by Salva

Team Off-Site

“Taking place or located away from the site, as of a particular activity”

This is a brief review of what we did last week in Barcelona.

The idea was born because some of us bought Baruco (@baruco) tickets and like other years we were going to spend the whole week in Barcelona. While planning the trip, we thought that it could be a great opportunity to meet and spend some time together, the ones attending and the ones not attending the conference, and more now that some of us work remotely.

The Place

We were looking for an apartment with at least 6 beds, one for each of us and enough space to work comfortably. Finally, we rented this ‘curious’ apartment in Airbnb which has 5 rooms with 6 beds, a big table and a golden column in the middle of the living room. Yes, you have read it, a golden column.

Goldemn column in apartment
Goldemn column in apartment

The apartment is located in the district of Gracia, which is very close to the center of the city. A fantastic spot where quickly reach other parts of the city using the public transport. Apart from that, Gracia has a big cultural and gastronomic offer.

The Work

We didn’t change the daily routine, we were working as any other week. The only difference was that we shared a big table and/or sofa all together. It allowed us to learn and talk about different topics related with our daily work and interests.

We even invited a nice guy we met at the supermarket to work with us ;P

Nice guy we met at the supermarket
Nice guy we met at the supermarket

The After Work

Barcelona is a city full of people and things to do. We wanted to enjoy its life and meet people of the tech community there.

The first day we decided to take a walk through the district of Gracia where we had dinner at a typical Catalonian restaurant. We tasted the characteristic ‘Butifarra del país’ sandwiches and had a nice beer.

On tuesday we met our old mate Grzegorz (@arnvald). He worked with us 2 years ago, while he was studying in Valencia as part of the Erasmus exchange program. At this moment, he is a nomadic programmer so he told us the amazing adventures and situations that he has experienced since he started his trip on January. If you want to know more about him and what a nomadic programmer is about, he gave a very interesting lightning talk at Baruco. Apart from Grzegorz, we met new and some other well known people in Barcelona with whom we exchanged experiences and interests.

Delicious Vietnamese, Japanese or typical Spanish are other kinds of food we tasted around the district of Gracia. You can find the list of places we visited in Foursquare.

On Thursday and Saturday we enjoyed the Barcelona nightlife. The pre-conference party was held in ‘Fàbrica Moritz’, where we could drink Moritz, a pretty popular local beer. ‘El barri del Raval’ o ‘Les rambles’ are other places where we hanged out.

Baruco party
Baruco party

As well as visiting and meeting people, we had nice conversations about different topics like money investments or future life plans.

Another thing we shared was our culinary skills. Each day one of us was in charge of preparing some food. Salads, meat or maccheroni were some of the “exquisite” stuff we could enjoy.

The Conference

Baruco was quite interesting this year. As usual, it had a mix of technical and philosophical talks, which gave dynamism to the conference.

Fifteen talks made the conference. From Matz (@yukihiro_matz), talking about the details that make the mruby Ruby interpreter (mruby) an interesting option for embedded systems, to @juliancheal playing (fighting a bit too) with different kinds of “robots” (he danced with drones).

You can find more information about the conference in Baruco web page and the slides.

Working and living this week together brought the benefit of being able to interact closely and discover new things about the people with whom we work every day. So visit Barcelona, Thailand or just go out and hang out, but the most important thing is to spend some quality time with your teammates.