler: brainwashing and doesn't exist in reality)
9/23 - Started working on pages like Working at Atlassian so the website is easier to discover from search engine result pages.
9/23 - Added "information for shareholders" section
9/24 - Clarified my under-delivery, because it's very easy for them to say I was under-delivering for quite a while. It is not true, the only reason they fired me is because of the cancer. You are disposable once you or your loved one gets sick.
9/24 - Updates to working at Atlassian page
9/25 - Added more Q&A so they can't use made up points
9/27 - Add chapter comparing Worst Company Ever and Atlassian.
9/29 - Added latest news
9/30 - Clarified "but my manager is cool" point in Q&A
* * * That's not it, folks. More to come. I have lots of other information, and will release more details soon * * *
Latest information about Atlassian: