enzuziasm (en-zoo-zee-az-uhm), n., what results from getting a group of geographically challenged developers in one place for a week.
The DevZuz development team had the rare opportunity for a get together in the Philippines a couple of weeks back, flying in from all corners of the globe to meet in the Cebu offices of Exist Global.
What a great time! It has really been a reminder of just what a fun and talented bunch of friends we get to work with every day. We were really successful in making the most out of the time we had together with some solid day time work sessions and, of course, frequent after-hours socialising.
We have a couple of teams, so we spent some time catching up on what each other has been working on recently, including some of the things happening in the Apache Maven community. One of the challenges of this type of meet for a company participating in an open source project is to not start fast tracking things from the community just because you have a period of high-bandwidth communication. I was happy to see us deal with this very well – we spent time discussing the current state of the nation and producing material that can be shared with the whole project, but also diverting decisions to the public forums (even when it seems a bit obtuse to email a mailing list to respond to the person sitting next to you!)
There’s been some particularly cool things going on. We saw that Archiva is getting very close to its first feature complete release, and the first Continuum feature complete beta was released while we were there. Emmanuel also shared with us some GWT work he started experimenting with for the trip (look for it on the Continuum developer list shortly). Shane got to tell us about what has been happening in NMaven (which is in incubation at Apache).
On the Eclipse front, we also saw the great progress that’s been happening in Q for Eclipse, which has turned out to be some very solid Eclipse integration for Maven (in fact, I’m using it all the time now). We also saw how the Kepler project proposal is progressing.
Finally, I spent a bit of time talking about our open source community involvement as I mentioned in my previous post, looking at how it is today and how we can always improve on it.
But the socialising was the best part, of course! It was great to have everyone together and get to know people a little better. For one, we discovered exactly who the karaoke stars in our midst are, and those of us who perhaps shouldn’t quit our day job.
As you can tell by some of the other blog posts here, food is pretty central to the experience of visiting the Philippines – particularly in Cebu. And we enjoyed plenty of it! I think I enjoyed it too much, as by the end of the week I couldn’t possibly fit another thing in – I even struggled to eat the halo-halo. It was all delicious, and our hosts were kind enough not to ask us to try the balut.
We wrapped up with a great last day touring around Cebu to see some of the sights. We were blessed with beautiful weather (as we had been the whole week, really) – and it was quite a shock to the system after that last day to return home to winter.
Thanks to all of our friends at Exist for hosting us for the week – I hope we get to do it again soon! I’ve started to post some photos on flickr for those that want to see more.