Polish mountains, thrilling activities, long-hours talks and tons of fun - those are the highlights of our 2016 company retreat. We’re sharing our impressions and describing what’s great about working at iRonin. Don’t forget to check out our video!

Company retreats are especially important in a distributed organization, such as iRonin. We aim for face-to-face meetings as often as we can. Our company retreats are full of thrilling activities and spontaneous moments that create great memories. One of the company’s bonding trips took us to a place within picturesque surroundings of stunning Polish mountains, at a 4-star (and only because the building is missing a roof over a driveway!) Bukovina Resort located in Bukowina Tatrzańska. Let us show you just how iRonin’s retreats are like, while pointing out what is the best about working at our company. We also had a drone and shot some pretty cool video!

Such a breathtaking view!

Such a breathtaking view!

Day one – let’s break the ice!

The biggest advantage of organizing a retreat in a remote organization like ours, is simply an opportunity to actually interact with each other face-to-face. In this sense, a welcome dinner served not only as an introduction to our retreat, but for many of us was also a first chance to meet in person. It is also worth mentioning that it was iRonin’s 2nd Company Retreat but the first one with a woman on the board 😃

People have a tendency to be a bit nervous and shy during face-to-face interactions, some of them more than during virtual ones. So it’s crucial to break the ice in the beginning and create a friendly atmosphere. While enjoying a delicious first dinner, which included dumplings with Polish traditional black sausage as a starter and venison as a main course, we were greeted by our CEO, Cyprian. We also shared our hobbies and funny stories about ourselves. The most interesting one came from one of our Ruby on Rails experts, Piotr, who is crazy about climbing and mountaineering, and talks about it in such a passionate way that you could listen to him for hours! “Didn’t know that climbing could be so fascinating, maybe I will try it one day” - our other front-end developer admitted after hearing Piotr’s stories. “It looks like it can help you improve skills useful in programming as well, such as focus and attention to details” - he added. Those first conversations provided us with some new insights about our co-workers.

Can't forget the delicious taste of this cake!

Can't forget the delicious taste of this cake!

Day two - Workshops

On retreats you can smuggle a bit of work-related topics, taking advantage of the fact that you have your whole IT team in one place at the same time. That is why we kicked off our second day of the retreat with presentations on interesting topics around IT solutions and services. Four of our colleagues prepared programming-related lectures on:

  • Elixir basics,
  • Elixir advanced,
  • InfluxDB,
  • Isolated development environments with Docker,
  • Computer Ergonomics.

Calling iRonins from all over the world

Since some of our team members are located in other countries or work from remote locations, we scheduled global video call to connect and introduce everyone. We called our IT experts from Brazil, Colombia, Ukraine, Belarus and team-mates working from beaches of Thailand, who weren’t able to join us in person. It was a great pleasure to make them a part of the experience even though they could not be there with us. We were thrilled though that our mobile dev from Romania, Christian, was able to join us for the second time!

An international video call with our colleagues

An international video call with our colleagues

Talks by the campfire

We rounded out the day with a campfire, but it wasn’t your ordinary sausage-on-the-stick campfire. Don’t get us wrong - we love those traditional, plain campfires, but this time we were all about trying something new, that is why we had lamb roasted straight on the fire! It wasn’t only the food that was unforgettable, but also casual talks by the fire. Another benefit of such retreats - you can get to know people better, learn more interesting snippets about their personal life, interests, passions, dreams, fears and plans. You can touch subjects you won’t normally talk about during standups.

Sitting by the fire and telling tales

Sitting by the fire and telling tales

Day three – let’s have some fun!

Company trips are mostly for team building and fun - there are always some engaging, thrilling activities, since it is essential to do some sport from time to time after sitting so much in front of a computer. We went indoor climbing; it was the first time doing this activity for most of us. Apart from it being fun, it also helped us boost our communication skills, as we had to rely on each other not to fall down! 😃 After a while, we became brave enough to climb the most challenging walls with some of us making it all the way to the top!

Back on the ground, though we had been all the way up out there!

Back on the ground, though we had been all the way up out there!

No escape… or is there?

After climbing, we were treated with a surprise! An Escape Room was awaiting! The Escape Room challenges are a great way to improve focus, logical thinking and team cooperation while having great time. As we were a total of 10, we had three rooms available: “The Revenge of a Plumber”, “The Secrets of a Medical Office” and “The Sherlock Holmes’ Riddles”. “It was almost as difficult as coding Cobol, but thanks to team’s brainstorming, we manage to get out” - one of our Ruby specialists said after a lucky escape from the medical office.

images/blog/2016-12-08-company-retreat-2016/ironin-team.jpg

Everyone escaped :)

Thermal pools and saunas

Whenever we had free time from group activities, we would go to thermal pools or saunas to relax. On Saturday evening we had a pool party! Expectations were high for that event, but somehow the highlight of the night turned out to be the moment the singer of a band playing for us - encouraged by partygoers - jumped into the pool! “Maybe such fancy parties are not our cup of tea” - one of our Elixir experts explained - “it was funny, but to be honest, I prefer good ol’ campfire”. Anyway, we can say now we have participated in a genuine pool party. Cross it out from our bucket list.

Pool party

Pool party

Day four – time to go back

We had a fantastic time getting to know each other better, working on our team cooperation and communication, discussing IT trends, doing activities, relaxing or partying. We recharged our batteries and boosted the team spirit. No wonder that everyone was a bit downcast to be leaving those breathtaking views of Polish mountains and most of all - each other’s company, but we knew we would meet soon enough on a yet another iRonin’s retreat.

“Great couple of days!”, “Had a blast!”, “It was nice to see you all in person” and “Looking forward to our next retreat” - such opinions were heard all around. Looks like we can call our mountain bonding trip a huge success. 😃 Wish you were there with us? Join our recruitment process - check open positions or simply send us your CV. Maybe you will be the part of our next company retreat!

Enjoy our cool video!

https://vimeo.com/193540692