Last week I had the pleasure of attending Cxense's annual R&D and Product Management All Hands meeting in Samara, Russia.
We were 70+ people in attendance with over 30 of us travelling to Samara from overseas. Samara is the sixth largest city in Russia, situated in the southeastern part of European Russia on the Volga River, the longest river in Europe.
Each team presented their key projects, deliverables and future plans. Topics ranged from matching modes and gRPC vs. JSON/REST to batch processing, roadmap updates and the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) initiative.
Conversations and discussions spilled over into the breaks as plans for follow up meetings were being made.
Being a distributed R&D and Product Management organization with colleagues based in Russia, the US, Norway and Finland, getting a chance to spend time together in person – and getting to know each other – is a key element to having an all hands meeting.
And on the first night it was all hands on deck literally as the group headed out for a team dinner on the Volga River.
All hands on deck: Cruising the Volga
Yes, being distributed is an extra element that can make it harder for team members to work together – with different cultures, languages and timezones – but it's always easier to connect when you've experienced a sunset together.
Sunset on the Volga.