Engineering Offsite 2013 - Day 2

by Weston Jossey in

Day 2 from the Tapjoy offsite!

Every week, we take time out to either plan our upcoming two week "sprint" cycle (don't be thrown off by the wording there, I'd hardly call what we do SCRUM), or we take some time to checkpoint where we are in our progress.  This week was a full planning day, which meant a lot of team collaboration, organizing themes for the upcoming two weeks, and making sure we were aligning behind core technology and product innovations.

There's a reason why we take planning so seriously, and why we are constantly re-evaluating our own process. Our planning process is meant to facilitate efficiency during the rest of the cycle, by reducing the number of roadblocks while engineers are focusing on building, optimizing, and shipping.  Outsiders may look at our planning days as a waste of time, but we view them as time optimizers.  It's easy to fall into patterns where you're constantly iterating and working, but you're never taking a step back to truly look at what you're trying to accomplish.  That's the purpose of our planning days.  That's why we take them so seriously.

The planning day for the offsite was made a bit more special by the fact that we were all able to collaborate in one room.  There were engineers floating in and out of meetings they normally would have never been a part of, and they gained useful insights into what other teams are working on and building.  It was also an opportunity for more ad-hoc conversations to happen around long term goals, visions for where teams want to go, and what we as colleagues can do to help one another.

We ended the evening in downtown Santa Rosa watching the Red Sox vs. Cardinals game.  We have a large contingent of Boston natives and transplants as part of our Boston office, so needless to say there were a lot of eyes glued to big screen TVs all evening.  There was even a moment where one of our colleagues wandered off into the streets, and ended up joining a band practice (not joking) via his amazing trumpet skills.  Check out the video below, that really is our colleague playing the trumpet.