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Monday, June 6, 2011

Snapshots of the ThoughtWorks NA Away Day

I spent the weekend with most of my North American ThoughtWorks colleagues at an event called the "North American Away Day."  It was a pretty overwhelming experience, overall, but here were some highlights for me:
  • Filming a ThoughtWorks "It Gets Better" video with LGBT friends and allies in a beautiful gully outside the St. Charles, Illinois, venue.  Rajiv Mathew kindly shot the video--he is amazing. (photo courtesy of Chris Stevenson).

  • Meeting Christopher Atkins again, and finding out about his blog.  Check out this beautiful Tufte-quality graph depicting the value of agile methods. 

  • Hearing Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! speak--she is the most amazing speaker I have ever experienced.  If you're sitting around feeling depressed and worried that we don't have any independent press any more, she's way ahead of you, and thank God for that.
  • Finding out about OpenMRS, an organization creating a software platform to be used to track medical records (rather than some old Access database) -- it is used all over the world!
  • Seeing colleagues recreate the "Yes Dance" Youtube video during the (3+ hour!) talent show on Saturday night.  I'm pretty sure we all spent the weekend "Yessing too hard."  (Pretty sure that a whole week of this would kill me!) (Photo stolen from Ethan Teng)
    • Wearing a false mustache and dancing onstage for the talent show with collegues at ThoughtWorks Studios (sincerely hoping that photos of this do NOT surface--but it's significant consolation to know that the mustache will protect my identity)
    ThoughtWorks is an amazing company, and not just because the people are brilliant software development practitioners.  What a privilege to work here.