So we’re back from the company meeting which took place last week in Hurghada, Egypt. It was a great opportunity to meet a lot of people for the first time in person to work together and have some fun.
Because of charter flight schedule this was rather long meeting – we had whole week in the Egypt in 5 star all inclusive resort (FYI: It is nowhere near European/American 5 stars in terms of quality or price). We had work sessions for 4.5 days, One day we took full day excursion to Luxor and another half a day we took introductionary diving and snorkeling tour. Some of us having late plane departure got almost another day to relax on the beach.
If you’re wondering about budget we tried to keep it at just over 1000$ per person which varied a bit depending on cost of travel, such as travel from Krakow or Novosibirsk was surely expensive than from Kiev and Moscow.
Being visitor on plenty of conferences and now involved in organizing one I can tell it is quite a challenging job, even having under 20 attendees. It took a lot of time to purchase the trip from 3 different locations and when it took a lot of time and effort running around to organize various issues. Happily we had Michael doing most of the running otherwise we barely could be able to have any meaningful work done.
Arrival day and day after were especially erratic. Our Russian group plane departure was moved from 8:00 to 18:00 and then further delayed couple of hours do they arrived late at night so it was hard to start early in the morning. Also it turned out our Ukrainian tour organizer who booked conference room for us did not communicated that to the hotel, so we did not get it until 12:00 when hotel manager woke up.
Another fun stuff was Internet connection. The room which was sold as having wireless Internet did not have any Internet and wireless Internet worked only in the lobby and not in the room and was extremely expensive (10EUR per hour per person, with 1 hour “card” being maximum you could buy).
We had one laptop with extremely good wireless card which allowed to pick up the signal from another hotel and we brought wireless router with us so we could organize wireless Internet for us. We also could negotiate better bulk price for a week from wireless provider.
During weekend when this all was happening Internet was quite decent however during week day business hours we were pleased with over huge packet loss and pings over 1000ms for most of the time, so it was not easy to work besides emails and (sometimes) instant messaging.
In the end it was very good idea to have Alexey Kovyrin to cover us for Urgent cases while we were not available.
So we had some fun time and fun challenges to overcome together and I would call it quite successful meeting.
We had bunch of good internal presentations on topics such as Mercurial version control system, Sphinx, LVM, Web Application Securities which will be published soon.
More pictures are to be uploaded soon but for now you can take a look at gallery by Aurimas, our underwater photographer.
P.S Some people would likely wonder which hotel we went to. It is Iberotel Makadi Beach