Last week I spent a week in Destin, FL for our annual Akismet team meetup. Since everyone at Automattic works remotely, teams get together once or twice a year to get some face-to-face time. This year we all converged in Destin, Florida.
The resort where we stayed was really nice, with a small village of shops, restaurants, and bars all within walking distance from our room.
Most of the photos I have were taken while walking around the resort and village. It had a very quaint, small-town feeling to it with beautiful architecture.
In addition to working on projects, the entire team went out to the gun range. For a few of us, including myself, it was our first time ever shooting a gun. The instructors had a variety of guns for us to shoot, both pistols and rifles. My favorite was probably the Mosin-Nagant, a WWII-era Soviet rifle. Shooting it was a very manual experience, due to the bolt-action, with a lot of history behind it. I equate it to driving a manual transmission (the Mosin-Nagant) vs. automatic transmission (modern semi-automatic rifles).
The resort had a wonderful piano bar that we went to one night. The entertainer there seemed to latch onto our group as we sang along, tipped for our requests, and chanted “OHIO”. It was a lot of fun. My colleagues even put in a request for “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys, and they told her I would sing it. So at some point she called me up to perform in front of the entire bar – I’d do it again in a heartbeat. You can check out the performance over on Greg’s blog.
While most of the time was spent working on project sprints to get something launched by the end of the week, the main purpose of these meetups is face time. Team bonding through time spent working, eating, and playing together. It’s always a fantastic time and it allows us to connect on a more personal level.
Does this sound like fun to you – working from anywhere in the world and traveling to meetups a couple times a year? We’re always hiring. Come join us!