Success! Check your email

Error! submit again

Taking Coding to the Mountains

The source{d} engineers enjoyed a wonderful experience these last days of summer: spending two days in a country house, far away from the madding crowds, to participate in an Open Source Hackaton. The venue, a beautiful villa located in Guadalix de la Sierra– promised both a nice place to work, as well as lots of fun in the spare time.

Day One: Arrival and Kickstart

Curro and Carlos were our early birds. They were the first ones to arrive there, and kindly arranged everything with the housekeepers. Máximo, Marge and myself arrived some minutes later with the food. Phil, Dani, Miguel, Vasco and Rachel made their appearance shortly afterwards. We were only missing Guillermo –whose GPS didn’t seem to like Guadalix very much, and made him drive around the town twice.

Phil T. chilling in the sun shortly upon arrival.

The first surprise of the day was confirming that we were indeed far away from the big city: the Internet connection had the capacity of a 56kbps modem! After spending some minutes trying to figure out the problem, we resigned ourselves to using our phone connections –which luckily had good signal!

After Máximo’s (source{d}’s CTO) introduction, the brainstorming round started with everyone contributing their ideas. Prior to lunch, we chose the most suitable ideas for the Hackathon and formed the teams.

Dani (aka Mr. Developer) discussing his ideas for the Hackaton.

By the time we decided which projects were going to be developed it was already lunchtime. We had a nice meal with some snacks, including cheese, ham and tortilla!

With full stomachs and renewed strengths, the newly-formed teams exposed the scope of their selected ideas. The projects covered a range of topics: from improving open source tools (such as MoleJS, proudly created and maintained by our frontenders Miguel and Phil) to creating a signaling mechanism for the source{d} daemons.

With the teams formed and the plans explained, it was time to get to work! It was a nice workplace this sunny but rather chilly afternoon –at least until we discovered how to make the heating work!

Carlos hard at work.

Before dinner we had a Docker talk. Curro initiated us in this awesome technology that we intensively use at source{d}. Since we were a little behind schedule, we only had time for a couple of questions, but the talk was quite revealing anyways!

Curro explaining some interesting Docker-related concepts.

And finally, the long-awaited spare time! It was barely 30 minutes before dinner, but it was appreciated after a fully-packed, productive day. Some of us just chilled for a bit, some of us took a shower, and Phil went straight to prepare… the barbecue!

Chorizo and lamb ribs were among the tasty things slowly grilled on the fire. After dinner, Vasco mastered a role-playing game that had us laughing for almost an hour, and even though some of us still had strength for some more beers, most part of the troop went straight to bed to get some rest.

Curro clearly enjoying his after dinner beer.

Day Two: Final Lap and Farewell

Alarm clocks were set at 9:00am. Sleepy faces, occupied bathrooms and instant coffee were the stars of our breakfast, which lasted one hour. By 10:00am all eyes were on the laptops. We only had a few hours to go and there was still a lot of work to get done.

In the blink of an eye, lunch-time was there, and we stopped briefly to have some pizza. Under normal circumstances everyone would be back at work in no-time, but for some reason (my bet is on the nice weather) the action started moving to the pool and the backyard.

The sun accompanied us both during and after lunch.

By the time someone plunged into the pool, it was clear that we were making a quick break to enjoy the nice weather.

Some of us even dared to swim in cold water.

We spent the last couple of hours working in quiet places while giving the last brushstrokes to our projects.

Rachel and Marge working while enjoying the bright sun.

Dani, Rachel and Vasco comfortably working from one of the many couches.

And finally, the moment of truth arrived. Máximo called ‘hands off’ the laptops, and we gathered in the living room to showcase our achievements.

After the teams demoed the results, it was clear that most of what was planned had been achieved! The Hackaton had been a great success.

Laptop wearing a pair of fashionable bunny ears we found lying around.

Sadly, some of us had to leave briefly after the closing session, but I’m most certain that the stronghold of party-lovers had lots of fun throughout the second night!

We can only hope that the next retreat is not so far away! We developed great ideas, and had lots of fun. It is clear that source{d} has amazing people, which shows not only within the walls of the office, but also… anywhere in the world!**

Success! Check your email

Error! submit again