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Code Climate Bali Retreat Part 1

The entire 10 person Code Climate team travels to Bali for an adventure.

company, people, process, retreat,

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.

a cloudy sky
A lovely partly cloudy sky towards Honk Kong.

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.

The long house
The Longhouse Jimbaran where we stayed the entire time. The infinity pool was spectacular.

Snorkeling

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.

bali street
The roads in Bali are a little crazy, only the drivers are crazier.
vw surfing van
In the parking lot there was an awesome VW surfer van that looked right out of a movie.

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.

on a boat
Some of the Code Climate team on our way to a pontoon to snorkel.

After snorkeling we went back on land and jumped in a little truck to drive around the island.

lembongan
Traveling around Lembongan when we arrived at this nice vista.

We came across a seaweed farm which we were told is used in cosmetics.

sea weed farm
A seaweed farm on Lembongan island.
seaweed drying
Seaweed drying on tables.
Looking down the street in Lembongan
Looking down the street on Lembongan island.
unloading sand
Unloading sand on Lembongan island from the mainland.
Crusing
Locals and tourists crusing down local roads.
Seaweed farm
Seaweed farms up close in the bay at Lembongan island.

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.

crushing sambal
Making some delicious gado-gado back at hq.
crushing sambal and veggies
Mixing the veggies to finish the gado-gado.

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.

code climate starting work
Code Climate team getting started working for the first time in Bali.
lecturing
Bryan breaking down some product direction and scope to set context for our retreat.
guns and glory
Guns and glory...guns and glory.

Night Festivities

Our dinner that night featured a fish BBQ with a local orchestra and dancers for entertainment.

flowers
Flowers arranged all over the ground in preparation of the festivities.
sparkle
Beth enjoying the illumination of her sparkler.
sparkle
Local kids getting into the sparkler action before performing later.
sitting for dinner
Sitting in preparation for dinner.
chow
Chow down with some grilled fish and prawns.
bali band
Many Balinese men start the music for the performance.
dancing ladies
Dancing ladies start the local version of the prince and the frog.
frogs
Local kids play the parts as frogs. They obviously had a lot of fun since none of them could stop giggling.
sad frog
The frog was distraught since the princess had to kiss the frog and she was not game for it yet.
the bad guy
The bad guy shows up at some point but I forget the order. He does a lot of shouting. His mask really pulls it all together.
dance jr
JR's "search and seizure" dance was a nice new addition.
noah dancing
Noah's folded fan is obvlously a key piece of his interpretation of the local dance.
code climate team
The entire Code Climate team together for the first time.