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Final Days in Hyderabad

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

So, things were pretty packed last night between a lively discussion with Nick which kept us late a the office, dinner, and updating my presentation to add content that everyone was asking for.  So I didn’t get to posting a day three post (I know, you were probably hitting refresh all day only to be left disappointed).

I’ll recount the tale of the Kala Jamun, an Indian dessert which has become quite the object of focus this week.  When out for dinner on Monday night with the product management team, they were kind enough to give me a tour of the local cuisine.  For dessert, there were three options and it was hotly debated which one I should try.  After an interrogation of the kitchen staff, it was determined that I should not try the Kala Jamun from the Waterfront restaurant as it was made from a store-bought mix.  However that kicked off a week-long quest for the perfect Kala Jamun, which Avneesh was kind enough to have located and brought in for me on Wednesday afternoon. Nick quite accurately described them as “wet timbits” (file photo below).

As promised, I took some photos of the office and was able to acquire some photos from the architects as well.  I’ll introduce the photos in groups, the first of which is the hallway outside the office.  I assume that the railing meets an architecural code that reads something like “all railings shall be designed to place the center of mass for large North Americans above the railing, to facilitate a quick and sure descent should they stumble too closely to said railing”.

 

The entranceway to the office is decked out in Vignette branding, a transgression that first needs to be corrected at the legal entity level and the facilities team is ready with new “Open Text” designs to be introduced.

Inside the office, it’s a great example of what can be done if you attack the design of a new space with the knowledge that the space will be used primarily for Agile development. I truly hope we’ll have the opportunity to design some space in Waterloo with the same goal in mind.  Lots of open team spaces, supplemented by ample availability of small meeting rooms.

And while I clearly did a bad job of explaining the Product Management area to someone at the Christmas Party the other day (somehow my explanation of a raised area for collaboration was interpreted as a prison-like setup), I really like how the PM team is available to everyone in a centralized area with lots of space for whiteboarding.

On Thursday, we took the entire office offsite for a big corporate hug (hereby defined as powerpoint, conversation, and lunch) and had a day full of questions, answers, and long term vision.  At the end of the day, we took the team photo below.

Evening activities were decidedly less exciting on the last two days as several people had to juggle calls with North America.  We ended up doing dinner in the hotel both nights, and in the case of Thursday night trying to get to sleep early to prepare for the 26-hour journey home beginning at 1:00am.

The Hyderabad airport was interesting, and while the hotel staff accompanied us through all of the details they did leave us at the security line.  Security was excruciatingly slow, and took without a work of a lie about 30 minutes to process one passenger who was in front of us.  We flew from Hyderabad to Dubai at 4:00am, and had a short layover in Dubai.  The Dubai skyline teased us, and we vowed that next time we’d schedule a longer layover to take advantage of the massive buildings and take in some indoor skiing.  The Dubai to Toronto flight was an excruciating fourteen hours, but the excitement of flying on an Airbus A380 super-jumbo took the edge off.  The entertainment system was amazing, with hundreds of movies and even three inflight cameras so you can see what’s going on outside of the airplane.  The service, the headrests that actually are tall enough to rest my head on, and the entertainment left me wishing that Emirates would do more business in Canada (or take over operation of Air Canada).

I was incredibly excited to get home on Friday afternoon and see my family, and to sleep (which I did until 11am the next morning).

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Categories: Peternear