My team is having a meetup this week in New Zealand. I have been wanting to here for years so you can imagine my excitement! I was the first person to land from my team in Auckland so I had some time to reign in my excitement. It wasn’t even light out but I was buzzing with enthusiasm just being there. After the panic that is customs, I made it through in less than a minute! After that, it was a waiting game as each team member showed up. I worked. I read. I people watched. I found this cool sign on each seat in the waiting area I hung out at:

The time flew by and by the time the team came together we fell into a groove.

Other than driving on the other side of the road, New Zealand is a fairly modern and calm place thus far. There are more Victorian style houses than I’ve ever seen and they all are in great shape. Overall, I really enjoy it here.

With day one filled with traveling, we all went to the grocery store to stock up on food. For some reason, I’ve noticed that we tend to go in a group places even if the task only involves 1-2 people max. I think this speaks to all of us recognizing that this time together is precious time. At the grocery store, I found a few gems pictured below:

came all the way here for something from SF
notice which sports are listed!

Day two consisted of a code retreat exercise where we did pair programming to help create the Game of Life. We had 45 minutes to do so and at the end of each sessions we had to completely delete our code( see my post on the psychology of deleting things to understand how painful this was.) While it wasn’t fun deleting all your hard work, it did give you the freedom to start anew and rethink how you coded things before vs a possibly better way to do so. Half the time, I was paired with a developer and the other half of the time I was with another Happiness Engineer. At first, I was very nervous about this exercise but soon found each session only helped me understand things in a new and more effective way. I can’t say I know how to program it from scratch but I can say I learned more than one new thing today. Overall, it was also really wonderful to work with my teammates and to be taught my another coworker. We learned different approaches as well as how to adapt to certain limitations. Not only was everyone so impressive skill wise, they were also incredibly patient and hilarious throughout.

To end this entire day of coding, we went and got burgers at Murder Burgers. Yes – that’s actually the name of it and it was delicious.

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