Jul 26, 2006

Holiday Retro - Day 1

I've finally sorted through the 4,700 photos we took during the holiday and now I can finally start posting a few select shots and putting a bit of a summary together.

Day 1: Travelling from Sydney to Vancouver.

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The morning started as you would expect with last minute packing and the final shove of things into suitcases. We got a lift to the airport and had a little bit of a fairwell snack with the family before heading off.

The girls we're both excited about the flight, especially at the prospect of the inseat entertainment :-) and settled down quickly, but any flight that goes from Sydney to Vancouver and takes about 17 hours to complete is going to be a bit tedious at times.

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Qantas/San Francisco Airport didn't really help either. Even though the flight was sold as a direct flight to Vancouver it still involved getting off the plane in San Francisco, going through US immigration, going out through security, walking around the airport and back through security with all our baggage, going through more security screening and then sitting for 10 mintues in the gate lounge before boarding again. Doing that with 2 very tired kids, confused Qantas instructions and long security queues is a real pain in the neck.

Anyway, we eventually arrived in Vancouver, picked up the rental from Avis and then proceeded to try and find our hotel. We were to stay at the Times Square Suites which are quite nice, but finding them was a bit on the tricky side. We expected there to be an obvious front entrance like most hotels, but all we saw was a series of restaurants and shops. After a bit of hunting around we found a sign above an apartment complex security door (nested behind trees) and we actually had to buzz reception to let us in. The suites are quite good and the location is excellent so we forgave the hassle of finding them and settled in ready for the rest of the holiday.

Jul 18, 2006

Back at work now

Well, the holiday's over now and today is the first day back in the office.

I wasn't sure what to expect after having been away for a month but I was pleasantly surprised and very happy with things. The scrum process continued to work well while I was gone (two sprints completed while I was away) and the teams managed themselves really well to meet the needs of the business without requiring a lot of direction or prodding.

The number of crisis' waiting for me when I got back was zero. No burning problems, nothing falling down around my ears and no processes gone off the rails that needed to be brought back on track. Just a normal, calm, productive environment and a happy team that can take pride in doing a fantastic job and providing real visible progress in the product.

I don't know for sure what would've happened if I hadn't been using scrum as part of the development process but I'm pretty sure that things wouldn't be in the shape they are now if I was trying to do things using any of the traditional waterfall methodologies.

Jul 9, 2006

Still travelling

No, I'm not dead - I'm still travelling at the moment (currently in Hope, BC, Canada) and I've finally managed to get a few spare minutes at a hotel's PC (thanks to the Hope Quality Inn) when the kids aren't after attention and when I'm not actually doing anything - which has been rare.

The holiday so far has been fantastic - down through alaska's inside passage, through the rockies and now heading back to Vancouver, before leaving for Hawaii tomorrow. I've got over 4000 photos stored on the iPod now so I should be able to post some good images once I get back to Australia and sort through them all.

I'll also try and post a bit of a day-by-day summary of things and try and show some of what happened. More posts will follow.

Aloha :-)