March 24, 2019
This last week was not a normal work week for me. I have worked remotely for the past five years and have never met any of the people I have worked with in person. All of my interactions have been through Slack, emails, phone calls, and Zoom. Well, that all changed this week.
This week, I joined my teammates from the LGND crew in DC for a combination of working together in the office and having Summit sessions. These breakout times were a combination of presentation and breakout times where we had a chance to come up with ideas and give input.
It was a challenge to get a lot of deep work done through the week. I am so use to working on my own that it was a bit of a distraction to be working with so many people around. And there were time I would have rather been having personal interactions that sitting at my desk trying to write animation code for the project I am working on. I was able to make some small progress and it was good to get some input from other team members. Of course, I am wondering if tomorrow when I sit down to my desk to work if it is going to be a challenge because I got use to everyone being around.
The big win from the trip was all the personal interactions I had with my teammates. This happened through shared experiences during our Summit times, icebreakers, casual hangouts, grabbing lunch, karoke and just getting into conversations while working together at the office. It was great to get to know people, observe their mannerisms and how they interact in a group, and hear their stories. I think it is going to lead to better working relationships down the road.
- I feel incredibly grateful to be part of such a talented group of people. I have seen their talent through the work we have done together. But to talk to people, hear their stories and then see other of their talents come out through the week made a huge impression on me.
- It was great to get out of my normal routine for a week. I had not traveled on a business trip like this is about six years. I enjoyed the adventure of a new city and new experiences.
- I do miss having face-to-face interactions with people during the workday.
- I think it is crucial for remote teams to have these kind of get togethers on a regular basis.
I finished up one book on the plane trip into DC. During the week, I started a new book, A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and A Great War. The book takes a look at how the First World War shaped the lives of JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis and their fictional creations. I have really enjoyed the history aspect as well as seeing how their experiences in the trenches on the Western Front shaped their creations.
I had tried reading The War That Ended Peace at the end of the year but it was a bit more academic than I was looking for. I had been interested in learning more about the First World War and had more interest recently as the centennial of the armistice was last year. The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia are among my favorite stories so I have enjoyed the perspective of the war from the personal perspective of how it affected the two authors. And it has given me enough historical perspective to help me better understand this time in history.
Links of Interest
- Some Notes on Accessibility (CSS Tricks)
I enjoyed these thoughts from Robin and look forward to reading some of the sources he referred to, especially Ethan Marcotte’s article which I had already saved in Pocket.
- Creating a Pure CSS Animated SVG Circle Chart
My teammate Ryan helped me to figure out how to reproduce some donut graphs in SVG so I could animated them using GreenSock
- Really enjoyed a visit to the National Gallery of Art. One of my teammates gives tours and she treated us to a special tour to end our week.
- I won an office competition of Rock, Papers, Scissors but our version was Microwave, tin foil, cat. We paired up and the loser had to cheer on the winner. So each time you won, you broadened your support base. It was quite an experience in the final where we stood back-to-back and then turned to face off with half of the office yelling and cheering you on.