Three times a year, Code Climate gets together for a company retreat. Our last company retreat was in San Diego where we onboarded 3 new developers to the team. That went so well, we decided to make the next one literally as far away as possible, Bali.
Company retreats are a great way to bring our distributed team together for some good face to face time. Building trust and empathy as a team happens much faster when we are all experiencing new things together. First, we needed to get everyone to Bali which was no small task when you consider where the entire team lives:
Traveling and Arriving
Everyone had an uneventful trip through the clouds. The clouds even arranged themselves to look like a painting.
Once we landed in Bali we headed to our hotel, The Longhouse Jimbaran. We found the hotel from our friend Colin from Customer.io, who rented office space from us in NYC. His parents own the hotel and were so great to us the entire trip. The view from the main terrace provided a nice view over Denpasar.
Our first day in Bali had only half of the crew, so we went Snorkeling on Lembongan island. We drove to the docks and hopped on a boat. The drive was an event, since there aren't many enforced laws regarding driving in Bali.
Snorkeling on Lembongan island is interesting to say the least. Imagine Six Flags Great Adventure goes to the coral reef. You jump onto a pontoon boat with about 40 other people. You line up for a ride on a banana boat or jump out into the reef with some goggles on.
They feed the fish with bread, which isn't great for the wildlife, but that makes the fish very attentive to humans in the water. The good news is that even with all the human activity the reef appears to be good health from what I could see.
After snorkeling we went back on land and jumped in a little truck to drive around the island.
We came across a seaweed farm which we were told is used in cosmetics.
Back at HQ
The locals make really kick ass sambal by grinding peppers and the like in a stone basin. Plop some veggies in there and you have a meal.
The Start of Work
Having everyone in the same location is a luxury, so we worked through the difficult business of planning our work until the end of the year. The Longhouse provided a nice open air space with a pool that made the day go by quickly and efficiently.
Our dinner that night featured a fish BBQ with a local orchestra and dancers for entertainment.