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Culture Hacking: NetDNA’s Big Bear Trip
This year, the Dev Team took a retreat to Big Bear Lakes, a beautiful mountain resort 2 hours outside Los Angeles. It's a chance for everyone to meet face-to-face, hack and brainstorm ideas, and have a great time. Our remote team flew into NetDNA HQ from around the world: San Francisco, New York, Argentina and the Philippines. The ensemble included Taylor, Chris, Eamonn, Justin K, Don, Taro, Karlo, Danny, Lou, Stephen, Susan and Justin D.
SUNDAY - PREPARING
We started with the mandatory food run at Walmart: chips, beer, redbull & monster energy drinks, salsa, taco shells, spaghetti, cereal, pop tarts and granola bars. $350 later and we had food for the week.
After finishing some last-minute logistics (getting the keys for the condo and creating a schedule), Chris, Danny & Justin K drove up to the house to set up.
Monday morning, a few cars ventured East: Don, Eamonn/Stephen, and Justin/Karlo/Taro. As everyone arrived, beds were picked and house rules laid down. Justin and Chris ran off to the market to grab cold cuts, while Lou brought a freshly-caught fish to us.
The afternoon was spent setting up our dev environments and hacking on nearly every part of the business. Come dinner, we had a barbeque, relaxed with pool and poker, and finished up the night with one of our favorite team-building games.
Don & Taro spent the morning fishing, unfortunately it wasn't as fruitful as Don's expedition the day before. TJ arrived at the house, after his Thanksgiving break, and Justin D did some emergency internet maintenance with the help of Radio Shack, replacing the router at the house. On the development end, we updated CDNPanel™ 3, the new MaxCDN design, EdgeRules™ with conditionals, and began work on the statistics update. After launching integrated search (via swiftype), it was time for fish & tacos. The evening was relaxing and played out like the day before: pool, poker, and drinking games to keep us occupied. Check out a few screenshots of the updates, below:
With Girl Talk bumping in the background, we spent the day in outdoor activities, racing around the go-cart tracks and ziplining through the mountain passes. We capped it off with an Italian-style dinner, a few more games, and Mafia till 4 AM (not quite the trust-building game, but a blast nevertheless).
Note to self: we need to stay an extra day next time! In the morning, we packed up and were on the road by 11am. We didn't get far before stopping to take photos -- the clouds rolling down the mountainside were spectacular.