As was mentioned in our Site Update
, our #dt
, Product, and Product Marketing teams traveled to France for a technology retreat and I had the immense pleasure of participating this year. We spent 2 weeks near Lyon designing and developing new products, improving existing ones, and eating lots and lots of bread. I mean, I consider myself quite the fan of grain products, but I don't think I'm cut out for the French diet.
Nonetheless, it's always interesting to experience a new way of life. I've been to France a couple of times before, but never to the part where we stayed. It was a humbling, albeit sometimes frustrating, experience to be in a village where English is not spoken by the locals. At least in cities like Paris, most people will speak English, but in our little country town, we had to rely on the few French natives in our group for translation. However, everyone was very kind to our strange assortment of Americans, Brits, and other nationalities. And, you really can't beat this view (or the wildlife
You can see our Site Updates here
to read a little bit about what we worked on. But, when you compile so many deviantART employees in a room for two weeks, there are sure to be some devious shenanigans.
At some point throughout the trip, you could count on at least one staffer being sick. And, thanks to the power of proximity, this sickness traveled around fairly quickly. I fell victim, though just getting over a cold a couple weeks ago, but thankfully I think it's passing.
During the middle of the retreat, we took a trip to Paris for the Paris deviantMEET
. That was an incredible experience, as devaintMEETs always are. I got to meet a couple of my personal heroes, ^SaTaNiA
, who were incredibly helpful in making the meet happen and keeping the bar manager happy, especially as the Mecano Bar flooded with more and more deviants throughout the day. It was also great to put faces to usernames I already knew, like $namenotrequired
, and `anmari
And on the deviantMEET note, it was also amazing to attend the Clevemeet
a couple weeks ago! Unfortunately, I had to leave early in order to catch the flight to Paris, but it was awesome meeting fellow Ohio deviants. `WDWParksGal
brought an impressive array of art supplies, and there was some great work made there!
Lastly, on that note, there's another deviantMEET planned for London on June 30th! It's part picnic, so bring a snack or a dish to share. Let us know if you can attend
and I made an important pact during this trip. As she detailed in her journal about staffers being weird
, she is afraid of elevators, while I greatly dislike doctors and hospitals. For American standards, elevators in Europe are quite tiny, which pretty much means disaster for a claustrophic with a fear of elevators. Unfortunately, the hotel where we were staying in Paris did not make it easy for $Heidi
to take the stairs, as we had to get an employee from the front desk to open the entrance to the stairs so she could get to/from her room.
So, we came to the agreement that we would help each other out with our fears. I'll do what it takes to make sure stairs are accessible for wherever we are, or at least be an elevator buddy, and she'll talk to doctors should I be in that situation. It's worked out well so far, though I hope I never have to take her up on her part of the deal.
All in all, a very successful trip. I'm so excited for you guys to see the projects we worked on. I think you're going to like what we have in store.