Last week, twelve Atlassians flew to Austin, TX for SXSW and dressed up as bugs to promote our Bug Rehabilitation Program (BURP) and meet customers. This blog is a re-cap of our fun campaign.

Since JIRA – Atlassian’s bug tracker – exploded onto the scene, software bugs everywhere have been put out of work. The release of JIRA 5 caused such a dramatic spike in the bug unemployment rate that Atlassian decided to offer a rehabilitation program for the little guys. Hunting and killing bugs seemed so cruel in this terrible job economy. Why not reprogram bugs to help the software development community?

Meet Gary, the newest member of the Atlassian team.

Gary started off as an infinite loop and is now being trained by Atlassian developers to code in the bug-free world that Atlassian JIRA has created. Watch as Gary and his bug-buddies assimilate to life at Atlassian.

Reward if found!

“Teaching bugs to have a strong work ethic hasn’t been easy,” says Jon Silvers, Director of Community Marketing at Atlassian. “Last Friday, none of them showed up to work. We decided to track their physical whereabouts via Twitter and discovered that Gary and the new bug hires had flown to Austin, TX for SXSW 2012.”

Over the past week, the Atlassian bugs checked-in around Austin, TX while talking about JIRA, handing out limited-edition Atlassian swag, and getting to know their peers in the software world. Turns out the bugs were a huge hit, although we had to teach Gary to stop eating from the compost bin.

Help Us Help Gary

While SXSW is over, the bug rehabilitation program is just getting started. By tracking the physical location of our growing group of Atlassian Bugs, you can help Gary and his buddies stay in-line in an office environment and – more importantly – win prizes. Check out our bug tracking page here