Last week, the ReCharge Development Team flew to Portland, Oregon for their Q3 retreat. This trip was an opportunity for our dispersed engineers to work together—and also have fun together.
The team traveled from all over the world (California, Colorado, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, just to name a few). After everyone arrived, we checked out each AirBnB house to see what kind of Portland experience each group would be getting.
Tuesday began with a review of the team’s priorities for the remainder of Q3 into Q4. The managers prioritized goals around three main features. Afterwards, the team groomed the features out into manageable projects with Epics and User Stories. Finally, Paul Robertson wrapped up the session with an overview on how work can be distributed between servers.
Later that evening, we attended a Haunted Brewery Crawl that took us through the streets of Portland. We got to take in the history of the city’s troublesome past while sipping local beers and looking at what might have been mobile photos of ghosts. Maybe.
On Wednesday, the team discussed some important updates to the squad structure and how urgent issues will be triaged. In order to help with scaling, several members of the team received promotions: Corey Capetillo was promoted to lead of the frontend team, Lucas Zallio was promoted to the lead of backend, and Brad Rowe was promoted to lead the QA team.
After the important announcements and lunch, the team reconvened for a hike through beautiful Forest Park. One of the great things about the city of Portland is its surrounding nature. Walking through the park, it’s sometimes hard to believe the bustling city is just a quick drive away.
The last full day of the retreat consisted of a learning session for the developers. Everyone was encouraged to partner up and ask questions about roles or parts of our application that they were not familiar with. Since we’re a remote company, having these opportunities to work together are priceless.
Our last team outing was at the Nossa Familia Coffee Roastery. We took a tour of the facility and learned about their farm-to-cup coffee production. We even got the chance to do a “cupping”, where we smelled and sampled several different types of their coffee. After getting our caffeine fix, we finished the day with dinner at Stammtisch—a restaurant with traditional German foods. We all toasted to a great retreat and a successful next quarter working together.